What is an assignment of benefits?

Three people in an office talking over a pile of papers.

The last time you sought medical care, you likely made an appointment with your provider, got the treatment you needed, paid your copay or deductible, and that was it. No paperwork, no waiting to be reimbursed; your doctor received payment from your insurance company and you both went on with your lives.

This is how most people receive health care in the U.S. This system, known as assignment of benefits or AOB, is now being used with other types of insurance, including auto and homeowners coverage . 

What is an assignment of benefits?  

An AOB is a legal agreement that allows your insurance company to directly pay a third party for services performed on your behalf. In the case of health care, it could be your doctor or another medical professional providing care. With a homeowners, renters, or auto insurance claim, the third party could be a contractor, auto repair shop, or other facility.

Assignment of benefits is legal, thanks to a concept known as freedom of contract, which says two parties may make a private agreement, including the forfeiture of certain rights, and the government may not interfere. There are exceptions, making freedom of contract something less than an absolute right. For example, the contract may not violate the law or contain unfair terms.

Not all doctors or contractors utilize AOBs. Therefore, it’s a good idea to make sure the doctor or service provider and you are on the same page when it comes to AOBs before treatment or work begins.

How an AOB works

The function of an AOB agreement varies depending on the type of insurance policy involved, the healthcare provider, contractor, or service provider, and increasingly, state law. Although an AOB is normal in health insurance, other applications of assignment of benefits have now included the auto and homeowners insurance industry.

Because AOBs are common in health care, you probably don’t think twice about signing a piece of paper that says “assignment of benefits” across the top. But once you sign it, you’re likely turning over your right to deal with your insurance company regarding service from that provider. Why would you do this? 

According to Dr. David Berg of Redirect Health , the reason is simple: “Without an AOB in place, the patient themselves would be responsible for paying the cost of their service and would then file a claim with their insurance company for reimbursement.”

With homeowners or auto insurance, the same rules apply. Once you sign the AOB, you are effectively out of the picture. The contractor who reroofs your house or the mechanic who rebuilds your engine works with your insurance company by filing a claim on your behalf and receiving their money without your help or involvement.

“Each state has its own rules, regulations, and permissions regarding AOBs,” says Gregg Barrett, founder and CEO of WaterStreet , a cloud-based P&C insurance administration platform. “Some states require a strict written breakdown of work to be done, while others allow assignment of only parts of claims.” 

Within the guidelines of the specific insurance rules for AOBs in your state, the general steps include:

  • You and your contractor draw up an AOB clause as part of the contract.
  • The contract stipulates the exact work that will be completed and all necessary details.
  • The contractor sends the completed AOB to the insurance company where an adjuster reviews, asks questions, and resolves any discrepancies.
  • The contractor’s name (or that of an agreed-upon party) is listed to go on the settlement check.

After work is complete and signed off, the insurer will issue the check and the claim will be considered settled.

Example of an assignment of benefits  

If you’re dealing with insurance, how would an AOB factor in? Let’s take an example. “Say you have a water leak in the house,” says Angel Conlin, chief insurance officer at Kin Insurance . “You call a home restoration company to stop the water flow, clean up the mess, and restore your home to its former glory. The restoration company may ask for an assignment of benefits so it can deal directly with the insurance company without your input.”

In this case, by eliminating the homeowner, whose interests are already represented by an experienced insurance adjustor, the AOB reduces redundancy, saves time and money, and allows the restoration process to proceed with much greater efficiency.

When would you need to use an assignment of benefits?  

An AOB can simplify complicated and costly insurance transactions and allow you to turn these transactions over to trusted experts, thereby avoiding time-consuming negotiations. 

An AOB also frees you from paying the entire bill upfront and seeking reimbursement from your insurance company after work has been completed or services rendered. Since you are not required to sign an assignment of benefits, failure to sign will result in you paying the entire medical bill and filing for reimbursement. The three most common uses of AOBs are with health insurance, car insurance, and homeowners insurance.

Assignment of benefits for health insurance

As discussed, AOBs in health insurance are commonplace. If you have health insurance, you’ve probably signed AOBs for years. Each provider (doctor) or practice requires a separate AOB. From your point of view, the big advantages of an AOB are that you receive medical care, your doctor and insurance company work out the details and, in the event of a disagreement, those two entities deal with each other. 

Assignment of benefits for car owners

If your car is damaged in an accident and needs extensive repair, the benefits of an AOB can quickly add up. Not only will you have your automobile repaired with minimal upfront costs to you, inconvenience will be almost nonexistent. You drop your car off (or have it towed), wait to be called, told the repair is finished, and pick it up. Similar to a health care AOB, disagreements are worked out between the provider and insurer. You are usually not involved.

Assignment of benefits for homeowners  

When your home or belongings are damaged or destroyed, your primary concern is to “return to normal.” You want to do this with the least amount of hassle. An AOB allows you to transfer your rights to a third party, usually a contractor, freeing you to deal with the crisis at hand.

When you sign an AOB, your contractor can begin immediately working on damage repair, shoring up against additional deterioration, and coordinating with various subcontractors without waiting for clearance or communication with you.

The fraud factor

No legal agreement, including an AOB, is free from the possibility of abuse or fraud. Built-in safeguards are essential to ensure the benefits you assign to a third party are as protected as possible.

In terms of what can and does go wrong, the answer is: plenty. According to the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMICs), examples of AOB fraud include inflated invoices or charges for work that hasn’t been done. Another common tactic is to sue the insurance company, without the policyholder’s knowledge or consent, something that can ultimately result in the policyholder being stuck with the bill and higher insurance premiums due to losses experienced by the insurer.

State legislatures have tried to protect consumers from AOB fraud and some progress has been made. Florida, for example, passed legislation in 2019 that gives consumers the right to rescind a fraudulent contract and requires that AOB contracts include an itemized description of the work to be done. Other states, including North Dakota, Kansas, and Iowa have all signed NAMIC-backed legislation into law to protect consumers from AOB fraud.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), offers advice for consumers to help avoid AOB fraud and abuse:

  • File a claim with your insurer before you hire a contractor. This ensures you know what repairs need to be made.
  • Don’t pay in full upfront. Legitimate contractors do not require it.
  • Get three estimates before selecting a contractor.
  • Get a full written contract and read it carefully before signing.
  • Don’t be pressured into signing an AOB. You are not required to sign an AOB.

Pros and cons of an assignment of benefits  

The advantages and disadvantages of an AOB agreement depend largely on the amount and type of protection your state’s insurance laws provide.  

Pros of assignment of benefits

With proper safeguards in place to reduce opportunities for fraud, AOBs have the ability to streamline and simplify the insurance claims process.

  • An AOB frees you from paying for services and waiting for reimbursement from your insurer.
  • Some people appreciate not needing to negotiate with their insurer.
  • You are not required to sign an AOB.

Cons of assignment of benefits

As with most contracts, AOBs are a double-edged sword. Be aware of potential traps and ask questions if you are unsure.

  • Signing an AOB could make you the victim of a scam without knowing it until your insurer refuses to pay.
  • An AOB doesn’t free you from the ultimate responsibility to pay for services rendered, which could drag you into expensive litigation if things go south.
  • Any AOB you do sign is legally binding.

The takeaway  

An AOB, as the health insurance example shows, can simplify complicated and costly insurance transactions and help consumers avoid time-consuming negotiations. And it can save upfront costs while letting experts work out the details.

It can also introduce a nightmare scenario laced with fraud requiring years of costly litigation. Universal state-level legislation with safeguards is required to avoid the latter. Until that is in place, your best bet is to work closely with your insurer when signing an AOB. Look for suspicious or inflated charges when negotiating with contractors, providers, and other servicers.

EDITORIAL DISCLOSURE : The advice, opinions, or rankings contained in this article are solely those of the Fortune Recommends ™ editorial team. This content has not been reviewed or endorsed by any of our affiliate partners or other third parties.

Assignment of Benefits: What It Is, and How It Can Affect your Property Insurance Claim

insurance assignment of benefits

Table of Contents

What is an Assignment of Benefits?

In the context of insured property claims, an assignment of benefits (AOB) is an agreement between you and a contractor in which you give the contractor your right to insurance payments for a specific scope of work .  In exchange, the contractor agrees that it will not seek payment from you for that scope of work, except for the amount of any applicable deductible.  In other words, you give part of your insurance claim to your contractor, and your contractor agrees not to collect from you for part of its work.

The most important thing to know about an assignment of benefits is that it puts your contractor in control your claim , at least for their scope of work.  Losing that control can significantly affect the direction and outcome of your claim, so you should fully understand the implications of an AOB (sometimes called an assignment of claims or AOC) before signing one.

How Does an Assignment of Benefits Work in Practice? 

Let’s say you’re an insured homeowner, and Hurricane Ian significantly damaged your roof.  Let’s also assume your homeowner’s policy covers that damage.  A roofer, after inspecting your roof and reviewing your insurance policy, might conclude that your insurer is probably going to pay for a roof replacement under your insurance policy.  The only problem is that it’s early in the recovery process, and your insurer hasn’t yet stated whether it will pay for the roof replacement proposed by your contractor. So if you want your roof replaced now, you would ordinarily agree to pay your roofer for the replacement, and wait in hopes that your insurer reimburses you for the work.  This means that if your insurance company refuses to pay or drags out payment, you’re on the hook to your roofer for the cost of the replacement.

As an alternative to agreeing to pay your roofer for the full cost of the work, you could sign an assignment of benefits for the roof replacement.  In this scenario, your roofer owns the part of your insurance claim that pertains to the roof replacement.  You might have to pay your roofer for the amount of your deductible, but you probably don’t have to pay them for the rest of the cost of the work.  And if your insurance company refuses to pay or drags out payment for the roof replacement, it’s your roofer, and not you, who would be on the hook for that shortfall.

So should you sign an AOB?  Not necessarily.  Read below to understand the pros and cons of an assignment of benefits.

Are There any Downsides to Signing an Assignment of Benefits?

Yes.  

You lose control of your claim . This is the most important factor to understand when considering whether to sign an AOB.  An AOB is a formal assignment of your legal rights to payment under your insurance contract.  Unless you’re able to cancel the AOB, your contractor will have full control over your claim as it relates to their work. 

To explain why that control could matter, let’s go back to the roof replacement example.  When you signed the AOB, the scope of work you agreed on was to replace the roof.  But you’re not a roofing expert, so you don’t know whether the costs charged or the materials used by the roofer in its statement of work are industry appropriate or not.  In most cases, they probably are appropriate, and there’s no problem.  But if they’re not – if, for instance, the roofer’s prices are unreasonably high – then the insurer may not approve coverage for the replacement.  At that point, the roofer could lower its prices so the insurer approves the work, but it doesn’t have to, because it controls the claim .  Instead it could hold up work and threaten to sue your insurer unless it approves the work at the originally proposed price.  Now the entire project is insnared in litigation, leaving you in a tough spot with your insurer for your other claims and, most importantly, with an old leaky roof.

