Medicare entitlement (entitlement=eligible & enroll) is no longer automatic for everyone when they turn 65, rather most will need to sign up to get Medicare Part A and Part B. Medicare is only automatic for individuals who:
- Are getting benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) at least 4 months before they turn 65
- Are under age 65 and have disability benefits from Social Security or RRB for 24 months
- Have ALS (also called Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
Therefore turning 65 and gaining eligibility for Medicare in and of itself, does not disqualify an employee from continuing to receive employer contributions or making their own contributions to an HSA. Only if one voluntarily enrolls in any part of Medicare would they then be disqualified.
Employees wanting to work a few more years and delay retirement can continue to reap the triple tax advantage benefit of an HSA if they are otherwise an eligible individual. Keep in mind however if an employee delays their enrollment in Medicare and continues to work beyond age 65, once the individual’s employment sponsored coverage ends, they have an eight-month special enrollment period to sign up for Medicare Part A. The first month of Medicare entitlement may be retroactive to the month they turned 65, or up to 6 months prior to enrollment, whichever is less. Therefore, an individual may become ineligible for an HSA & have to stop HSA contributions for up to 6 months before they apply for Medicare Part A benefits to ensure they do not over contribute to their HSA.
The Compliance Rundown is not a law firm and cannot dispense legal advice. Anything contained in this post or on their website is not and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact your legal counsel.