How Does Medicare Secondary Insurance Work?

Medicare secondary insurance helps individuals cover costs that Medicare does not.

Medicare secondary insurance is a supplementary insurance policy that provides an individual with additional coverage for care that is not covered by either Medicare part A or B. Secondary insurance can cover costs like co-payments, extra lab tests, and longer stays in medical facilities. For most individuals Medicare is their primary source of insurance coverage, but to ensure that they are not left with any outstanding medical bills they must secure a second insurance plan.

Different Types Of Secondary Insurance

There are a few different types of secondary insurance available to both part A and part B users of Medicare. The first of these options is an insurance plan provided by an individual’s employer, or their spouse’s employer. The rules surrounding this option however can become a bit tricky. An employer provided insurance plan can only be considered a medicare secondary insurance plan if that employer is considered a small business which contains fewer than 20 employees. If an employer has more than 20 employees, any insurance coverage they provide is considered primary insurance and would be expected to be billed before Medicare. Alternatively, in most cases if an individual has retired any insurance his or her company provides will automatically be considered medicare secondary insurance, even if the employer is considered a large company with more than 20 employees.

How Medicaid Can Help

Medicaid is considered a secondary insurance to Medicare as well. If an individual qualifies for Medicaid it is a valuable addition that is not only free, but also covers costs of co-payments and other services that Medicare does not usually offer coverage for like dental and vision.

What Are Medigaps And How Can They Work For Me?

Medigaps are insurance plans that were created especially for use with Medicare to cover any excess bills that Medicare could not. Medigaps do have to be purchased and are limited in where they are offered, however they can cover quite a few different services such as co-payments and medications.

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