EDITORS ARE JEWELS TOO!
I wanted to personally thank you for the article on the Mothers Are Jewels luncheon on April 18, an annual fundraiser for FamilyTime. It is your kindness and generosity in giving us free publicity which makes our efforts so worthwhile. People like you make our annual celebration of mothers such a successful event. I look forward to seeing you at the luncheon. Many thanks on behalf of all volunteers for FamilyTime.
MEDICARE PATIENTS BEWARE
This letter notes a billing/payment practice that can harm Medicare patients. The issue arises when one visits a doctor who accepts Medicare Part B assignments. Those doctors agree to accept as full payment for an office visit the Medicare-approved amount, which may be less than the amount the doctor charges. For example, suppose a doctor charges $200 for a visit, but the Medicare approved amount is $120. That doctor agrees to accept $120 as full payment for the visit. Some of that $120 may come from Medicare, and some may come from the patient. Each year has a deductible amount that the patient must pay before Medicare pays anything. Once the deductible is met, then Medicare pays 80 percent of the Medicare-approved amount, and the patient pays 20 percent of it.
A problem can arise when the patient must pay the day of the visit. Example: On Jan. 24, 2019, I visited a local clinic. I had to pay before seeing the doctor. I was told that $108.69 of my deductible had not been met; so they charged me that amount plus $5 for a urinalysis, and I paid the total ($113.69) before leaving the clinic. Yesterday I visited mymedicare.gov and I examined the data Medicare has for me regarding my doctor visits so far this year. For that Jan. 24 visit, those data show (1) Medicare approved amount = $80.95, (2) Medicare paid to provider = $64.42, and (3) You may be billed = $15.69. So the amount that I should have paid for that visit is $15.69. Instead, I paid $113.69!
Lesson: Don’t pay before seeing the prior paragraph’s 3 listed data.
ALL TREASURES FOUND
Kingwood – via email