Misunderstanding the Scope of Work.   Another issue that can arise is that you don’t understand the scope of the assignment of benefits.  Contractor estimates and scopes of work are often highly technical documents that can be long on detail but short on clarity.  Contractors are experts at reading and writing them.  You are not.  That difference matters because the extent of your assignment of benefits is based on that technical, difficult-to-understand scope of work.  This can lead to situations where your understanding of what you’re authorizing the contractor to do is very different from what you’ve actually authorized in the AOB agreement.

In many cases, it’s not necessary .   Many contractors will work with you and your insurer to provide a detailed estimate of their work, and will not begin that work until your insurer has approved coverage for it.  This arrangement significantly reduces the risk of you being on the hook for uninsured repairs, without creating any of the potential problems that can occur when you give away your rights to your claim.

Do I have to sign an Assignment of Benefits?

No.  You are absolutely not required to sign an AOB if you do not want to. 

Are There any Benefits to Signing an Assignment of Benefits?

Potentially, but only if you’ve fully vetted your contractor and your claim involves complicated and technical construction issues that you don’t want to deal with. 

First, you must do your homework to fully vet your contractor!  Do not just take their word for it or be duped by slick ads.  Read reviews, understand their certificate of insurance, know where they’re located, and, if possible, ask for and talk to references.  If you’ve determined that the contractor is highly competent at the work they do, is fully insured, and has a good reputation with customers, then that reduces the risk that they’ll abuse their rights to your claim.

Second, if your claim involves complicated reconstruction issues, a reputable contractor may be well equipped to handle the claim and move it forward.  If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of handling a complicated claim like this, and you know you have a good contractor, one way to get rid of that hassle is an AOB.

Another way to get rid of the hassle is to try Claimly, the all-in-one claims handling tool that get you results but keeps you in control of your claim.  

Can my insurance policy restrict the use of AOBs?

Yes, it’s possible that your Florida insurance policy restricts the use of AOBs, but only if all of the following criteria are met:

  • When you selected your coverage, your insurer offered you a different policy with the same coverage, only it did not restrict the right to sign an AOB.
  • Your insurer made the restricted policy available at a lower cost than the unrestricted policy.
  • If the policy completely prohibits AOBs, then it was made available at a lower cost than any policy partially prohibiting AOBs.
  • The policy includes on its face the following notice in 18-point uppercase and boldfaced type:

THIS POLICY DOES NOT ALLOW THE UNRESTRICTED ASSIGNMENT OF POST-LOSS INSURANCE BENEFITS. BY SELECTING THIS POLICY, YOU WAIVE YOUR RIGHT TO FREELY ASSIGN OR TRANSFER THE POST-LOSS PROPERTY INSURANCE BENEFITS AVAILABLE UNDER THIS POLICY TO A THIRD PARTY OR TO OTHERWISE FREELY ENTER INTO AN ASSIGNMENT AGREEMENT AS THE TERM IS DEFINED IN SECTION 627.7153 OF THE FLORIDA STATUTES.

627.7153. 

Pro Tip : If you have an electronic copy of your complete insurance policy (not just the declaration page), then search for “policy does not allow the unrestricted assignment” or another phrase from the required language above to see if your policy restricts an AOB.  If your policy doesn’t contain this required language, it probably doesn’t restrict AOBs.

Do I have any rights or protections concerning Assignments of Benefits?

Yes, you do.  Florida recently enacted laws that protect consumers when dealing with an AOB.

Protections in the AOB Contract

To be enforceable, a Assignments of Benefits must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Be in writing and executed by and between you and the contractor.
  • Contain a provision that allows you to cancel the assignment agreement without a penalty or fee by submitting a written notice of cancellation signed by the you to the assignee:
  • at least 30 days after the date work on the property is scheduled to commence if the assignee has not substantially performed, or
  • at least 30 days after the execution of the agreement if the agreement does not contain a commencement date and the assignee has not begun substantial work on the property.
  • Contain a provision requiring the assignee to provide a copy of the executed assignment agreement to the insurer within 3 business days after the date on which the assignment agreement is executed or the date on which work begins, whichever is earlier.
  • Contain a written, itemized, per-unit cost estimate of the services to be performed by the assignee .
  • Relate only to work to be performed by the assignee for services to protect, repair, restore, or replace a dwelling or structure or to mitigate against further damage to such property.
  • Contain the following notice in 18-point uppercase and boldfaced type:

YOU ARE AGREEING TO GIVE UP CERTAIN RIGHTS YOU HAVE UNDER YOUR INSURANCE POLICY TO A THIRD PARTY, WHICH MAY RESULT IN LITIGATION AGAINST YOUR INSURER. PLEASE READ AND UNDERSTAND THIS DOCUMENT BEFORE SIGNING IT. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO CANCEL THIS AGREEMENT WITHOUT PENALTY WITHIN 14 DAYS AFTER THE DATE THIS AGREEMENT IS EXECUTED, AT LEAST 30 DAYS AFTER THE DATE WORK ON THE PROPERTY IS SCHEDULED TO COMMENCE IF THE ASSIGNEE HAS NOT SUBSTANTIALLY PERFORMED, OR AT LEAST 30 DAYS AFTER THE EXECUTION OF THE AGREEMENT IF THE AGREEMENT DOES NOT CONTAIN A COMMENCEMENT DATE AND THE ASSIGNEE HAS NOT BEGUN SUBSTANTIAL WORK ON THE PROPERTY. HOWEVER, YOU ARE OBLIGATED FOR PAYMENT OF ANY CONTRACTED WORK PERFORMED BEFORE THE AGREEMENT IS RESCINDED. THIS AGREEMENT DOES NOT CHANGE YOUR OBLIGATION TO PERFORM THE DUTIES REQUIRED UNDER YOUR PROPERTY INSURANCE POLICY.

  • Contain a provision requiring the assignee to indemnify and hold harmless the assignor from all liabilities, damages, losses, and costs, including, but not limited to, attorney fees.

Contractor Duties

Under Florida law, a contractor (or anyone else) receiving rights to a claim under an AOB:

  • Must provide you with accurate and up-to-date revised estimates of the scope of work to be performed as supplemental or additional repairs are required.
  • Must perform the work in accordance with accepted industry standards.
  • May not seek payment from you exceeding the applicable deductible under the policy unless asked the contractor to perform additional work at the your own expense.
  • Must, as a condition precedent to filing suit under the policy, and, if required by the insurer, submit to examinations under oath and recorded statements conducted by the insurer or the insurer’s representative that are reasonably necessary, based on the scope of the work and the complexity of the claim, which examinations and recorded statements must be limited to matters related to the services provided, the cost of the services, and the assignment agreement.
  • Must, as a condition precedent to filing suit under the policy, and, if required by the insurer, participate in appraisal or other alternative dispute resolution methods in accordance with the terms of the policy.
  • If the contractor is making emergency repairs, the assignment of benefits cannot exceed the greater of $3,000 or 1% of your Coverage A limit.

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Assignment of benefits

Assignment of benefits is an agreement that gives your claims benefits to someone else.

What is an assignment of benefits?

An assignment of benefits (or AOB for short) is an agreement that gives your claims benefits, and in some instances complete control of your claim, to someone else. It’s usually used so that a contractor can "stand in your shoes" and file a claim, make decisions about repairs, and collect insurance payments from your insurance company directly for covered repairs. In some states, the contractor will even file a lawsuit against your insurer as your assignee.

Why do homeowners agree to an assignment of benefits?

Homeowners may sign an assignment of benefits form because they think it’s more convenient and efficient than dealing with the claims process firsthand.

Once a contractor has been assigned your benefits, they tell the insurance company what work they believe is required and negotiate the claim. For example, say you have a water leak in the house. You call a home restoration company to stop the water flow, clean up the mess, and restore your home to its former glory. The restoration company may ask for an assignment of benefits so it can deal directly with the insurance company without your input. That may sound like a relief at first glance – someone else can deal with all that!

But signing away your rights in the claims process may not be worth the risk.

Assignment of benefits in Florida: a case of rampant fraud

Because the assignment of benefits takes control out of the homeowner’s hands, insurance fraud is a major concern. Some contractors may take advantage of the situation and inflate repair needs and costs or bill for work that was never completed. They may also hire attorneys to sue the insurance company if it does not pay the full amount of their estimate or denies claims.

These lawsuits became a huge problem in Florida – by 2018, there were 135,000 AOB lawsuits , a 70 percent increase in 15 years. On the whole, the FBI estimates fraudulent claims account for nearly $6 billion of the $80 billion appropriated for post-hurricane reconstruction.

Florida eventually passed a bill in 2019 to curb the abuse of the assignment of benefits.

Ultimately, AOB fraud hurts homeowners the most. It increases homeowners insurance rates across the board, and you may be stuck with incomplete work and no recourse.

What responsibilities does the AOB contractor have?

Once you sign an AOB, a contractor has full power to make all decisions about the claim without consulting you. The assignment of benefits gives contractors the ability to:

  • File the insurance claim .
  • Work directly with insurance claims adjusters.
  • Make repair decisions.
  • Complete repairs.
  • Directly bill the insurance carrier for all work completed.
  • Sue your insurance company regarding your claim.

Sometimes the assignment of benefits limits the scope of the work the contractor was hired for. For example, say your home has a leaky pipe. You may hire a plumber to fix the leak, a remediation company to dry the walls and carpet, and a general contractor to replace the bathroom cabinets. Each of the three contractors may have a respective assignment of benefits for their part of the job.

How assignment of benefits impact homeowners

Under some circumstances, an assignment of benefits agreement could work out for homeowners who don’t want to handle their insurance claim. If the contractor is reputable, performs the work, and knows what information the insurance company needs, it can be a big help.

For example:

  • The claims adjuster will work directly with the contractor.
  • The contractor would handle remediation and repairs.
  • The contractor would bill the insurance company, not the homeowner.

AOB arrangements only work for covered damage in need of repair. If you must replace belongings or appliances, you’d still need to work directly with your insurer and payments would go to you.

Protecting yourself in an assignment of benefits agreement

Don’t sign an assignment of benefits agreement right off the bat. Before you hire any contractor:

  • Get multiple quotes.
  • Check references, licenses, and their insurance.
  • Get written estimates for potential work.
  • Get a guarantee to back the workmanship.
  • Make sure you get to approve the completed work.
  • Request copies of all paperwork sent to your insurance company.
  • Require that the contractor show you the documents you are actually signing.

You might be tempted to hire the first contractor you find, but you save yourself headaches if you do some due diligence before signing an assignment of benefits. Great contractors use this to expedite repairs and spare you some work. Take a beat to find that great contractor .

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Medicare Assignment: Everything You Need to Know

Medicare assignment.

