How Medicare Works
Medicare benefits are divided into two parts:
- Part A, hospital insurance, is provided at no cost to you.
- Part B, which covers physicians’ fees and other medical services, is optional and requires a monthly premium. If you enroll for this coverage, the Part B premium amount is automatically withheld from your Social Security check.
Both Part A and Part B have deductibles and copayments that are set annually by the federal government. In addition, Medicare limits the amount it will pay for each covered service. This limit is called the “Medicare assignment.”
As a Medicare-eligible retiree, benefits are not determined by whether you use in-network or out-of-network providers; they are determined by whether the service is covered by Medicare.
If a provider does not accept Medicare assignment as payment in full for a covered service, you will be billed for the difference.
It is important to ask your doctor or other medical provider in advance if he or she accepts Medicare assignment as payment in full.