Medicare secondary coverage of high-deductible, employer health plans

People with high-deductible employer health plans who also are 65 or older, and eligible for Medicare, might benefit from using Medicare as a secondary payer for covered health expenses.

In this situation, Medicare can help pay covered claims even if the person has not finished paying their plan’s annual deductible.

“As long as Medicare’s deductible is met,” a Medicare spokesman said, “Medicare will make the appropriate payment, including a secondary payment, for Medicare covered and otherwise reimbursable items and services. This includes secondary payments, where the primary payer’s deductible has not been met.”

People will still need to pay monthly Part B premiums, including high-income surcharges, so this expense should be factored into the decision.