Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.

Ask Kim

Medicare, Social Security and Your Health Savings Account

Continue to contribute to an HSA after you sign up for Medicare Part A and you will face tax penalties.


I didn't sign up for Medicare at 65 because I'm still working and wanted to contribute to my health savings account. I plan to apply for Social Security at 66. Can I still refuse Part A and contribute to my HSA? --W.S., Cleveland

See Also: 5 Ways to Ease the Pain of Health Care Costs in Retirement

No. Even though you may be able to delay signing up for Part A after age 65 if you're working (your employer usually must have 20 or more employees), you cannot decline Part A after you sign up for Social Security. Once you're enrolled in Part A, you'll have to stop making HSA contributions -- or face a penalty for excess contributions. If you don't take Medicare Part A when you first qualify (generally when you turn 65), you should stop contributions to your HSA at least six months before you sign up for Social Security because your Part A benefits will be retroactive for up to six months if you were 65 or older during that time.

See Also: QUIZ: Test Your Retirement IQ

Got a question? Ask Kim at