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Medicare Part A & B

When Is Medicare Primary or Secondary Health Insurance?

June 11, 20242 min read

When Is Medicare Primary or Secondary Health Insurance?

Key Takeaways

  • Medicare is the primary payer for beneficiaries who do not have other coverage through plans offered by employers, other groups, or unions, except under certain circumstances.

  • Once you are eligible for Medicare, you can drop your employer or union health insurance if you’d like to and enroll in Medicare Part B. You will need to show proof of creditable coverage for your time without Part B.

Can I have Medicare and Employer Health Insurance Together?

Yes, you can have both Medicare and employer health insurance together. When you have Medicare and other health insurance or coverage, you have more than one “payer.” In these instances, “coordination of benefits” rules will decide which payer pays first.

Medicare is the primary payer for Medicare beneficiaries who are on employer plans if there are less than 20 employees. However, if the beneficiary is on an employer plan with 20 or more employees, that plan will serve as the primary payer,

If you have specific questions about your company’s health insurance, contact your benefits administrator, insurer, or plan provider. If you have any questions on which of your health insurance plans is primary, call the Benefits Coordination & Recovery Center (BCRC) at 1-855-798-2627.

Check Up

Does Medicare Cover Deductibles and Copays as Secondary Insurance?

The downside of having two insurance plans (group and Medicare) is that you pay two sets of premiums and deductibles. Your secondary insurance will not pay toward your primary health insurance deductible, and it’s likely you will still have to pay out-of-pocket costs.

Can I still use my Part A coverage even when I don't have Part B?

Yes, you can use Medicare Part A coverage even if you delay enrollment in Part B. However, unless you have other creditable coverage (like employer coverage) you should enroll in Part B, to avoid penalties in the future.

Plan For You

This website is operated by DereneDerricotte, LLC., a licensed health insurance company. The website and its contents are for informational and educational purposes; helping people understand Medicare in a simple way. The purpose of this website is the solicitation of insurance. Contact will be made by a licensed insurance agent/producer or insurance company. Medicare Supplement insurance plans are not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. government or the federal Medicare program. Our mission is to help every American get better health insurance and save money.
Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area. Please contact or 1-800-MEDICARE to get information on all of your options.

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Derene Derricotte

Derene Derricotte is a dedicated and experienced licensed health insurance agent committed to helping individuals and families navigate the complexities of health insurance. With a deep understanding of the industry and a passion for client service, Derene specializes in providing personalized insurance solutions tailored to meet the unique needs of each client.

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