GreyWingFinancial.com Advises Retirees How to Proceed if Their Doctor Refuses Medicare

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In light of a June 11th Forbes article, GreyWingFinancial.com personal finance and economic magazine for seniors addresses the growing number of doctors around the country who are refusing to accept Medicare, and offers advice to retirees about what to do in the event that their doctor is in this bunch.

As a recent retiree, it can be heartbreaking to hear that the doctor you’ve been seeing for decades, who has followed your medical history in detail and with whom you’ve developed a trusting relationship, does not accept your new insurance.

GreyWingFinancial.com personal finance and economic magazine for seniors today released their observations regarding the steadily increasing amount of doctors and health clinics that do not accept Medicare. GreyWingFinancial.com gave advice to its readers about what to do, should they find out their doctor is in fact one of many that will not take Medicare.

In her article for Forbes published June 11th 2013, Caroline Mayer reported that she has been hearing the complaint on a more frequent basis that some doctors are refusing Medicare patients. Mayer stated that the main reason is because Medicare, a federal health program, has low reimbursement rates in addition to lengthy paperwork. Mayer reported that according to a PBS NewsHour report, back in 2000 80% of the doctors at the Texas Medical Association accepted Medicare and as of 2012, less than 60% did.

Mayer recommended that seniors who find themselves in a position where their doctor is not accepting Medicare either search for a new physician, one that does take Medicare, or perhaps bite the bullet and pay out of pocket to see one’s long-time doctor. Mayer also pitches signing up for a healthcare concierge service, getting a referral from a current doctor for a good one that takes Medicare, or simply using walk-in and urgent care clinics.

GreyWingFinancial.com advised those seniors who don’t wish to find another physician to see what type of discount they can negotiate. GreyWingFinancial.com is quoted as saying, “As a recent retiree, it can be heartbreaking to hear that the doctor you’ve been seeing for decades, who has followed your medical history in detail and with whom you’ve developed a trusting relationship, does not accept your new insurance. You might have gone to her for every annual exam for years, done your required life insurance qualification exam with her—unless you opted for the no medical exam, in which case you saw her one less time—been through pregnancies and menopause, broken bones, stitches, and countless other ailments with her. If the thought of starting new with somebody else makes your stomach churn, approach your doctor and find out what sort of discount you could receive if you paid in cash at the time of service. I have personally seen many doctors offices offer discounts for patients whose insurance they do not accept, the highest I’ve seen being 40%--which is pretty high—on the condition that the patient pay the day of the appointment. It doesn’t hurt to ask, and I would honestly be shocked if your office couldn’t cut you a break.”

GreyWingFinancial.com warned its readers to factor these sorts of things into their healthcare savings account for retirement. GreyWingFinancial.com recommended that its readers find out before they go on Medicare whether or not their doctor’s office accepts it. The other option, GreyWingFinancial.com suggested, is pushing retirement off to stay on one’s other insurance. GreyWingFinancial.com stated, “If an employer is paying one’s premium, and the insurance they’re on is a big one like Aetna or Blue Shield, something that most every doctor’s office accepts, it might not be a horrible idea to delay retirement a few more years just for the insurance. Of course, that’s a big decision, but it could end up saving quite a bit of out-of-pocket costs for those few years. And every year worked is one less year that you need to be saving for.”

In her article, Mayer quotes John Baker, president of Medicare Rights Center, as saying “We’re hearing of problems more than the statistics show” with regards to how many doctors in the U.S. are opting out of accepting Medicare.

About GreyWingFinancial.com:
GreyWingFinancial.com is an online magazine for seniors and soon-to-be retirees, offering them counsel and advice on all things retirement and finance-related. GreyWingFinancial.com writes articles about topics such as 401(k)’s, purchasing a motor home, relocating in retirement, and retirement planning. GreyWingFinancial.com enjoys helping seniors with the financial queries and debacles they may have, hoping to provide guidance so that retirees can enjoy their golden years without financial stress.

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