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Medicare Secondary Payer

Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) is the term used by Medicare when Medicare is not responsible for paying first. (The private insurance industry generally talks about "Coordination of Benefits" when assigning responsibility for first and second payment.)

The term "Medicare Secondary Payer" is sometimes confused with Medicare supplement. A Medicare supplement (Medigap) policy is a private health insurance policy designed specifically to fill in some of the "gaps" in Medicare's coverage when Medicare is the primary payer. Medicare supplement policies typically pay for expenses that Medicare does not pay because of deductible or coinsurance amounts or other limits under the Medicare program.  (For more on Medicare supplement policies, please view “Choosing a Medigap Policy”, a publication from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).)  


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