  • Providers Accepting Assignment
  • Providers Who Do Not
  • Billing Options
  • Assignment of Benefits
  • How to Choose

Frequently Asked Questions

Medicare assignment is an agreement between Medicare and medical providers (doctors, hospitals, medical equipment suppliers, etc.) in which the provider agrees to accept Medicare’s fee schedule as payment in full when Medicare patients are treated.

This article will explain how Medicare assignment works, and what you need to know in order to ensure that you won’t receive unexpected bills.

fizkes / Getty Images

There are 35 million Americans who have Original Medicare. Medicare is a federal program and most medical providers throughout the country accept assignment with Medicare. As a result, these enrollees have a lot more options for medical providers than most of the rest of the population.

They can see any provider who accepts assignment, anywhere in the country. They can be assured that they will only have to pay their expected Medicare cost-sharing (deductible and coinsurance, some or all of which may be paid by a Medigap plan , Medicaid, or supplemental coverage provided by an employer or former employer).

It’s important to note here that the rules are different for the 29 million Americans who have Medicare Advantage plans. These beneficiaries cannot simply use any medical provider who accepts Medicare assignment.

Instead, each Medicare Advantage plan has its own network of providers —much like the health insurance plans that many Americans are accustomed to obtaining from employers or purchasing in the exchange/marketplace .

A provider who accepts assignment with Medicare may or may not be in-network with some or all of the Medicare Advantage plans that offer coverage in a given area. Some Medicare Advantage plans— health maintenance organizations (HMOs) , in particular—will only cover an enrollee’s claims if they use providers who are in the plan's network.

Other Medicare Advantage plans— preferred provider organizations (PPOs) , in particular—will cover out-of-network care but the enrollee will pay more than they would have paid had they seen an in-network provider.

Original Medicare

The bottom line is that Medicare assignment only determines provider accessibility and costs for people who have Original Medicare. People with Medicare Advantage need to understand their own plan’s provider network and coverage rules.

When discussing Medicare assignment and access to providers in this article, keep in mind that it is referring to people who have Original Medicare.

How to Make Sure Your Provider Accepts Assignment

Most doctors, hospitals, and other medical providers in the United States do accept Medicare assignment.

Provider Participation Stats

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 98% of providers participate in Medicare, which means they accept assignment.

You can ask the provider directly about their participation with Medicare. But Medicare also has a tool that you can use to find participating doctors, hospitals, home health care services, and other providers.

There’s a filter on that tool labeled “Medicare-approved payment.” If you turn on that filter, you will only see providers who accept Medicare assignment. Under each provider’s information, it will say “Charges the Medicare-approved amount (so you pay less out-of-pocket).”

What If Your Provider Doesn’t Accept Assignment?

If your medical provider or equipment supplier doesn’t accept assignment, it means they haven’t agreed to accept Medicare’s approved amounts as payment in full for all of the services.

These providers can still choose to accept assignment on a case-by-case basis. But because they haven’t agreed to accept Medicare assignment for all services, they are considered nonparticipating providers.

Note that "nonparticipating" does not mean that a provider has opted out of Medicare altogether. Medicare will still pay claims for services received from a nonparticipating provider (i.e., one who does not accept Medicare assignment), whereas Medicare does not cover any of the cost of services obtained from a provider who has officially opted out of Medicare.

If a Medicare beneficiary uses a provider who has opted out of Medicare, that person will pay the provider directly and Medicare will not be involved in any way.

Physicians Who Have Opted Out

Only about 1% of all non-pediatric physicians have opted out of Medicare.

For providers who have not opted out of Medicare but who also don’t accept assignment, Medicare will still pay nearly as much as it would have paid if you had used a provider who accepts assignment. Here’s how it works:

  • Medicare will pay the provider 95% of the amount they would pay if the provider accepted assignment.
  • The provider can charge the person receiving care more than the Medicare-approved amount, but only up to 15% more (some states limit this further). This extra amount, which the patient has to pay out-of-pocket, is known as the limiting charge . But the 15% cap does not apply to medical equipment suppliers; if they do not accept assignment with Medicare, there is no limit on how much they can charge the person receiving care. This is why it’s particularly important to make sure that the supplier accepts Medicare assignment if you need medical equipment.
  • The nonparticipating provider may require the person receiving care to pay the entire bill up front and seek reimbursement from Medicare (using Form CMS 1490-S ). Alternatively, they may submit a claim to Medicare on behalf of the person receiving care (using Form CMS-1500 ).
  • A nonparticipating provider can choose to accept assignment on a case-by-case basis. They can indicate this on Form CMS-1500 in box 27. The vast majority of nonparticipating providers who bill Medicare choose to accept assignment for the claim being billed.
  • Nonparticipating providers do not have to bill your Medigap plan on your behalf.

Billing Options for Providers Who Accept Medicare

When a medical provider accepts assignment with Medicare, part of the agreement is that they will submit bills to Medicare on behalf of the person receiving care. So if you only see providers who accept assignment, you will never need to submit your own bills to Medicare for reimbursement.

If you have a Medigap plan that supplements your Original Medicare coverage, you should present the Medigap coverage information to the provider at the time of service. Medicare will forward the claim information to your Medigap insurer, reducing administrative work on your part.

Depending on the Medigap plan you have, the services that you receive, and the amount you’ve already spent in out-of-pocket costs, the Medigap plan may pay some or all of the out-of-pocket costs that you would otherwise have after Medicare pays its share.

(Note that if you have a type of Medigap plan called Medicare SELECT, you will have to stay within the plan’s network of providers in order to receive benefits. But this is not the case with other Medigap plans.)

After the claim is processed, you’ll be able to see details in your MyMedicare.gov account . Medicare will also send you a Medicare Summary Notice. This is Medicare’s version of an explanation of benefits (EOB) , which is sent out every three months.

If you have a Medigap plan, it should also send you an EOB or something similar, explaining the claim and whether the policy paid any part of it.

What Is Medicare Assignment of Benefits?

For Medicare beneficiaries, assignment of benefits means that the person receiving care agrees to allow a nonparticipating provider to bill Medicare directly (as opposed to having the person receiving care pay the bill up front and seek reimbursement from Medicare). Assignment of benefits is authorized by the person receiving care in Box 13 of Form CMS-1500 .

If the person receiving care refuses to assign benefits, Medicare can only reimburse the person receiving care instead of paying the nonparticipating provider directly.

Things to Consider Before Choosing a Provider

If you’re enrolled in Original Medicare, you have a wide range of options in terms of the providers you can use—far more than most other Americans. In most cases, your preferred doctor and other medical providers will accept assignment with Medicare, keeping your out-of-pocket costs lower than they would otherwise be, and reducing administrative hassle.

There may be circumstances, however, when the best option is a nonparticipating provider or even a provider who has opted out of Medicare altogether. If you choose one of these options, be sure you discuss the details with the provider before proceeding with the treatment.

You’ll want to understand how much is going to be billed and whether the provider will bill Medicare on your behalf if you agree to assign benefits (note that this is not possible if the provider has opted out of Medicare).

If you have supplemental coverage, you’ll also want to check with that plan to see whether it will still pick up some of the cost and, if so, how much you should expect to pay out of your own pocket.

A medical provider who accepts Medicare assignment is considered a participating provider. These providers have agreed to accept Medicare’s fee schedule as payment in full for services they provide to Medicare beneficiaries. Most doctors, hospitals, and other medical providers do accept Medicare assignment.

Nonparticipating providers are those who have not signed an agreement with Medicare to accept Medicare’s rates as payment in full. However, they can agree to accept assignment on a case-by-case basis, as long as they haven’t opted out of Medicare altogether. If they do not accept assignment, they can bill the patient up to 15% more than the Medicare-approved rate.

Providers who opt out of Medicare cannot bill Medicare and Medicare will not pay them or reimburse beneficiaries for their services. But there is no limit on how much they can bill for their services.

A Word From Verywell

It’s in your best interest to choose a provider who accepts Medicare assignment. This will keep your costs as low as possible, streamline the billing and claims process, and ensure that your Medigap plan picks up its share of the costs.

If you feel like you need help navigating the provider options or seeking care from a provider who doesn’t accept assignment, the Medicare State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) in your state may be able to help.

A doctor who does not accept Medicare assignment has not agreed to accept Medicare’s fee schedule as payment in full for their services. These doctors are considered nonparticipating with Medicare and can bill Medicare beneficiaries up to 15% more than the Medicare-approved amount.

They also have the option to accept assignment (i.e., accept Medicare’s rate as payment in full) on a case-by-case basis.

There are certain circumstances in which a provider is required by law to accept assignment. This includes situations in which the person receiving care has both Medicare and Medicaid. And it also applies to certain medical services, including lab tests, ambulance services, and drugs that are covered under Medicare Part B (as opposed to Part D).

In 2021, 98% of American physicians had participation agreements with Medicare, leaving only about 2% who did not accept assignment (either as a nonparticipating provider, or a provider who had opted out of Medicare altogether).

Accepting assignment is something that the medical provider does, whereas assignment of benefits is something that the patient (the Medicare beneficiary) does. To accept assignment means that the medical provider has agreed to accept Medicare’s approved fee as payment in full for services they provide.

Assignment of benefits means that the person receiving care agrees to allow a medical provider to bill Medicare directly, as opposed to having the person receiving care pay the provider and then seek reimbursement from Medicare.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Medicare monthly enrollment .

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Annual Medicare participation announcement .

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Lower costs with assignment .

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Find providers who have opted out of Medicare .

Kaiser Family Foundation. How many physicians have opted-out of the Medicare program ?

Center for Medicare Advocacy. Durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies (DMEPOS) updates .

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Check the status of a claim .

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Medicare claims processing manual. Chapter 26 - completing and processing form CMS-1500 data set .

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Ambulance fee schedule .

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Prescription drugs (outpatient) .

By Louise Norris Louise Norris has been a licensed health insurance agent since 2003 after graduating magna cum laude from Colorado State with a BS in psychology.

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An assignment of benefits, or AOB, is a legal tool that allows an insurer to directly pay a third party for services performed rather than reimbursing a claimant afterwards. In recent years, insurers have experienced an increase in fraud and abuse of assignment of benefit provisions, resulting in higher costs.

Assignment of rights to collect under an insurance policy after a loss are common. In many cases, homeowners will assign the right to collect to contractors or other service providers following a loss. Vendors soliciting AOBs from policyholders are typically associated with property insurance, auto repair, and personal insurance claims. While such assignment may allow policyholders to make emergency repairs more quickly, the practice has resulted in many homeowners becoming the victims of scam artists and other unscrupulous service providers. Contractors have sought to unilaterally establish the value of the claim and demand payment for inflated invoices. Many contractors also work with attorneys that then sue the insurance company over the claim.

