How does Medicare work with my other health insurance coverage?
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

Medicare works in tandem with your other health insurance coverage. The two tag team. One insurance plan becomes the primary payer or the one that pays costs first. The other insurance becomes the secondary payer and pays the remaining costs. However, just because the secondary payer is left with the remaining costs does not mean it must pay 100% of the leftover costs.


Which insurance pays first depends on the type of insurance you have. For instance, if you have retiree insurance, Medicare pays first. If you have an employer group plan, who pays first depends on factors such as your age and the size of the company.


For additional information on how Medicare works with other insurance, visit for the publication “Who Pays First” or call 1-800-633-4227.

Continue Learning about Medicare



Medicare is the federal health insurance plan for people over age 65 or who are long-term disabled. Eligibility and enrollment is through the Social Security Administration. Medicare has changed over the years, offering additional ...

options for healthcare insurance. Traditional Medicare includes Part A for hospital insurance and Part B for medical coverage, meaning it covers doctor visits and other medical bills. Part C, also called Medicare Advantage, allows private health insurance companies to provide Medicare benefits. Part D is a prescription drug plan. It's important to carefully assess your healthcare needs and which plan is right for you. Learn more about Medicare benefits with expert advice from Sharecare.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.