Medicare excess charges is a topic that often causes confusion and concern for many people. A very basic definition of an excess charge is when a doctor bills the patient a charge that can be up to 15% above the price that has been set by Medicare. So the patient pays the 20% of the bill that Medicare did not pay plus the excess charge. It is easy to see that when dealing with an expensive doctor bill the portion that the patient pays can be substantial. This is one of the primary reasons that many people choose to purchase a Medicare supplement plan F or plan G.
The American Academy of Family Physicians published an nice article that goes into great detail on how Medicare excess charges work. The article explains the actual percentages and the three contractual options that physicians have when dealing with Medicare. Also of interest is how doctors can change between the three options, the timeline for doing so and how it can effect patients on Medicare. You can find the article on excess charges here http://www.aafp.org/online/en/home/practicemgt/mcareoptions.html?goback=.gde_4021450_member_209389754 titled Medicare Participation Options for Physicians
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