How can you opt out of Medicare?


Quick Answer

To opt out of Medicare, physicians notify patients their intentions, file an affidavit and send it to all Medicare stakeholders, and enter into private contracts for rendering services to Medicare Part B beneficiaries. Physicians then install procedures to avoid future claims, according to the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.

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Full Answer

Medicare has allowed participating and nonparticipating physicians to opt out, enter private contracts and set their fees since April 1998, as stated by the American Psychiatric Association. Physicians who work in situations where they must attend to Medicare patients cannot opt out of the insurance program. Physicians must file an opt-out affidavit with the carrier that administers in their region or the Medicare Administrative Contractor that covers their jurisdiction of practice. Subsequently, these physicians must enter into private contracts with the Medicare patients they wish to serve.

Physicians who apply to opt out of Medicare have a 90-day grace period within which they may change their minds. After this period, physicians who opt out must set internal procedures to ensure that their practices never file Medicare claims, as stated by the AAPS. These physicians must send recurring opt out affidavits every year to maintain their status. If opted-out physicians accidentally file a Medicare claim, they must offer an explanation to the Medicare Administrative Contractor when requested to do so.

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