UNITED STATES— Hi Toni: I attended one of your seminars and now I need help with my Medicare issue. I am 65 almost 66, “still working” and covered entirely by my employer’s group health HSA plan. Approximately $5,000 is contributed to my family qualified tax-deductible HSA account for medical expenses.

When I went to the SS office to tell them this, they advised me to apply for Medicare Part A (hospital) ,although I really did not need it. Now, I find out that since my insurance is an HSA, signing up for Part A has disqualified me for any contribution to the HSA plan. I have a few questions:

1) Does having Part A really disqualify me from contributing to my HSA Plan?

2) Should I go to the SS office and stop Medicare Part A?

Thanks, Samuel from Carlsbad, New Mexico

Samuel: The rule about Medicare Part A and making contribution to an HSA is discussed thoroughly on page 19 of the new 2019 Medicare & You handbook. It states, “You can’t contribute to your HSA once your Medicare coverage begins.” …the handbook also states in the last paragraph, “To avoid a tax penalty, you should stop contributing to your HSA at least 6 months before you apply for Medicare.” Please review this information…Very important…

Below are the answers to your questions:

  1. That’s correct!! Enrolling in Medicare Part A will disqualify you from contributing the $5,000 to your HSA. Always talk with your HR department, contact your insurance company when you are contemplating what to do with your Medicare coverage if your actions are different from the norm or you can always contact a Toni Says Medicare advisor at info@tonisays.com and together we can explore your Medicare options.
  2. Question #2 about stopping your Medicare Part A. I would call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 explain to the agent how you were misinformed since you have been enrolled and funded your HSA before you turned 65 and now you cannot contribute to the plan. Ask if you can appeal what was advised to you and you want to schedule an appointment with your local Social Security office.

For those who need to delay Medicare Part A due to “still working fulltime” with company health insurance and want to continue making contributions to their HSA can do so by simply NOT enrolling in Medicare Part A after turning 65. When you and your spouse retire later past 65, when no longer working full-time with company health insurance, then you can apply for Medicare Parts A and B with a Special Enrollment Period (SEP).

The information regarding applying during a Medicare SEP is available online at the new American Baby Boomer Society website that contains Medicare courses which help to answer other Medicare questions or Medicare topics at www.abbs4u.com.

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