The Medicare Summary Notice (MSN) is a summary of health care services you have received during the previous three months. The MSN is not a bill. The contractor that processes your claims for Medicare will send you the MSN, so it may have the name and address of a private company on it.

MSNs are usually mailed four times a year and contain information about submitted charges, the amount that Medicare paid, and the amount you are responsible for. Note that you may receive an MSN more often if you are being reimbursed for a bill you paid. You can also access your MSN online at This site allows you to look at electronic versions of your MSNs and print copies from your own computer whenever you would like (but it does not replace the paper MSN).

The most important fields on your MSN explain:

  • The total amount your doctor or another provider may bill you. The “You May Be Billed” field indicates the total amount that the provider is allowed to bill you. It deducts the amount you already paid. In many instances, Medicare forwards your MSN to your supplemental insurer, which may help with some or all of the remaining costs.
    • Note: The “Amount Charged” field does not show your costs. You do not need to pay attention to this field.
  • Non-covered charges, if any. The “Non-Covered Charges” field shows the portion of charges for services that are denied or excluded (never covered) by Medicare. A $0.00 in this field means that there were no denied or excluded services. If you disagree with a non-covered charge, you should file an appeal.

Try to save your MSNs for about seven years. You might need them in the future to prove that payment was made if a provider’s billing department makes a mistake or if you claimed a medical deduction on your taxes. If you have lost your MSN or you need a duplicate copy, call 1-800-MEDICARE or go to your account on