Regarding “Maine doc stops accepting insurance”: I think that Dr. Michael Ciampi has the right idea. The problem goes to "reasonable and customary." His colleagues might resent more physicians doing the same to keep the dreaded "reasonable and customary" high enough to get reasonable reimbursements.
More docs should reject insurance
Even though I qualify for Medicare, I have a high-deductible for my supplemental policy and wish there were a simpler way to use Medicare for catastrophic coverage rather than every nickel and dime.
I tried to avoid using insurance 10 years ago—before I qualified for Medicare. The results were higher charges from physicians—so I submitted my insurance card even though my insurance paid nothing. That way I paid the lower insurance "approved" amount. Of course, the physician had to charge an amount equal to or higher than the insurance approved amount to keep up the "reasonable and customary charade." Otherwise, she or he would be dinged by the insurance carriers.
I would rather pay on the date of service than have to wait for Medicare to send an approved amount to my supplemental insurance, the supplemental insurance to send an EOB explaining that they won't pay anything until my $2,500 deductible is reached, and then wait a bit longer for the physician to send a bill for the approved amount. Sometimes it takes so long that I forget why I went to the physician.
Here are my best wishes that Dr. Ciampi has many imitators.
Joseph F. SmithAssistant College ProfessorNew Mexico State University Doña Ana Community College
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