State legislatures have sought to protect insurance consumers from AOB abuse by imposing common sense limitations, and 2019 finally saw some progress. For example, for the past several years, the Florida legislature has sought to put some parameters around the use of assignment of benefits to curtail the explosion of lawsuits filed by contractors and attorneys allegedly on behalf of consumers who knew nothing about the lawsuits. The only beneficiary of such fraud were the unscrupulous lawyers and contractors. In 2019, AOB reform legislation finally passed the Florida legislature, and was signed into law by the governor. Among other things, the new law gives policyholders the right to rescind the contract, and mandates that the assignment include an itemized description of the work to be done. Similarly, governors in North Dakota, Kansas, and Iowa all signed into law NAMIC-backed legislation to protect consumers from abusive assignment of benefit practices.

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Consumer Insight

insurance assignment of benefits

Sept. 13, 2023

Assignment of Benefits: Consumer Beware

You've just survived a severe storm, or a tornado and you've experienced some extensive damage to your home that requires repairs, including the roof. Your contractor is now asking for your permission to speak with your insurance company using an Assignment of Benefits. Before you sign, read the fine print. Otherwise, you may inadvertently sign over your benefits and any extra money you’re owed as part of your claim settlement.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) offers information to help you better understand insurance, your risk and what to do in the event you need repairs after significant storm damage.

Be cautious about signing an Assignment of Benefits. An Assignment of Benefits, or an AOB, is an agreement signed by a policyholder that allows a third party—such as a water extraction company, a roofer or a plumber—to act on behalf of the insured and seek direct payment from the insurance company.  An AOB can be a useful tool for getting repairs done, as it allows the repair company to deal directly with your insurance company when negotiating repairs and issuing payment directly to the repair company. However, an AOB is a legal contract, so you need to understand what rights you are signing away and you need to be sure the repair company is trustworthy.

  • With an Assignment of Benefits, the third party, like a roofing company or plumber, files your claim, makes the repair decision and collects insurance payments without your involvement.
  • Once you have signed an AOB, the insurer only communicates with the third party and the other party can sue your insurer and you can lose your right to mediation.
  • It's possible the third party may demand a higher claim payment than the insurer offers and then sue the insurer when it denies your claim.
  • You are not required to sign an AOB to have repairs completed. You can file a claim directly with your insurance company, which allows you to maintain control of the rights and benefits provided by your policy in resolving the claim.

Be on alert for fraud. Home repair fraud is common after a natural disaster. Contractors often come into disaster-struck regions looking to make quick money by taking advantage of victims.

  • It is a good idea to do business with local or trusted companies. Ask friends and family for references.
  •  Your insurer may also have recommendations or a list of preferred contractors.
  • Always get more than one bid on work projects. Your adjuster may want to review estimates before you make repairs.

Immediately after the disaster, have an accurate account of the damage for your insurance company when you file a claim.

  • Before removing any debris or belongings, document all losses.
  • Take photos or video and make a list of the damages and lost items.
  • Save damaged items if possible so your insurer can inspect them, some insurance companies may have this as a requirement in their policy.

Most insurance companies have a time requirement for reporting a claim, so contact your agent or company as soon as possible. Your  state insurance department  can help you find contact information for your insurance company, if you cannot find it.

  • Insurance company officials can help you determine what damages are covered, start your claim and even issue a check to start the recovery process.
  • When reporting losses, you will need insurance information, current contact information and a  home inventory or list of damaged and lost property . If you do not have a list, the adjuster will give you some time to make one. Ask the adjuster how much time you have to submit this inventory list. The NAIC Post Disaster Claims Guide has details on what you can do if you do not have a home inventory list.

After you report damage to your insurance company, they will send a claims adjuster to assess the damage at no cost to you . An adjuster from your insurance company will walk through and around your home to inspect damaged items and temporary repairs you may have made.

  • A public adjuster is different from an adjuster from your insurance company and has no ties to the insurance company.
  • They estimate the damage to your home and property, review your insurance coverage, and negotiate a settlement of the insurance claim for you.
  • Many states require public adjusters to be licensed. Some states prohibit public adjusters from negotiating insurance claims for you. In those states, only a licensed attorney can represent you.
  • You have to pay a public adjuster.
  • The NAIC Post Disaster Claims Guide has information on the different types of adjusters.

Once the adjuster has completed an assessment, they will provide documentation of the loss to your insurer to determine your claims settlement. When it comes to getting paid, you may receive more than one check. If the damage is severe or you are displaced from your home, the first check may be an emergency advance. Other payments may be for the contents of your home, other personal property, and structural damages. Please note that if there is a mortgage on your home, the payment for structural damage may be payable to you and your mortgage lender. Lenders may put that money into an escrow account and pay for repairs as the work is completed.

More information. States have rules governing how insurance companies handle claims. If you think that your insurer is not responding in a timely manner or completing a reasonable investigation of your claim, contact your  state insurance department .

About the National Association of Insurance Commissioners

As part of our state-based system of insurance regulation in the United States, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) provides expertise, data, and analysis for insurance commissioners to effectively regulate the industry and protect consumers. The U.S. standard-setting organization is governed by the chief insurance regulators from the 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories. Through the NAIC, state insurance regulators establish standards and best practices, conduct peer reviews, and coordinate regulatory oversight. NAIC staff supports these efforts and represents the collective views of state regulators domestically and internationally.

Assignment of Benefits (AOB) 101 – What You Need to Know To Stay Safe

Assignment of benefits is a legal contract between you and a third party, such as a roofer, contractor, or other vendors. The AOB allows you to transfer specific rights that your insurance policy grants you to a third party. These rights can include filing a claim , financial payments to a contractor, and even allowing the third party to file a lawsuit on your behalf ! 

While there are reputable entities that use this form, AOBs have often been abused and broadly written. In some cases, they can give away all of your rights under your insurance policy to a third party. Unethical contractors commonly use AOBs to inflate damages and the cost of a claim, which results in legal battles and increased insurance premiums.

How To Avoid an Assignment of Benefits

Assignment of benefits (AOB) is commonly used when a homeowner experiences roof damage, a leaky pipe, etc., and they contact a contractor for assistance. The contractor may take this time to present the homeowner with an AOB. Most Assignment of Benefits agreements presented to the homeowner allows the contractor to stand in the homeowner’s shoes for insurance payment purposes. 

What To Look Out For? 

If the contractor hands you a form that reads, “I transfer and assign all insurance rights, benefits, and causes of action under my property insurance policy to the contractor.” They are asking you to sign away your rights to the claim under your homeowner’s insurance policy, and you don’t want that!  If you experience a loss, be sure to contact your insurance company first before doing anything else . This will help protect yourself and avoid dealing with an AOB issue altogether.

Here are some red flags to look out for:

  • Someone knocks on your door to tell you about damage to your home that you had no idea about
  • Someone says you will get a free kitchen or free roof for no particular reason
  • They claim the damage is a lot more than it clearly is
  • Permanent repairs start before your insurance company is allowed to inspect or be notified
  • They claim to cover your deductible

Protect Yourself

If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t be a victim of AOB. Contact your Bankers’ agent if you have any questions or concerns. Our agents are available to answer any questions you may have, don’t hesitate to call us at 800-627-0000.

Stay safe! It’s hurricane season, and we’ve got  tips  to keep you and your loved ones safe, as well as a  free hurricane survival guide . The  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Hurricane Center  is another excellent resource that tracks hurricanes and tropical storms.

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Assignment of Benefits for Contractors: Pros & Cons of Accepting an AOB

insurance assignment of benefits

22 articles

Insurance , Restoration , Slow Payment

An illustrated assignment of benefits form in front of a damaged house

When a property owner files an insurance claim to cover a restoration or roofing project, the owner typically deals directly with the insurance company. They may not have the funds available to pay the contractor out of pocket, so they’re counting on that insurance check to cover the construction costs.

But insurance companies often drag their feet, and payments can take even longer than normal. Contractors often wish they could simply deal with the insurance company directly through an assignment of benefits. In some circumstances, an AOB can be an effective tool that helps contractors collect payment faster — but is it worth it?

In this article, we’ll explain what an assignment of benefits is, and how the process works. More importantly, we’ll look at the pros and cons for restoration and roofing contractors to help you decide if an AOB is worth it . 

What is an assignment of benefits? 

An assignment of benefits , or AOB, is an agreement to transfer insurance claim rights to a third party. It gives the assignee authority to file and negotiate a claim directly with the insurance company, without involvement from the property owner. 

An AOB also allows the insurer to pay the contractor directly instead of funneling funds through the customer. AOBs take the homeowner out of the claims equation.

Here’s an example: A property owner’s roof is damaged in a hurricane. The owner contacts a restoration company to repair the damage, and signs an AOB to transfer their insurance rights to the contractor. The contractor, now the assignee, negotiates the claim directly with the insurance company. The insurer will pay the claim by issuing a check for the repairs directly to the restoration contractor. 

Setting up an AOB

A property owner and contractor can set up an assignment of benefits in two steps: 

  • The owner and the contractor sign an AOB agreement
  • The contractor sends the AOB to the insurance company

Keep in mind that many states have their own laws about what the agreement can or should include .

For example, Florida’s assignment of benefits law contains relatively strict requirements when it comes to an assignment of benefits: 

  • The AOB agreements need to be in writing. The agreement must contain a bolded disclosure notifying the customer that they are relinquishing certain rights under the homeowners policy. You can’t charge administrative fees or penalties if a homeowner decides to cancel the AOB. 
  • The AOB must include an itemized, per-unit breakdown of the work you plan to do. The services can only involve how you plan to make repairs or restore the home’s damage or protect the property from any further harm. A copy must be provided to the insurance company. 
  • A homeowner can rescind an AOB agreement within 14 days of signing, or within 30 days if no work has begun and no start date was listed for the work. If a start date is listed, the 30-day rule still applies if substantial progress has not been made on the job. 

Before signing an AOB agreement, make sure you understand the property owner’s insurance policy, and whether the project is likely to be covered.

Learn more: Navigating an insurance claim on a restoration project

Pros & cons for contractors

It’s smart to do a cost-benefit analysis on the practice of accepting AOBs. Listing pros and cons can help you make a logical assessment before deciding either way. 

Pro: Hiring a public adjuster

An insurance carrier’s claims adjuster will inspect property damage and arrive at a dollar figure calculated to cover the cost of repairs. Often, you might feel this adjuster may have overlooked some details that should factor into the estimate. 

If you encounter pushback from the insurer under these circumstances, a licensed, public adjuster may be warranted. These appraisers work for the homeowner, whose best interests you now represent as a result of the AOB. A public adjuster could help win the battle to complete the repairs properly. 

Pro: More control over payment

You may sink a considerable amount of time into preparing an estimate for a customer. You may even get green-lighted to order materials and get started. Once the ball starts rolling, you wouldn’t want a customer to back out on the deal. 

