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Should Medicare Advantage plan members check on whether physicians accept Medicare assignment?

Accepting assignment means that the physician or other healthcare provider accepts Medicare payment. This is usually not an issue for those with Medicare Advantage because the network is a key part of Medicare Advantage plans. Physicians and providers in the network have agreed to accept the plan’s payment for services. 

However, there are two groups of Medicare Advantage beneficiaries who may find it necessary to check on the physician’s participation in Medicare.

  • Those with a Private Fee-for-service (PFFS) plan: This type of plan operates differently. Many offer a network but the plan cannot force a beneficiary to use one of those providers. Beneficiaries with PFFS coverage must check that the providers and physicians whom they prefer are either in the plan’s network or accept assignment. 
  • Those with a Medical Saving Account (MSA) plan: This type of plan does not feature networks. Beneficiaries can see any provider that accepts Medicare assignment.  
Last updated: 12-28-2015