Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) provisions ensure that Medicare does not pay for items and services when other health insurance coverage (such as employer-sponsored coverage) is primarily responsible for paying. When there is more than one payer, “coordination of benefits” rules determine who pays first. The term “MSP” is used when Medicare is not
responsible for paying first.
Whether Medicare pays first depends on a number of factors. The chart identifies which entity pays first in common situations where a beneficiary has both Medicare and other coverage.