Klark Brown , Co-founder of The Alliance of Independent Restorers, concedes this might be one of the very situations in which an AOB construction agreement might help a contractor. “An AOB helps make sure the homeowner doesn’t take the insurance money and run,” says Brown.  

Klark Brown

Pro: Build a better relationship with the homeowner

A homeowner suffers a substantial loss and it’s easy to understand why push and pull with an insurance company might be the last thing they want to undertake. They may desire to have another party act on their behalf. 

As an AOB recipient, the claims ball is now in your court. By taking some of the weight off a customer’s shoulders during a difficult period, it could help build good faith and further the relationship you strive to build with that client. 

Learn more : 8 Ways for Contractors to Build Trust With a Homeowner

Con: It confuses payment responsibilities

Even if you accept an AOB, the property owner still generally bears responsibility for making payment. If the insurance company is dragging their feet, a restoration contractor can still likely file a mechanics lien on the property .

A homeowner may think that by signing away their right to an insurance claim, they are also signing away their responsibility to pay for the restoration work. This typically isn’t true, and this expectation could set you up for a more contentious dispute down the line if there is a problem with the insurance claim. 

Con: Tighter margins

Insurance companies will want repairs made at the lowest cost possible. Just like you, carriers run a business and need to cut costs while boosting revenue. 

While some restoration contractors work directly with insurers and could get a steady stream of work from them, Brown emphasizes that you may be sacrificing your own margins. “Expect to accept work for less money than you’d charge independently,” he adds. 

The takeaway here suggests that any contractor accepting an AOB could subject themselves to the same bare-boned profit margins. 

Con: More administrative work

Among others, creating additional administrative busywork is another reason Brown recommends that you steer clear of accepting AOBs. You’re committing additional resources while agreeing to work for less money. 

“Administrative costs are a burden,” Brown states. Insurers may reduce and/or delay payments to help their own bottom lines. “Insurers will play the float with reserves and claims funds,” he added. So, AOBs can be detrimental to your business if you’re spending more while chasing payments. 

Con: Increase in average collection period

Every contractor should use some financial metrics to help gauge the health of the business . The average collection period for receivables measures the average time it takes you to get paid on your open accounts. 

Insurance companies aren’t known for paying claims quickly. If you do restoration work without accepting an AOB, you can often take action with the homeowner to get paid faster. When you’re depending on an insurance company to make your payment, rather than the owner, collection times will likely increase.

The literal and figurative bottom line is: If accepting assignment of benefits agreements increases the time it takes to get paid and costs you more in operational expense, these are both situations you want to avoid. 

Learn more: How to calculate your collection effectiveness 

AOBs and mechanics liens

A mechanics lien is hands down a contractor’s most effective tool to ensure they get paid for their work. Many types of restoration services are protected under lien laws in most states. But what happens to lien rights when a contractor accepts an assignment of benefits? 

An AOB generally won’t affect a contractor’s ability to file a mechanics lien on the property if they don’t receive payment. The homeowner is typically still responsible to pay for the improvements. This is especially true if the contract involves work that wasn’t covered by the insurance policy. 

However, make sure you know the laws in the state where your project is located. For example, Florida’s assignment of benefits law, perhaps the most restrictive in the country, appears to prohibit an AOB assignee from filing a lien. 

Florida AOB agreements are required to include language that waives the contractor’s rights to collect payment from the owner. The required statement takes it even further, stating that neither the contractor or any of their subs can file a mechanics lien on the owner’s property. 

On his website , Florida’s CFO says: “The third-party assignee and its subcontractors may not collect, or attempt to collect money from you, maintain any action of law against you, file a lien against your property or report you to a credit reporting agency.”

That sounds like a contractor assignee can’t file a lien if they aren’t paid . But, according to construction lawyer Alex Benarroche , it’s not so cut-and-dry.

Alex Benarroche

“Florida’s AOB law has yet to be tested in court, and it’s possible that the no-lien provision would be invalid,” says Benarroche. “This is because Florida also prohibits no-lien clauses in a contract. It is not legal for a contractor to waive their right to file a lien via an agreement prior to performance.” 

Learn more about no-lien clauses and their enforceability state-by-state

Remember that every state treats AOBs differently, and conflicting laws can create additional risk. It’s important to consult with a construction lawyer in the project’s state before accepting an assignment of benefits. 

Best practices for contractors 

At the end of the day, there are advantages and disadvantages to accepting an assignment of benefits. While it’s possible in some circumstances that an AOB could help a contractor get paid faster, there are lots of other payment tools that are more effective and require less administrative costs. An AOB should never be the first option on the table . 

If you do decide to become an assignee to the property owner’s claim benefits, make sure you do your homework beforehand and adopt some best practices to effectively manage the assignment of benefits process. You’ll need to keep on top of the administrative details involved in drafting AOBs and schedule work in a timely manner to stay in compliance with the conditions of the agreement. 

Make sure you understand all the nuances of how insurance works when there’s a claim . You need to understand the owner’s policy and what it covers. Home insurance policy forms are basically standardized for easy comparisons in each state, so what you see with one company is what you get with all carriers. 

Since you’re now the point of contact for the insurance company, expect more phone calls and emails from both clients and the insurer . You’ll need to have a strategy to efficiently handle ramped-up communications since the frequency will increase. Keep homeowners and claims reps in the loop so you can build customer relationships and hopefully get paid faster by the insurer for your work.

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Assignment of benefits: what you need to know.

  • August 17, 2022
  • Steven Schwartzapfel

Insurance can be useful, but dealing with the back-and-forth between insurance companies and contractors, medical specialists, and others can be a time-consuming and ultimately unpleasant experience. You want your medical bills to be paid without having to act as a middleman between your healthcare provider and your insurer.

However, there’s a way you can streamline this process. With an assignment of benefits, you can designate your healthcare provider or any other insurance payout recipient as the go-to party for insurance claims. While this can be convenient, there are certain risks to keep in mind as well.

Below, we’ll explore what an assignment of insurance benefits is (as well as other forms of remediation), how it works, and when you should employ it. For more information, or to learn whether you may have a claim against an insurer, contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers now at 1-516-342-2200 .

What Is an Assignment of Benefits?

An assignment of benefits (AOB) is a legal process through which an insured individual or party signs paperwork that designates another party like a contractor, company, or healthcare provider as their insurance claimant .

Suppose you’re injured in a car accident and need to file a claim with your health insurance company for medical bills and related costs. However, you also need plenty of time to recover. The thought of constantly negotiating between your insurance company, your healthcare provider, and anyone else seems draining and unwelcome.

With an assignment of benefits, you can designate your healthcare provider as your insurance claimant. Then, your healthcare provider can request insurance payouts from your healthcare insurance provider directly.

Through this system, the health insurance provider directly pays your physician or hospital rather than paying you. This means you don’t have to pay your healthcare provider. It’s a streamlined, straightforward way to make sure insurance money gets where it needs to go. It also saves you time and prevents you from having to think about insurance payments unless absolutely necessary.

What Does an Assignment of Benefits Mean?

An AOB means that you designate another party as your insurance claimant. In the above example, that’s your healthcare provider, which could be a physician, hospital, or other organization.

With the assignment of insurance coverage, that healthcare provider can then make a claim for insurance payments directly to your insurance company. The insurance company then pays your healthcare provider directly, and you’re removed as the middleman.

As a bonus, this system sometimes cuts down on your overall costs by eliminating certain service fees. Since there’s only one transaction — the transaction between your healthcare provider and your health insurer — there’s only one set of service fees to contend with. You don’t have to deal with two sets of service fees from first receiving money from your insurance provider, then sending that money to your healthcare provider.

Ultimately, the point of an assignment of benefits is to make things easier for you, your insurer, and anyone else involved in the process.

What Types of Insurance Qualify for an Assignment of Benefits?

Most types of commonly held insurance can work with an assignment of benefits. These insurance types include car insurance, healthcare insurance, homeowners insurance, property insurance, and more.

Note that not all insurance companies allow you to use an assignment of benefits. For an assignment of benefits to work, the potential insurance claimant and the insurance company in question must each sign the paperwork and agree to the arrangement. This prevents fraud (to some extent) and ensures that every party goes into the arrangement with clear expectations.

If your insurance company does not accept assignments of benefits, you’ll have to take care of insurance payments the traditional way. There are many reasons why an insurance company may not accept an assignment of benefits.

To speak with a Schwartzapfel Lawyers expert about this directly, call 1-516-342-2200 for a free consultation today. It will be our privilege to assist you with all your legal questions, needs, and recovery efforts.

Who Uses Assignments of Benefits?

Many providers, services, and contractors use assignments of benefits. It’s often in their interests to accept an assignment of benefits since they can get paid for their work more quickly and make critical decisions without having to consult the insurance policyholder first.

Imagine a circumstance in which a homeowner wants a contractor to add a new room to their property. The contractor knows that the scale of the project could increase or shrink depending on the specifics of the job, the weather, and other factors.

If the homeowner uses an assignment of benefits to give the contractor rights to make insurance claims for the project, that contractor can then:

  • Bill the insurer directly for their work. This is beneficial since it ensures that the contractor’s employees get paid promptly and they can purchase the supplies they need.
  • Make important decisions to ensure that the project completes on time. For example, a contract can authorize another insurance claim for extra supplies without consulting with the homeowner beforehand, saving time and potentially money in the process.

Practically any company or organization that receives payments from insurance companies may choose to take advantage of an assignment of benefits with you. Example companies and providers include:

  • Ambulance services
  • Drug and biological companies
  • Lab diagnostic services
  • Hospitals and medical centers like clinics
  • Certified medical professionals such as nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, clinical psychologists, and others
  • Ambulatory surgical center services
  • Permanent repair and improvement contractors like carpenters, plumbers, roofers, restoration companies, and others
  • Auto repair shops and mechanic organizations

Advantages of Using an Assignment of Benefits

An assignment of benefits can be an advantageous contract to employ, especially if you believe that you’ll need to pay a contractor, healthcare provider, and/or other organization via insurance payouts regularly for the near future.

These benefits include but are not limited to:

  • Save time for yourself. Again, imagine a circumstance in which you are hospitalized and have to pay your healthcare provider through your health insurance payouts. If you use an assignment of benefits, you don’t have to make the payments personally or oversee the insurance payouts. Instead, you can focus on resting and recovering.
  • Possibly save yourself money in the long run. As noted above, an assignment of benefits can help you circumvent some service fees by limiting the number of transactions or money transfers required to ensure everyone is paid on time.
  • Increased peace of mind. Many people don’t like having to constantly think about insurance payouts, contacting their insurance company, or negotiating between insurers and contractors/providers. With an assignment of benefits, you can let your insurance company and a contractor or provider work things out between them, though this can lead to applications later down the road.

Because of these benefits, many recovering individuals, car accident victims, homeowners, and others utilize AOB agreements from time to time.

