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Assignment means that your doctor, provider, or supplier agrees (or is required by law) to accept the Medicare-approved amount as full payment for covered services.
Make sure your doctor, provider, or supplier accepts assignment
Most doctors, providers, and suppliers accept assignment, but you should always check to make sure. Participating providers have signed an agreement to accept assignment for all Medicare-covered services.
Here's what happens if your doctor, provider, or supplier accepts assignment:
Find out if your doctors and other healthcare providers accept assignment or participate in Medicare.
If your doctor, provider, or supplier doesn't accept assignment
Non-participating providers haven't signed an agreement to accept assignment for all Medicare-covered services, but they can still choose to accept assignment for individual services. These providers are called "non-participating."
Here's what happens if your doctor, provider, or supplier doesn't accept assignment:
The limiting charge applies only to certain Medicare-covered services and doesn't apply to some supplies and durable medical equipment.
Not sure if your doctor is covered by Medicare?
Find out if your doctors and other health care providers accept assignment or participate in Medicare.
What to know about private contracts
Certain doctors and other health care providers who don’t want to enroll in the Medicare program may “opt out” of Medicare. You can still see these providers, but they must enter into a private contract with you (unless you’re in need of emergency or urgently needed care). A private contract is a written agreement between you and a doctor or other health care provider who has decided not to provide services to anyone through Medicare. The private contract only applies to the services provided by the doctor or other provider who asked you to sign it.
Rules for private contracts
You don't have to sign a private contract. You can always go to another provider who gives services through Medicare. If you sign a private contract with your doctor or other provider, these rules apply:
You may want to contact your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) to get help before signing a private contract with any doctor or other health care provider.