Question: My friend told me that when I turn 65 and have Medicare, I can no longer have HSA. Is it true?
Answer: First, let’s define an HSA (health savings account) is an account that allows an individual or family to save dollars before tax to use to pay for qualified medical expenses. HSAs are monitored or managed by a bank, credit union or insurance company. High-deductible health insurance plan (HDHP) individuals are allowed to establish HSA.
When you (and sometimes your employer) add money to this HSA, it’s before tax. You have NOT paid income tax on the money. This allows you to save money on taxes and save to pay for medical expenses in the future. In 2022, the maximum amount you can invest in your HSA is $ 3,650 for an individual and $ 7,300 for a family. If you are over the age of 55, there is an additional $ 1,000 you can deposit each year for your HSA.
This HSA is your money, cannot be taken away from you and does not need to be spent until the end of the year. HSA continues to grow as you add to it and is available to you for medical expenses for the rest of your life (before and with Medicare). This HSA offers you the opportunity to save dollars before taxes to pay for medical expenses that may happen one day.
The question you ask is about turning 65 and qualifying for Medicare. Once you qualify for Medicare and sign up for Medicare, you can no longer invest in your HSA. So it’s important to understand and plan when you turn 65 if you have HSA. You can use your HSA money once you have Medicare.
If you qualify for Medicare but do NOT register for Medicare A or B, you can continue to contribute to your HSA. Once you enroll in Medicare A or B, you can no longer contribute to your HSA. The money in the HSA is still your money to use in the years to come, but you cannot invest new money once you have Medicare A or B. If you are married, you can still donate on behalf of your husband, but only for an individual amount of $ 3650. This rule change occurs on the first day of the month when you turn 65. When planning this Medicare eligibility, you need to decide on Medicare and HSA’s contribution. Your contribution can last until the age of 65, but you cannot deposit the full annual amount, it will be a proportional amount, month by month, up to the month of your birthday. Then your contributions must stop.
You can keep your HSA and the money in it once you have Medicare. You can continue to use the money in your HSA to pay for medical expenses. You can have HSA and use HSA, even if you have Medicare A&B. Once your spouse qualifies for Medicare A&B and registers for Medicare, then your contributions on their behalf must also stop.
The next question is, “What can I use HSA money to pay for?”
HSA can be used to pay for many of the medical expenses we incur. The IRS list of qualified medical expenses is a very extensive list. The full list of IRSs can be found at www.IRS.gov. I will give you a few examples. The usual things we think about are; medical and medical expenses, hospital bills, ambulance travel and blood tests. Some others are health insurance premiums, long-term care insurance premiums, hearing aids and batteries, smoking cessation programs, glasses, lasik eye surgery, weight loss programs, weight loss and prescription drugs, adult care, dog guide, drug addiction, dental care (including braces, dentures, fillings and oral surgery), chiropractor and acupuncturist.
If you have HDHP and the opportunity to have HSA for yourself and your family, I would strongly encourage you to contribute to it. Talk to your employer and see what the rules are for your situation and the HSA. This can be used for the overall and long-term financial health of you and your family.
Senior Life Matters is a community-based program sponsored by Lutheran Jamestown. For questions and concerns or to contact Janelle Servant, GCMC, call 716-720-9797 or email [email protected]