Risks of Using an Assignment of Benefits

Worth mentioning, too, is that an assignment of benefits does carry certain risks you should be aware of before presenting this contract to your insurance company or a contractor or provider. Remember, an assignment of benefits is a legally binding contract unless it is otherwise dissolved (which is technically possible).

The risks of using an assignment of benefits include:

  • You give billing control to your healthcare provider, contractor, or another party. This allows them to bill your insurance company for charges that you might not find necessary. For example, a home improvement contractor might bill a homeowner’s insurance company for an unnecessary material or improvement. The homeowner only finds out after the fact and after all the money has been paid, resulting in a higher premium for their insurance policy or more fees than they expected.
  • You allow a contractor or service provider to sue your insurance company if the insurer does not want to pay for a certain service or bill. This can happen if the insurance company and contractor or service provider disagree on one or another billable item. Then, you may be dragged into litigation or arbitration you did not agree to in the first place.
  • You may lose track of what your insurance company pays for various services . As such, you could be surprised if your health insurance or other insurance premiums and deductibles increase suddenly.

Given these disadvantages, it’s still wise to keep track of insurance payments even if you choose to use an assignment of benefits. For example, you might request that your insurance company keep you up to date on all billable items a contractor or service provider charges for the duration of your treatment or project.

For more on this and related topic, call Schwartzapfel Lawyers now at 1-516-342-2200 .

How To Make Sure an Assignment of Benefits Is Safe

Even though AOBs do carry potential disadvantages, there are ways to make sure that your chosen contract is safe and legally airtight. First, it’s generally a wise idea to contact knowledgeable legal representatives so they can look over your paperwork and ensure that any given assignment of benefits doesn’t contain any loopholes that could be exploited by a service provider or contractor.

The right lawyer can also make sure that an assignment of benefits is legally binding for your insurance provider. To make sure an assignment of benefits is safe, you should perform the following steps:

  • Always check for reviews and references before hiring a contractor or service provider, especially if you plan to use an AOB ahead of time. For example, you should stay away if a contractor has a reputation for abusing insurance claims.
  • Always get several estimates for work, repairs, or bills. Then, you can compare the estimated bills and see whether one contractor or service provider is likely to be honest about their charges.
  • Get all estimates, payment schedules, and project schedules in writing so you can refer back to them later on.
  • Don’t let a service provider or contractor pressure you into hiring them for any reason . If they seem overly excited about getting started, they could be trying to rush things along or get you to sign an AOB so that they can start issuing charges to your insurance company.
  • Read your assignment of benefits contract fully. Make sure that there aren’t any legal loopholes that a contractor or service provider can take advantage of. An experienced lawyer can help you draft and sign a beneficial AOB contract.

Can You Sue a Party for Abusing an Assignment of Benefits?

Sometimes. If you believe your assignment of benefits is being abused by a contractor or service provider, you may be able to sue them for breaching your contract or even AOB fraud. However, successfully suing for insurance fraud of any kind is often difficult.

Also, you should remember that a contractor or service provider can sue your insurance company if the insurance carrier decides not to pay them. For example, if your insurer decides that a service provider is engaging in billing scams and no longer wishes to make payouts, this could put you in legal hot water.

If you’re not sure whether you have grounds for a lawsuit, contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers today at 1-516-342-2200 . At no charge, we’ll examine the details of your case and provide you with a consultation. Don’t wait. Call now!

Assignment of Benefits FAQs

Which states allow assignments of benefits.

Every state allows you to offer an assignment of benefits to a contractor and/or insurance company. That means, whether you live in New York, Florida, Arizona, California, or some other state, you can rest assured that AOBs are viable tools to streamline the insurance payout process.

Can You Revoke an Assignment of Benefits?

Yes. There may come a time when you need to revoke an assignment of benefits. This may be because you no longer want the provider or contractor to have control over your insurance claims, or because you want to switch providers/contractors.

To revoke an assignment of benefits agreement, you must notify the assignee (i.e., the new insurance claimant). A legally solid assignment of benefits contract should also include terms and rules for this decision. Once more, it’s usually a wise idea to have an experienced lawyer look over an assignment of benefits contract to make sure you don’t miss these by accident.

Contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers Today

An assignment of benefits is an invaluable tool when you need to streamline the insurance claims process. For example, you can designate your healthcare provider as your primary claimant with an assignment of benefits, allowing them to charge your insurance company directly for healthcare costs.

However, there are also risks associated with an assignment of benefits. If you believe a contractor or healthcare provider is charging your insurance company unfairly, you may need legal representatives. Schwartzapfel Lawyers can help.

As knowledgeable New York attorneys who are well-versed in New York insurance law, we’re ready to assist with any and all litigation needs. For a free case evaluation and consultation, contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers today at 1-516-342-2200 !

Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C. | Fighting For You™™

What Is an Insurance Claim? | Experian

What is assignment of benefits, and how does it impact insurers? | Insurance Business Mag

Florida Insurance Ruling Sets Precedent for Assignment of Benefits | Law.com

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What Is the Assignment of Insurance Benefits?

An assignment of insurance benefits shares the ownership interest of an insurance policy with another party.

An assignment of insurance benefits shares the ownership interest of an insurance policy with another party.

Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

More Articles

  •   1. What Is a Life Insurance Assignment?
  •   2. Absolute Assignment of Life Insurance Policies
  •   3. What Is the Collateral Assignment of a Life Insurance Policy?

Assigning insurance benefits is a legal procedure that gives another party permission to receive payments or benefits directly from your insurance company rather than you receiving the benefits yourself. Depending on the arrangement, you may be able to terminate the assignment at will, or be required to keep the arrangement in place until you meet certain conditions.

Health Insurance

When you require medical care, it's important to have health insurance in place to protect your financial well-being. If your health care provider does not have a direct contract with your insurance company, it may require you to fill out an assignment of benefits form allowing it to bill the insurance company directly for your medical treatments. You remain responsible for any deductibles and co-pays, however, and are ultimately responsible for any medical bills.

Income Loan

Whole life insurance policies with accumulating cash values can act as supplementary retirement income planning investments. When you wish to access the cash value in your policy, you can assign your policy to a bank in exchange for a loan. Typically the bank lends you up to a specified percentage of the policy's cash value, and it becomes the primary beneficiary of the death benefit up to and including the outstanding balance of the loan at your death. The advantage of such an arrangement is that the bank loan is not treated as taxable income, unlike a policy withdrawal, and you repay the bank loan with the tax-free death benefit.

Collateral Loan

If you are self-employed and wish to secure a loan for your business, you may be required by your lenders to purchase life insurance as an additional guarantee. Once the insurance is purchased you complete a assignment of benefits, sharing ownership control with the bank. You must pay the insurance premiums and cannot make any decisions affecting the policy without the written consent of the lender. If and when you pay off your business loan, the assignment is terminated and you regain full control of the policy.

Charitable Contribution

Life insurance can be purchased as a means to finance a charitable gift at death. There are several ways to set this up, one of which involves assigning the benefits to the charity immediately after purchase. The assignment is typically irrevocable, as this requires the charity's consent to make any changes to the policy. The advantage of such an assignment is that your premiums are tax-deductible as a charitable contribution. Upon your death, the charity receives the death benefit directly, without the money passing through your estate.

  • Massachusetts Avenue Surgery Center: Assignment of Insurance Benefits
  • Feeley and Driscoll, P.C.: Life insurance leads way to charitable contribution

Philippe Lanctot started writing for business trade publications in 1990. He has contributed copy for the "Canadian Insurance Journal" and has been the co-author of text for life insurance company marketing guides. He holds a Bachelor of Science in mathematics from the University of Montreal with a minor in English.

Related Articles

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What is Assignment of Benefits in Medical Billing?

doctor sitting at his desk on his laptop

An assignment of benefits is the act of signing documentation authorizing a health insurance company to pay a physician directly. In other words, the insurance company can pay claims without the direct involvement of the patient in the process. There are other situations where AOBs can be helpful, but we’ll focus on their use in relation to medical benefits.

If there isn’t an assignment of benefits agreement in place, the patient would be responsible for paying the other party directly from their own pocket, then filing a claim with their insurance provider to receive reimbursement. This could be time-consuming and costly, especially if the patient has no idea how to file a claim.

The document is typically signed by patients when they undergo medical procedures. The purpose of this form is to assign the responsibility of payment for any future medical bills that may arise after the procedure. It’s important to note that not all procedures require an AOB.

An assignment of benefits agreement might be utilized to pay a medical practitioner the patient didn’t choose, like an anesthesiologist. The patient may have picked a surgeon, but an anesthesiologist assigned on the day of the procedure might issue a separate bill. They’re, in essence, signing that anyone involved in their treatment can receive direct payment from the insurance carrier. It doesn’t have to go through the patient.

This document can also eliminate service fees surrounding processing. As a result, the patient can focus on medical treatment and recovery without being bogged down with the complexities of paying medical bills. The overall intent of an assignment of benefits agreement is to make the process more manageable for the patient, as they don’t need to haggle directly with their insurer.

List of Providers and Services

When the patient signs an AOB agreement, they give a third party right to obtain payment for services the provider performed, and medical billing services are a prime example of where they may sign an AOB agreement.

  • Ambulance services
  • Medical insurance claims
  • Drugs and pharmaceuticals
  • Diagnostic and clinical lab services
  • Emergency surgical center services
  • Dialysis supplies and equipment used in the home
  • Physician services for Medicare and Medicaid patients

Services of professionals other than a primary care physician, which includes:

  • Physician assistants
  • Clinical nurse specialists
  • Clinical social workers
  • Clinical psychologists
  • Certified registered nurse anesthetists

doctor at desk filling out forms on clipboard

Information Commonly Requested on Assignment of Benefits Form:

  • Signature of patient or person legally responsible
  • Signature of parent or legal guardian

How AOBs Affect the Medical Practitioner

A medical provider or their administrative staff may feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of forms patients must fill out prior to treatment. Demanding more paperwork from patients may be seen as an added burden on the managerial staff, as well as the patient. However, getting a signed AOB is vital in preserving the interests of everyone involved.

In addition to receiving direct payment from the insurance company without needing to go through the patient, a signed assignment of benefits form will help medical providers appeal denied and underpaid claims. They can ask that payments be made directly to them rather than through the patient. This makes the process more manageable for both the doctors and the patient.

Things to Bear in Mind

The patient gives their rights and benefits to third parties under their current health plan. Depending on the wording in the AOB, their insurer may not be allowed to contact them directly about their claims. In addition, the patient may be unable to negotiate settlements or approve payments on their behalf and enable third parties to endorse checks on behalf of the patient. Finally, when the patient signs an AOB, the insurer may sue the third parties involved in the dispute.

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Home

Insurance Plan

Add new or edit existing insurance plans from the Edit Insurance Plan window.

In the Family Module , double-click an existing insurance plan.

insurance assignment of benefits

Alternatively:

  • Double-click a plan in the Insurance Plans list.
  • Add Insurance to a patient.

