What is balance billing?
Balance billing occurs when a provider bills a TRICARE beneficiary for any amount in excess of the TRICARE-allowable charge after TRICARE has processed the claim. This practice is limited by law. TRICARE prohibits the practice of balance billing. Balance billing requirements apply to both network and non-network providers who treat TRICARE beneficiaries, and noncompliance can impact your TRICARE and/or Medicare status.
Network vs. non-network provider responsibilities
Once you sign an agreement to become a TRICARE network provider, you agree to be paid the lesser of the TRICARE maximum allowable charge or your contracted rate. If you are a non-network TRICARE-authorized provider and have agreed to participate on a claim, this means you have agreed to accept the TRICARE-allowable charge as payment in full for this claim and you may not bill patients for any amount in excess of the TRICARE-allowable charge. Non-network providers who do not accept assignment are limited by federal balance billing laws on how much they can bill TRICARE beneficiaries.