Little Rock, AR asked in Civil Litigation and Health Care Law for Arkansas

Q: Can a private practice doctor refuse me if I offer to pay out of pocket since they don’t accept my insurance?

I went to a dermatologist today with an appointment that was previously booked. Upon arrival I gave them my insurance card and they stated that they did not accept my insurance. I offered to pay out-of-pocket since I really need to be looked at and they flat out refused and said that they would get into trouble if they accepted out of pocket payment since I had an active insurance even though they did not accept it. Is this legal?

Edit: I do not have Medicare or medicaid. The insurance in question is Tricare if that makes any difference. I never planned on filing through my insurance if they did not accept it and fully planned on paying out of pocket upon finding out their policy but they refused and stated it was illegal.

1 Lawyer Answer
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
  • Little Neck, NY

A: An Arkansas attorney could advise best, but your question remains open for three weeks. Until you are able to arrange a consult with a local attorney to review the matter under state-specific insurance and health care regulations for Arkansas, the general rule nationwide is that doctors are free to accept or decline patients. There are exceptions to the rule, such as abandoning a patient or committing discrimination, among others. Additionally, there are settings under certain coverages nationwide where medical offices are forbidden to accept cash payments - that could require closer examination by a local attorney. Good luck

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