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Barbara
Barbara, Enrolled Agent
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 2863
Experience:  18+ years of experience in tax preparation; 25+ years of experience as a real estate/corporate paralegal.
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Social Security Retirement Benefits and HSA - Health Savings

Customer Question

Social Security Retirement Benefits and HSA - Health Savings AccountI've reached full retirement age (66) as of September 2016. I want to file for my Social Security benefits.I am still working and contributing to the Health Savings Account at work. In addition, my company contributes to that account because of our high deductible health insurance.Do I have to take Medicare Part A, in orter to get Social Security benefits ?If so, how can I keep contributing to my HSA account ? Is there a penalty that I can pay ?
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Barbara replied 2 months ago.

Welcome to Just Answer. My name is ***** ***** I will be happy to assist you.

You do not have to enroll in Medicare in order to receive Social Security benefits,

BUT

Most workers probably should enroll in Medicare Part A, which is free for most people and covers institutional care in hospitals and skilled nursing facilities, as well as certain care given by home health agencies and care provided in hospices. But ask your employer (or your spouse’s employer, if that’s where you get your coverage) whether your current coverage will change in any way if you enroll in Medicare, even just Part A.

Medicare Part B, which covers outpatient and preventative care like doctor visits and tests, has a monthly premium that changes each year (it is $104.90 a month in 2016). Individuals who don't sign up for Part B when they first become eligible can pay a 10 percent premium penalty for each year that enrollment is delayed. However, there is an exception.

Whether you should enroll in Part B while you are still working depends on whether your employer has more than 20 employees. If your employer has more than 20 employees, you do not need to sign up for Part B right away because your employer's group health plan will be the primary insurer. When you retire, you will have a special enrollment period of eight months to sign up for Part B, without penalty.

http://www.elderlawanswers.com/should-i-enroll-in-medicare-if-im-still-working-12376

Participation in any type of Medicare (Part A, Part B, Part C - Medicare Advantage Plans, Part D, and Medicare Supplement Insurance - Medigap), makes you INELIGIBLE to contribute to an HSA.

https://www.hsaresources.com/pdf/Turning_65.pdf

Please let me know if I can assist you further.

Thank you and best regards,

Barb

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
BarbThank you very much for your quick response.I'm looking at form SSA-1-BK - is that the right form to file ?It says I apply for all insurance benefits for which I'm eligible under Title II and Part A of Title XVIII read this statement to mean that they are going to force Part A on me.I do not want to enroll in Part A, because I want to keep my HSA going.Nor do I want Part B.But I do want my Social Security Benefits.Here's what I see on the web.To be able to contribute to an HSA after age 65, you must not enroll in Medicare. HSA rules make a distinction between being merely “eligible” for Medicare (keep HSA eligibility) and being “entitled” to or “enrolled” in Medicare (lose HSA eligibility). You become enrolled in Medicare under Part A by filing an application or being approved automatically. The Social Security Administration automatically “enrolls” you in Medicare Part A when you begin collecting Social Security benefits. Accordingly, if you are receiving Social Security payments and are over 65, you are almost certainly enrolled in Medicare Part A. Also, employees that work for smaller employers (fewer than 20 employees) will have Medicare as their primary insurance at age 65. Some people; however, avoid enrolling in Medicare and being automatically enrolled by waiting to receive Social Security. If you are not enrolled in Medicare and are otherwise HSA eligible, you can continue to contribute to an HSA after age 65. You are also allowed to contribute the $1,000 catch -up.If you signed up for Medicare Part A and now want to decline it, you can do so by contacting the Social Security Administration. Assuming you have not begun receiving Social Security checks this will reestablish your eligibility for an HSA. If you have applied for or have begun receiving Social Security, you cannot opt out of Medicare Part A without paying the government back all the money you received from Social Security payments plus paying the government back for any money Medicare spent on your medical claims. This action will also stop future Social Security payments (until you reapply and start this cycle over again).Can you refute those answers ?Thanksmark
Expert:  Barbara replied 2 months ago.

If you sign up for Social Security, you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare Part A, and thus lose your HSA eligibility.

My best advice would be to contact SSA directly to apply for your social security benefits and make it VERY CLEAR that you do not want to enroll in ANY aspect of Medicare.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
BarbaraWe do have a meeting with the local SSA office today.Can you provide me with Page Chapter and Verse to give to the person, so that they will not enroll us in Medicare.Is that something we can put in the Remarks section ?I'm not very confident of your answer here, and would like some proof that we can do what you say above.Thanksmark
Expert:  Barbara replied 2 months ago.

Mark,

The links I previously provided contain the information you need. The representative at the SSA office will understand how you wish to proceed, i.e., apply for Social Security but not Medicare because you are still working, covered by your employer's insurance and wish to contribute to an HSA.

Let me know the outcome of your meeting.

Barb

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
BarbThe answer to the question is no.You automatically get Part A of Medicare when applying for Social Security Benefits.There is no way to stop that.Furthermore, the Part A is automatically retroactive starting 6 months ago.So you need to stop your HSA account 6 months prior to applying for social security.Otherwise, you will be fined.So use this knowledge to answer the next person's question correctly.In the meantime, please refund my money, because I am not going to pay for a wrong answer.I will skip rating you, assuming you get this reversed in the next day.mark
Expert:  Barbara replied 2 months ago.

Thank you for the information, but it seems contradictory to my research.

In any event, I will forward this to customer service so they can issue the appropriate refund.