How long has it been since you last cleaned out your wallet or purse? If you are like most people, you are probably carrying around a stack of store discount cards, credit cards, and insurance cards. Determining which insurance cards to use and when to use them can be very confusing. Unfortunately, there is no one answer for everyone. Here are few scenarios to consider to help you understand which insurance card to use as well as when and where to use them.
If this describes you, you should have a red, white, and blue Medicare card. You will use this card for all medical services.
You will use your red, white, and blue Medicare card first as primary and your Supplement plan card (the one with your insurance company’s name on it) as secondary for all medical services.
Most likely, you will also have a separate card for your Part D Prescription Drug plan. You will only use this card when you fill your prescriptions.
You will want to keep your red, white, and blue Medicare card stored away in a safe place, because you will not use it when you go for medical services. Instead you will only use your Medicare Advantage insurance card.
You may or may not need your Medicare card. Whether or not you need your Medicare and in what order your insurance will pay will be dependent on your company’s number of employees. We recommend consulting with your employer’s benefits department before enrolling into or deferring your Medicare.
You will most likely need both Medicare Part A and Part B. In most cases, Medicare will pay it’s portion as primary and the retiree health plan as secondary. Again, when mixing employer plans with Medicare, we always recommend contacting your employer or retiree benefits department to confirm the rules for your plan.
While these are some of the most common examples, the list of possibilities is long and each person’s situation is unique. We strongly encourage you to talk with your HR department, your health plan advisor or call us to further discuss your individual situation to make sure you fully understand what you need to do — and which health insurance cards to use!
As an additional resource, check out the official Medicare guide “Who Pays First”. This can help folks who have Medicare and another form of insurance better understand how the two may work together.