How Do Medicare Supplement Plans Work with Other Insurance Plans?

By Brandon Burke posted 07-06-2020 12:37


Medicare Supplement plans or Medigap doesn’t cover medical services such as vision, hearing, and dental care. On that count, if you need hearing aids, private-duty nursing, eyeglasses, and nursing home care, you can seek additional insurance. The good news is that you can get coverage from private insurance to meet the full costs. The question comes in, how do the two coordinate the coverage? Here is how they work hand in hand to pay for your services.

Primary and Secondary Payer

Usually, the insurance company that pays first is known as the primary payer. It will cover your costs up to a certain amount depending on the agreement. On the flip side, the organization that will take over the payment next is the secondary payer. Its responsibility is to meet the expenses that the primary payer didn’t cover.

If one of them doesn’t pay the bills, the other will meet all costs within 120 days. For instance, if Medicare is your primary payer, and it fails to insure you, an insurance company that you chose will fully cover you. The firm will then recover the payment from Medicare to avoid causing inconvenience on your side.

Choosing the primary payer relies on your employment status. For example, if you are employed, and the company has more than 20 workers, the employer’s insurance will be the primary payer. If it has less than 20 people, Medicare will automatically become the primary.

How It Works

Medicare Supplement covers items such as coinsurance, deductibles, and copayments that Parts A and B don’t meet. On that account, Medigap pays for the gaps that the Original Medicare creates. It can’t, in any way, pay for aspects that Medicare Advantage doesn’t cover due to the laid out policies. For that reason, you need to be keen not to go for Medigap if you have Medicare Advantage since it is illegal. If the cover is coming to an end, you can enroll for the Supplement type with sheer simplicity.

Some Medigap plans like C, D, F, and G cover about 80% of travel insurance when you are in a foreign land. Hence, you need an insurer who will pay for the other 20% since you will need a doctor’s services and medication. If the primary payer refuses to pay for liability insurance issues and Medicare is the secondary, then the latter will assume all the responsibility. Therefore, your coverage will be adequate, and you don’t have to worry about straining financially to meet your health expenses.


Different Medicare Supplement Plans in 2021 cover specific items regarding your health expenses. For example, Part K insures 50% of the first three pints of blood, while Part L accounts for 75%. It means that another private insurance has to cater for the remaining percentage. This way, you will not use out of the pocket cash to pay the bills.

As aforementioned, Medigap don’t provide coverage for vision, hearing, and dental costs. It also excluded long term care like nursing home care or private-duty nursing. Thus, you will need a private company to fill the missing gaps. For instance, long term care, also known as LTC, is expensive, yet you direly need the services when you are 65 years and above. For that reason, getting sufficient insurance is of the essence.