Ask Terry Questions Medicare Enrollment

Medicare Enrollment

By Terry Savage on March 12, 2023 | Insurance & Annuities

Hi Terry,
I will be turning 65 in April and would like to enroll in Medicare. Here is my question:
I am currently on my wife’s employer’s health insurance plan (United Health Care) that covers our family. The employer has 12,000 employees. My wife has the option to enroll in an HSA, which she has. She is the sole contributor to the HSA (from her paycheck), but has also added my name to the account (and provided me with an HSA card). My wife is 57 and won’t be retiring until she is 62.
Since I am insured under her insurance plan, I don’t need Medicare right now (or the additional premiums that come with Part B, D and supplemental insurance). However, I would like to enroll in Medicare Part A (to get the ball rolling) since this will not cost me anything. When she retires, I would then like to enroll in Part B, Part D and a supplemental plan. She does get a Certificate of Creditability each year, so I will still have that 6 month window to enroll in Part B and supplemental insurance without any check for pre-existing conditions (so I am told).

I was told by an insurance agent that my wife’s HSA disqualifies me from enrolling in Medicare Part A because it would be considered double dipping, regarding tax implications. Again, I am not a contributor to her HSA acount, but we do file our taxes as Married Filing Jointly. If need be, I can have my wife take me off of her HSA account.

Can I enroll in Medicare Part A right now? I understand that I will need to show the Certificates of Creditability when I follow up at a later time for Part B, Part D and the supplemental plan.
Please advise.

Thanks very much,

Terry Says

Your insurance agent is correct. And there’s another wrinkle:
HSA contributions must be stopped six months prior to Medicare Part A enrollment since the retroactive nature of Part A coverage will disqualify HSA contributions during that six-month period.

So that could lead to big penalties. Since you are still covered by your wife’s plan, immediately have your name taken of the HSA –and then wait at least 6 full months before enrolling even in Part A1

And if you want to figure out the best strategy, I strongly urge you to do a consultation with — to see whether you’re better off sticking with your wife’s plan even longer — at least until she retires. A mistake could cost you a lot of money over the long run. So it’s worth paying for a consultation now.



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