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Question for the Money Doctors

Question submitted on Mar 3, 2011.

Question

I learned I need a knee replacement. I am 68 and drawing Social Security. I have just signed up for Medicare because I have health insurance with my employer. Should I have the surgery before I quit work and let my insurance pay first? Would medicare pay the outstanding balance or should I quit work and use Medicare and the supplement I'm planning on taking out? I have a deductible of $2,500 now.

Answer

<span style="line-height: 115% font-family: "Arial","sans-serif" font-size: 9.5pt">Based on your question, you may already know that your employer-provided health insurance plan would be the “primary” plan assuming you are also covered under Medicare.

<span style="line-height: 115% font-family: "Arial","sans-serif" font-size: 9.5pt">Some related thoughts: a) if you do have coverage under both the employer-provided plan and Medicare at the time of the surgery, make sure your doctors know this and let them know which is the primary coverage; b) you may want to read through some of the information on the Medicare web site (

Best of luck.


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