Is it better to have Medicare as primary or secondary insurance?

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What is the Difference Between Primary and Secondary Insurance?

When it comes to healthcare insurance, most beneficiaries will select the plan and provider which offers them the most financial support in light of different medical scenarios they may find themselves in – for example, the expenses associated with a hospital stay, outpatient treatment, or prescription drugs. 

When the expenses bill comes through for your healthcare, your primary insurance is the one that pays out first – after any deductibles associated with the specific plan and expense, which must be paid for by the beneficiary. Provided the expense is eligible for insurance cover and the deductible is paid in full, your primary insurance provider will then step in and pay their portion. 

The secondary insurance provider can also be referred to as your supplemental insurance plan and is next on the list when it comes to paying off your expenses. Anything leftover on the bill once both insurance providers have paid their agreed percentage will fall to the beneficiary to pay.

When Might Medicare Become Your Secondary Insurance Provider?

If you are eligible for Medicare coverage and have signed up for Medicare to be your primary insurance provider, you may be wondering in which circumstances Medicare may be knocked down to the second position. 

Medicare is most often found to be the secondary insurance provider for beneficiaries who are still in work and receive employer insurance benefits, or in special cases where they have retired but are still covered by their former employer as part of ongoing lifetime benefits.

Is It Better To Make Medicare Your Primary Insurance?

If you decide that you would prefer Medicare to become your primary insurance provider, the only course of action is to drop your other healthcare insurance and allow Medicare to take the top position. In this case, beneficiaries should note that any benefits included as part of the other plan will not continue unless detailed under the Medicare plan, and so dropping a second healthcare insurance coverage plan may result in the loss of some benefits. 

In essence, the decision regarding your primary and secondary insurance is yours to make. For most individuals, Medicare will automatically be placed as the primary insurance because most of the Medicare supplement insurance packages fall under Medicare and so are relegated to the secondary position. The only instance where you may need to make a decision regarding the status of your Medicare coverage is if your employer benefits include primary insurance coverage. 

For more information and guidance on ensuring you have the right level of primary and secondary insurance coverage, feel free to reach out to us at Bobby Brock Insurance.

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Justin Brock

President & CEO of Bobby Brock Insurance