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The easiest way to find a doctor who accepts Medicare is to use the free Physician’s Compare tool on Medicare’s official site
You should always verify coverage before making an appointment
The Physician’s Compare tool allows you narrow your search by body part, location, gender, and more.
If you’ve shopped for health care lately, you know there are many options on the market. Years ago, when you choose Medicare, it was a simple choice. Today, there are many different Medicare options on the market.
Choosing the right program will grant you access to covered physicians and hospitals. It also reduces your out-of-pocket expenses.
Many doctors accept Medicare. But it’s important to make sure your insurance is accepted before rendered services. It is a beneficiary’s responsibility, and not the physician’s office or a hospital’s responsibility, to determine whether your policy will cover services.
A doctor’s office or hospital staff may check benefits or file claims for you, but the responsibility to verify coverage is a policyholder’s.
Failure to verify benefits can result in large medical bills for services rendered if services aren’t covered by your plan.
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When you visit the site, you can search by a health care professional’s last name or group practice name. If you aren’t looking for a particular doctor but want to search by location instead, you can fill in the zip code and leave the rest of the information blank.
To search by facility, you just type in the name. It’s also easy to search by a group’s practice name or medical specialty. You don’t even have to know all the medical lingo to find a specialist. Instead, type in a body part or organ, and the system will help you find a provider that specializes in the care you need and accepts your plan.
At the beginning of your search, you’ll be asked to specify a particular geographic area. Specifying an area to search for a physician doesn’t guarantee there is one nearby. But, the location-based search will help you find doctor’s closest to your home.
Once you’ve chosen a doctor that meets your needs (specialist, facility, family practice, etc.), you’ll have access to a detailed profile of the physician or practice. The site even provides you with driving directions and maps to the doctor’s office.
Did you know not all doctors accept Medicare the same way? It’s true. To keep your out-of-pocket medical costs low, choose a physician that accepts Medicare payment in full.
When choosing this option, you can fill in all the information that was discussed above or leave as much information blank as you would like.
If you leave information such as gender and last name blank, you will receive more results, which you can later further narrow.
It’s important to keep in mind that doctors listed on Physician Compare accept Medicare. If you have a secondary insurance such as Medicaid, the system cannot provide you with information about any other insurance plan. Instead, you should contact your secondary insurance to ensure the physician you choose is a provider for both.
The Physician Compare tool provided by Medicare on their site is useful but isn’t always 100 percent accurate. For instance, there may be physicians listed that have relocated or retired.
To prevent disappointment, and stretch your search for the right doctor even further, it’s best to make a shortlist of three or four doctors before choosing the right one for you.
All the doctor’s office’s contact information is listed on the site. Once you have a shortlist, you can call the office.
When you contact a physician’s office by phone, you will want to ask a series of questions. Below is an example of the types of questions you should ask.
Using the information listed above will help you find the right physician to care for your health care needs. When you have the right doctor and access to the best quality care, you can live a longer, more productive life.
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