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Medicare 101

Do All Doctors Accept Medicare?

Christian Worstell

by Christian Worstell | Published October 24, 2023 | Reviewed by John Krahnert

You can keep your current doctor as long as he or she has enrolled in the Medicare program. Medical providers, suppliers and groups must enroll in the Medicare program to be eligible for payments for Medicare-approved services.

To find out if your doctor is enrolled in Medicare, you can simply ask them or use the physician lookup tool on Even if your doctor is enrolled in the Medicare program, you should ask if they accept Medicare assignment. This classification could have a large impact on your Medicare out-of-pocket costs.

Doctors and Medicare assignment

There are two classifications of Medicare providers: those who accept Medicare assignment and those who do not.

Doctors who do accept Medicare assignment:

Doctors who do not accept Medicare assignment:

  • Are called “non-participating” doctors
  • Can add excess charges

What is an excess charge?

An excess charge is the cost difference between the Medicare-approved amount for a medical service and the amount your health care provider typically charges for that service. According to,  if your current doctor accepts Medicare assignment, they are legally required to accept the Medicare-approved amount as full payment for coverage services.

If your doctor takes Medicare assignment and you receive medically necessary care, Medicare will reimburse the service at the pre-determined amount. If your doctor does not accept assignment, you might have to pay the entire charge at the time of service and you may have to pay a portion of the excess charges out of your own pocket.

Does your doctor accept assignment?

You should ask your doctor about Medicare assignment before receiving any medical care. You also can see whether a doctor accepts assignment by using the physician lookup tool on If your doctor does not accept Medicare assignment, you can switch to a new doctor who does.

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