If you'll be turning 65 in the near future, it may be time to consider your strategy for Medicare benefits.
You can apply for original Medicare (Parts A and B) at age 65 whether you have retired or not. For Part A (hospital insurance), premiums have no charge for the majority of Americans, even those who already have health coverage. Part B (medical insurance) pays for doctors’ services, outpatient care, and other miscellaneous medical services.1
You may be interested in a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan, one that brings you Parts A and B, and in many cases, Part D prescription drug coverage. Different MA plans might offer you other benefits, such as vision, hearing, and dental, designed to help you maintain your health, increase your physical activity, and more.1
There’s a slight twist, however, especially if you are looking to delay enrolling in Medicare in order to keep contributing to your Health Savings Account (HSA). For example, once you enroll in Medicare Part A and/or B, you can no longer contribute pre-tax dollars to your HSA.2
Keep in mind that after age 65, you’ll have to pay income taxes if you spend money from your HSA if it is not for a qualified medical expense. If you’re under age 65, though, and you use money from your HSA on non-qualified expenses, you may have to pay ordinary income tax and be subject to a 20% penalty on the withdrawal as well. It’s a good idea to check with your tax professional for specific rules regarding your particular state.
1. Medicare.gov, July 21, 2020
2. MedicareInteractive.org, 2020
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