A written OK from your primary care doctor for you to see a specialist or get certain services. In many Medicare Managed Care Plans, you need to get a referral before you can get care from anyone except your primary care doctor. If you don?t get a referral first, the plan may not pay for your care.

A plan may restrict certain health care services to an enrollee unless the enrollee receives a referral from a plan-approved caregiver, on paper, referring them to a specific place/person for the service. Generally, a referral is defined as an actual document obtained from a provider in order for the beneficiary to receive additional services.

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