2020 Blue Cross and Blue Shield Service Benefit Plan - FEP Blue Focus
Section 9. Coordinating Benefits With Medicare and Other Coverage
Page 129
It is generally to your financial advantage to use a physician who participates with Medicare. Such physicians are permitted to collect only up to the Medicare-approved amount.

Our explanation of benefits (EOB) form will tell you how much the physician or hospital can collect from you. If your physician or hospital tries to collect more than allowed by law, ask the physician or hospital to reduce the charges. If you have paid more than allowed, ask for a refund. If you need further assistance, call us.
Physicians Who Opt-Out of Medicare
A physician may have opted-out of Medicare and may or may not ask you to sign a private contract agreeing that you can be billed directly for services ordinarily covered by Original Medicare. This is different than a Non-participating doctor, and we recommend you ask your physician if he or she has opted-out of Medicare. Should you visit an opt-out physician, the physician will not be limited to 115% of the Medicare-approved amount. You may be responsible for paying the difference between the billed amount and our regular in-network/out-of-network benefits.

When you have the Original Medicare Plan (Part A, Part B, or both)
We limit our payment to an amount that supplements the benefits that Medicare would pay under Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance), regardless of whether Medicare pays.

Note: We pay our regular benefits for emergency services to a facility provider, such as a hospital, that does not participate with Medicare and is not reimbursed by Medicare.

We use the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medicare-equivalent Remittance Advice (MRA) when the MRA statement is submitted to determine our payment for covered services provided to you if Medicare is primary, when Medicare does not pay the VA facility.

If you are covered by Medicare Part B and it is primary, your out-of-pocket costs for services that both Medicare Part B and we cover depend on whether your physician accepts Medicare assignment for the claim.

You must see Preferred providers in order to receive benefits. See page 18 for the exceptions to this requirement.

  • If your physician accepts Medicare assignment, you pay nothing for covered charges.
  • If your physician does not accept Medicare assignment, you pay the difference between the “limiting charge” or the physician’s charge (whichever is less) and our payment combined with Medicare’s payment.

It is important to know that a physician who does not accept Medicare assignment may not bill you for more than 115% of the amount Medicare bases its payment on, called the “limiting charge.” The Medicare Summary Notice (MSN) form that you receive from Medicare will have more information about the limiting charge. If your physician tries to collect more than allowed by law, ask the physician to reduce the charges. If the physician does not, report the physician to the Medicare carrier that sent you the MSN form. Call us if you need further assistance.