Patient Information

This information is specific to the patient.

  • In the database, it is stored in a table called patplan .
  • Set the background color in Definitions: Misc Colors , Family Module Coverage.
  • If editing a plan which is not attached to any patient as current coverage, this upper section may be blank.

insurance assignment of benefits

Relationship to subscriber : (required) If the patient is the subscriber, the default is Self . Otherwise a relationship must be selected.

Optional Patient ID : No longer used by most insurance companies in the U.S.

Drop : Drop Insurance Plan from the patient when the patient no longer has insurance coverage or changes carrier. The insurance plan is not deleted and the plan remains in the Insurance Plans for Family window.

Patient Plan ID : A system generated unique identifier that is useful for third-party reporting.

Order : Determines the order this plan shows in the Family Module (primary, secondary, or supplemental insurance). 1 = primary, 2 = secondary, etc. The number can be changed at any time.

Eligibility Last Verified : The date that patient insurance eligibility was marked verified (manually or using the Insurance Verification List ). Click Now to insert today's date.

Pending : Informational only. Identifies insurance information that is incomplete or unverified. If the the insurance company name is unknown, create a dummy carrier called Pending , check the Pending box, then come back later and fix it.

Hist : View history for procedures completed outside of the office. This is useful when tracking insurance frequencies. See Insurance History .

insurance assignment of benefits

  • Fee : Defaults to the fee set in the Ortho Tab. Uncheck Use Default Fee to enter a patient fee override.
  • Next Claim Date : The date the next claim will be created using the Tool. Defaults to a date based on the last auto-created claim and the frequency (i.e., Auto Proc Period).

Adjustments to Insurance Benefits : Displays any entered Adjustments to Insurance Benefits for the benefit year. Click Add to enter additional adjustments.

Plan Info Tab (Insurance Plan Information)

This information is specific to the insurance plan and can only be edited by users with the Insurance Plan Edit Permission . Carrier information can only be edited by users with the Carrier Edit permission.

insurance assignment of benefits

Pick From List : Select an existing insurance plan from the Insurance Plans list. Requires the Change existing Ins Plan using Pick List permission. Alternately, drop the insurance plan before picking a new plan.

Note: Users who do not have the Carrier Create permission, must use Pick From List to assign a carrier to a plan.

Insurance Plan ID : A system generated unique identifier that is useful for third party reporting and to filter the Insurance Plan List.

Medical Insurance : Check this box if this is Medical Insurance rather than dental. Only visible if Medical Insurance is turned on.

Employer : Optional. The Employer associated with the insurance plan. Begin typing and select an existing entry from the Employers List. If an entry is not selected, a new entry is added to the Employers List.

Carrier : Required. Click [...] to pick an existing carrier from the Carriers list or begin typing to select an existing carrier from the dropdown. If a user manually enters carrier information or changes carrier information, a new entry is automatically added to the Insurance Carriers List.

  • Carrier information is grayed out if the logged-on user does not have sufficient permissions.
  • Carrier information can only be edited from by users with both the Carrier Edit and Insurance Plan Edit permissions.
  • If the logged-on user changes information in any carrier field, a new carrier is created. If a different user has a plan open with the same carrier, and carrier information is edited by that user, a new carrier is also created.

Electronic ID/Payer ID : Provided by the insurance company if they accept E-Claims . Enter the ID manually or click Search ID to search the Payor ID list. If the carrier does not accept electronic claims, there are two choices.

  • Leave the ID blank and submit the claims electronically anyway. If the clearinghouse cannot match the insurance carrier name with a known name, the claim will be printed by the clearinghouse and mailed.
  • Select a don't send electronically option for Send Electronically (see below). These claims will be marked as paper .

Send Electronically: Determines whether e-claims can be sent electronically for this insurance plan. Defaults to the setting for the carrier (see Carriers ) but can be changed by insurance plan..

  • Send Claims Electronically: Allow sending e-claims for this plan.
  • Don't Send Claims Electronically: Do not allow sending e-claims for this plan (e.g., claims must be printed).
  • Don't Send Secondary Claims Electronically: Do not allow sending secondary e-claims (e.g., when plan requires that secondary claims are mailed with a copy of the primary EOB).

Group Name : Typically the same as the employer. Used to identify differences in plans (i.e., if the same employer has multiple plan options.)

BIN : Benefit Identification Number. Issued by the carrier. Only displays when EHR is enabled in Show Features .

Group Number : Issued by the carrier.

Other Subscribers : Indicates the number of subscribers who use or have used this plan. Click the down arrow to see other subscriber names.

Plan Info Tab (continued)

insurance assignment of benefits

Plan Type : Choose the Insurance Plan Types from the dropdown. Affects availability of other options.

  • Category Percentage : Traditional percentage insurance plans.
  • PPO Percentage : Preferred Provider Organizations. Set this as the default for new plans in Preferences.
  • PPO Fixed Benefit : In-network plan that calculates write-offs and covers insurance at a fixed amount.
  • Medicaid or Flat Co-pay : All categories are computed at 100% coverage. Disables all other percentages.
  • Capitation : HMO and DMO type plans. Disables all other percentages.

For help choosing the correct plan type and setup, see: Insurance Flow Chart or Capitation Flow Chart .

Fee Schedule : The fee schedule used by this plan. If none , the provider's fee schedule is typically used. The only exception is if a fee schedule has been set on the Edit Patient Information window (e.g., a discount/cash fee schedule); this overrides other fee schedules.

Use Blue Book : Only displays when Plan Type is set to Category Percentage . When checked, the plan uses Insurance Blue Book to determine estimates. When unchecked, the plan does not use Blue Book for estimates. A confirmation message displays when unchecking this box.

Carrier Allowed Amounts : Set the fee schedule for out-of-network plans. Only one may be set at a time.

  • Out of Network (Old) : Used for out-of-network insurance plans.
  • Manual Blue Book : Used when Blue Book is enabled.

Other Fee Schedules : See Types of Insurance Plans for more information.

  • Patient Co-pay Amounts : Used for patient co-pays per procedure.
  • Fixed Benefit Amounts : Only visible when plan type is set to PPO Fixed Benefit . The fixed benefit fee schedule for the plan.

Other Ins Info Tab

insurance assignment of benefits

Use Alternate Code : Use alternate procedure codes when submitting claims (e.g., Medicaid). To associate alternate codes (Alt Code) with procedure codes, see Edit Procedure Code . Only available when Medicaid is enabled in Show Features.

Substitution code options : These options determine whether or not estimated fees for procedures are downgraded based on substitution codes. Associate substitution codes to procedures in the Procedure Code List. Also see Estimate Downgrades .

  • Checked: Do not use substitution codes to calculate downgraded insurance estimates. All estimates are be based on the fee of the completed procedure and substitution codes are ignored.
  • Unchecked: Use the substitution code associated with the procedure (if entered) to calculate downgraded insurance estimates. This affects all procedures with substitution codes, unless there are specific substitution codes marked to exclude.
  • Checked: Calculate write-offs when a procedure code is substituted. The write-off is calculated between the amount billed to the patient (i.e., office fee) and the allowed fee for the originally charted procedure.
  • Unchecked: Do not calculate write-offs when a procedure is substituted.
  • Subst Codes : Control which procedure codes have downgraded estimates for this insurance plan (also uncheck Don't Substitute Codes ).

Claims show UCR fee, not billed fee: Show the UCR fees of the treating provider on claims instead of the insurance fee. Set the default value for new plans in Preferences.

Hidden : Hide this insurance plan in the Insurance Plans List so it can't be copied for use by other subscribers. If this plan has multiple subscribers, and it should be hidden it for all subscribers, also select the Change Plan for all subscribers radio button.

Claims show base units : Check this box to show base units on claims. Usually applies to medical insurance claims only. Base units are entered on the Edit Procedure Code window.

Claim Form : The form used for printed claims. Set the default in Claim Forms .

COB Rule : Select a Coordination of Benefits ( COB ) rule option.

Filing Code : For e-claims. If the carrier has an Insurance Filing Code , select it. By default, Commercial Insurance is used. If the filing code is incorrect, then the carrier will reject the claim.

Filing Code Subtype : If the insurance filing code has a specific subtype, select it.

Billing Type : The plan's Billing Type. If the preference for Adding new primary insurance plan to patient sets billing type is checked, and this is a new primary insurance plan, setting a Billing Type here also assigns the Billing Type to the patient in Edit Patient Information . (If an existing plan's Billing Type is changed, it does not automatically change the patient's Billing Type).

Write-Offs for Non-Covered Services Override: Choose the behavior for this insurance plan when handling write-offs for procedures that are not covered by insurance.

  • Practice Default: Behavior is determined by the Ins plans with exclusions use UCR fee (zero out write-offs) .
  • Do Nothing: Exclusions are billed normally based on plan fee schedule.
  • Use UCR Fee: Write-offs are automatically zeroed out if an exclusion exists for a procedure code.
  • Default: Behavior is determined by the preference Ins plans use UCR fee (zero out write-offs) when annual max is met .
  • Yes: Write-offs are automatically zeroed out if the patient has met their annual max.
  • No: Write-offs are not changed if the patient has met their annual max.
  • Default: Behavior is determined by the preference Ins plans use UCR fee (zero out write-offs) when frequency or age limits are met .
  • Yes: Write-offs are automatically zeroed out if a procedure is not covered due to a frequency or age limit.
  • No: Write-offs are not changed due to frequency or age limit.

Per Visit Amounts: For insurance plans with per-visit copays, enter the amounts the patient and insurance pay.

  • Patient Copay : Flat amount the patient pays for an office visit. The Patient copay procedure code , set in Preferences, is automatically added to new appointments for the specified amount.
  • Insurance : Flat amount insurance pays per office visit. The Insurance procedure code , set in Preferences, is automatically added to new appointments for the specified amount.

The Ortho tab shows when Show Auto Ortho in account module is selected in Ortho Setup . Use it to enter plan information for orthodontic claims. This information is also in the Auto Ortho tab. Information can only be changed by users with the Insurance Plan Ortho Edit security permission.

insurance assignment of benefits

Ortho Claim Type : Select how the carrier wants to receive orthodontic claims.

  • Initial Claim Only : Send a single orthodontic claim for the initial procedure.
  • Initial Plus Visit : Send an orthodontic claim for the initial procedure and each subsequent visit.
  • Initial Plus Periodic : Send an orthodontic claim for the initial procedure, then send claims periodically for a certain fee and procedure. Selecting this option makes claims for this carrier eligible for automatic claim generation using the Auto Ortho Tool.

If Initial Plus Periodic is the claim type, the following fields are also editable.

