If you have original Medicare, then choosing which doctor you visit can make a big difference in how much you have to pay.
Under Medicare Part B, which pays for doctor visits, once your annual deductible is met, Medicare pays 80 percent of what it considers a “reasonable charge” for the item or service. You’re responsible for the other 20 percent.
However, in most cases, what Medicare calls a “reasonable charge” is less than what a medical provider normally charges for the service. Whether a Medicare beneficiary must pay part of the difference between the Medicare-approved charge and the provider’s normal charge depends on whether the provider has agreed to participate in the Medicare program. [Read more…]