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Secondary Payer

Secondary Payer


Secondary Payer — under federal law, Medicare is only secondarily responsible for paying medical expenses for individuals covered by Medicare who are also covered by any type of private insurance. 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.

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