  • Ortho Auto Proc : The procedure code to put on auto-generated orthodontic claims. Set the default in Ortho Setup. Click [...] to select a different procedure. Click Default to reset the default. Only the first 5 digits of procedure codes are sent to insurance.
  • Ortho Auto Fee : The procedure fee billed in the claim.
  • Auto Proc Period : Select the frequency of which the claim will be auto-generated.
  • Wait 30 days before creating the first automatic claim : If the insurance carrier requires that there is a minimum amount of days after the initial visit before periodic claims can be sent, check this box. When checked, the next claim will show in the Auto Ortho Claim list 30 days after the initial procedure is completed.

Subscriber Information

The subscriber is set when first creating the insurance plan.

insurance assignment of benefits

Name : Displays the subscriber name. Click Change to choose a different subscriber.

Subscriber ID : Required and cannot be blank. If the patient has Medicaid, use the Medicaid ID number, then also fill in the Medicaid ID on the Edit Patient Information window.

Effective Dates: The effective dates of the insurance plan. The effective start date is required when using waiting periods. The end date does not terminate the plan; A user must drop the plan if it is no longer in use. If using Automation , the effective end date is used for the Condition, Insurance Not Effective . Set benefit renewal dates (calendar year or service year) in the Benefit Information section (see below).

Release of Information : Check this box if the patient has signed a form that states that the patient consents to the use and disclosure of protected health information to the insurance company in order to carry out payment activities. Signature on File shows in box 36 of the printed ADA Claim Form .

Assignment of Benefits : Determines whether insurance payments are paid directly to the patient or provider.

  • Checked: Insurance payments are sent directly to provider.
  • Enable the preference Auto receive claims with no assignment of benefits to automatically mark claims received with $0 payment once they have been marked sent.
  • The permission, Insurance Plan Change Assignment of Benefits is required to change this setting.
  • Changes made to Assignment of Benefits are logged in the Audit Trail.
  • If using Clinics, this setting can be overridden by the Clinic setting, Always Assign Benefits to the Patient . When the Clinic setting is checked, Assignment of Benefits is always enabled, regardless of whether checked or unchecked in this window.

Notes : Notes specific to the subscriber and associated family members. These appear in bold red in the insurance grid.

Benefit Information

insurance assignment of benefits

Request Electronic Benefits : If the practice has signed up for Electronic Eligibility and Benefits with a clearinghouse, and a Subscriber ID is entered, click Request to request benefit information or History to view a history of requests.

Import Benefits :

  • If the practice has set up the Trojan Bridge , click Trojan to copy exported Trojan data. The Trojan ID number shows at the right.
  • Click Notes to view benefit notes if available. They are created when importing benefits and usually read only.

Benefits Last Verified : Indicates the date that insurance benefits were last marked verified (manually or using the Insurance Verification List ). Click Now to insert today's date.

Don't Verify : Check this box to always exclude this plan from the Insurance Plan Verification List. To also exclude patients with this plan, see Insurance Verification Setup .

Double-click the grid to enter Benefit Information .

Miscellaneous

insurance assignment of benefits

Label : Print the insurance carrier name and address on an individual mailing label.

Delete : If the plan has only one subscriber, this will delete the plan (remove it from the Insurance Plan List). If there are other subscribers, the plan will only be removed from this subscriber and associated family members on the plan.

Saving Changes

The radio buttons at the bottom of the window determine if Fields that Trigger New Plan create a new insurance plan or affect all subscribers.

insurance assignment of benefits

For details on using the options and how to create or update insurance plans, see Change Insurance Plan Information

Troubleshooting

insurance assignment of benefits

When Blue Book is enabled, adding a fee schedule to a Category Percentage plan will delete the Blue Book data for the plan. Only click Yes if this change is intentional.

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    insurance assignment of benefits

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  1. Who Does An Assignment Of Benefits Benefit, Me Or The Insurance Company?

  2. Auto Insurance Assignment

COMMENTS

  1. What is assignment of benefits, and how does it impact insurers?

    Assignment of benefits, widely referred to as AOB, is a contractual agreement signed by a policyholder, which enables a third party to file an insurance claim, make repair decisions, and directly ...

  2. An assignment of benefits (AOB) can streamline the insurance process

    Pros of assignment of benefits. With proper safeguards in place to reduce opportunities for fraud, AOBs have the ability to streamline and simplify the insurance claims process. An AOB frees you ...

  3. Assignment of Benefits (AOB)

    What is an assignment of benefits? An AOB is an agreement that transfers the insurance claims rights or benefits of the policy to a third party. An AOB gives the third party authority to file a claim, make repair decisions, and collect insurance payments without the involvement of the homeowner. AOBs have been used with life and health ...

  4. Assignment of Benefits: What It Is, and How It Can Affect your ...

    this policy does not allow the unrestricted assignment of post-loss insurance benefits. by selecting this policy, you waive your right to freely assign or transfer the post-loss property insurance benefits available under this policy to a third party or to otherwise freely enter into an assignment agreement as the term is defined in section 627 ...

  5. Assignment of benefits

    An assignment of benefits (or AOB for short) is an agreement that gives your claims benefits, and in some instances complete control of your claim, to someone else. It's usually used so that a contractor can "stand in your shoes" and file a claim, make decisions about repairs, and collect insurance payments from your insurance company ...

  6. Medicare Assignment: What It Is and How It Works

    For Medicare beneficiaries, assignment of benefits means that the person receiving care agrees to allow a nonparticipating provider to bill Medicare directly (as opposed to having the person receiving care pay the bill up front and seek reimbursement from Medicare). Assignment of benefits is authorized by the person receiving care in Box 13 of ...

  7. NAMIC

    An assignment of benefits, or AOB, is a legal tool that allows an insurer to directly pay a third party for services performed rather than reimbursing a claimant afterwards. ... Vendors soliciting AOBs from policyholders are typically associated with property insurance, auto repair, and personal insurance claims. While such assignment may allow ...

  8. Assignment of Benefits: Consumer Beware

    An Assignment of Benefits, or an AOB, is an agreement signed by a policyholder that allows a third party—such as a water extraction company, a roofer or a plumber—to act on behalf of the insured and seek direct payment from the insurance company. An AOB can be a useful tool for getting repairs done, as it allows the repair company to deal ...

  9. Assignment of Benefits Resources

    Assignment of Benefits. An Assignment of Benefits, or an AOB, is a document signed by a policyholder that allows a third party, such as a water extraction company, a roofer, or a plumber, to "stand in the shoes" of the insured and seek payment directly from the policyholder's insurance company.

  10. PDF ASSIGNMENT OF BENEFITS

    ASSIGNMENT OF BENEFITS CONSUMER PROTECTION TIPS An assignment of benefits (AOB) is a legal contract that allows you, as the policyholder to transfer your insurance rights to a third-party (assignee), such as a contractor. The assignee then has rights to the insurance claim and can stand in your shoes as the policyholder. The assignee can be paid

  11. Assignment of Benefits (AOB) 101

    Assignment of benefits is a legal contract between you and a third party, such as a roofer, contractor, or other vendors. The AOB allows you to transfer specific rights that your insurance policy grants you to a third party. These rights can include filing a claim, financial payments to a contractor, and even allowing the third party to file a ...

  12. Assignment of Benefits for Contractors: Pros & Cons of ...

    An assignment of benefits, or AOB, is an agreement to transfer insurance claim rights to a third party. It gives the assignee authority to file and negotiate a claim directly with the insurance company, without involvement from the property owner. An AOB also allows the insurer to pay the contractor directly instead of funneling funds through ...

  13. Assignment and Nonassignment of Benefits

    Assignment of benefits applies to all participating providers (including ambulance providers and limited license practitioners who, are participating providers by statute and must accept assignment on all Medicare claims) and non-participating providers (who may accept assignment on a case-by-case basis). ... Private insurance policies usually ...

  14. Assignment of Benefits: What You Need to Know

    There are many reasons why an insurance company may not accept an assignment of benefits. To speak with a Schwartzapfel Lawyers expert about this directly, call 1-516-342-2200 for a free consultation today. It will be our privilege to assist you with all your legal questions, needs, and recovery efforts.

  15. What Is the Assignment of Insurance Benefits?

    Once the insurance is purchased you complete a assignment of benefits, sharing ownership control with the bank. You must pay the insurance premiums and cannot make any decisions affecting the ...

  16. All You Need to Know About Assignment of Benefits

    When you visit an in-network doctor in a contract with your insurance company, the assignment of benefits (AOB) happens automatically. That hospital receives payment right from the insurance company, and the provider handles everything related to billing. But if your doctor is out-of-network, you might have to sign an AOB agreement that's ...

  17. What is Assignment of Benefits in Medical Billing?

    An assignment of benefits is the act of signing documentation authorizing a health insurance company to pay a physician directly. In other words, the insurance company can pay claims without the direct involvement of the patient in the process. There are other situations where AOBs can be helpful, but we'll focus on their use in relation to ...

  18. Health Care Providers Should Review Assignment of Benefit ...

    If an assignment of benefits is blocked by a self-funded plan's anti-assignment clause, the provider may be forced to pursue the patient directly for payment. The patient will then be responsible for seeking reimbursement from the employee benefit plan. ... "I hereby authorize my insurance benefits to be paid directly to the physician." ...

  19. PDF Assignment of Benefits Guide

    Assignment of Benefits. A procedure whereby a beneficiary/patient authorizes the administrator of the program to forward payment for a covered procedure directly to the treating dentist. This is done using box #37 on the ADA claim form. The below image shows the specific instructions for how to complete box #37 for use with assignment of benefits.

  20. PDF ADA Dental Insurance Reform Assignment of Benefits

    As used in this section, "assignment of benefits" means the transfer of dental care coverage reimbursement benefits or other rights under an insurance policy, subscription contract, or dental services plan by an insured, subscriber, or enrollee to a dentist or oral surgeon. 627.638.

  21. Assignment of Benefits (AOB)

    An Assignment of Benefits (AOB) is an agreement that transfers insurance claims rights or benefits to a third party, such as a contractor. They file a claim for their services, and direct the insurance to pay them directly — without your involvement. Once an AOB contract is signed, the contractor takes control and can submit whatever they'd ...

  22. Free Insurance Assignment Agreement

    The Insurance Policy Beneficiary will have to be identified for this assignment to function properly. This will be the Party who is designated on the concerned insurance policy as the Recipient of its benefits (i.e. payment). Produce this Beneficiary's full name and address. (3) Assuming Party.

  23. Open Dental Software

    The permission, Insurance Plan Change Assignment of Benefits is required to change this setting. Changes made to Assignment of Benefits are logged in the Audit Trail. If using Clinics, this setting can be overridden by the Clinic setting, Always Assign Benefits to the Patient. When the Clinic setting is checked, Assignment of Benefits is always ...

  24. Questpro on Instagram: "Congratulations to our Temp of the Quarter

    3 likes, 0 comments - questpro_ on February 12, 2024: "Congratulations to our Temp of the Quarter, Christie D.! Each quarter, our QTemps team nomi..."