Medicare is an excellent program that allows people in their older age, as well as people who are disabled in a way that makes it difficult or impossible for them to work, to receive financial assistance with their medical costs. Even so, Medicare is not enough to cover all of these costs. Some private insurance plans offer more coverage, so shouldn’t you be able to sign up for both?
Yes. If you are on Medicare, you still have the option of signing up for private insurance. Similarly, you will still be eligible for Medicare even if you already have private insurance. If this is the case, what typically happens is the your private insurance will pay costs first, and Medicare will pay secondary costs.
This will depend on various circumstances. For example, if you are over sixty-five and on a company sponsored health insurance plan, if the company has more than twenty employees, they will pay first. If you are not yet sixty-five, this will only happen if there are a hundred or more employees at your workplace. Essentially, if you work for a big company, Medicare will be your secondary payer.
If you don’t want to switch companies and you don’t want Medicare to be your secondary payer, you can sign up for Medicare supplemental insurance. These are plans whose coverage is specifically laid out by the federal government, but which are purchased from private insurance companies. Plans A through L are available, each offering different coverage. The coverage will be the same no matter which insurance company you purchase the plan from. Pricing can vary quite significantly, however.