secondary payer

Under federal law, Medicare is a secondary payer (only secondarily responsible) for paying medical expenses for individuals covered by Medicare who are also covered by any type of private insurance.

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An example of how this concept applies is in the context of workers compensation claims. The medical expenses of a Medicare-eligible injured worker should be paid by the workers compensation insurer or self-insurer as the primary payer, with Medicare serving as the back-up or secondary payer of the medical expenses.

Related Terms

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The party that is responsible for funding a claim payment to an individual eligible for Medicare...