When do I have to register for Medicare?

Something special happens as we approach the age of 65. We have a responsibility to register for Part A of Medicare when we become 65 years old. We have a 7-month window around our birth month in which to register. Three months before, our birth month, and the three months after.

What if I am still working when I turn 65?

A growing percentage of people are working well past age 65. This can make the decision a little more complicated when it comes to registering for Medicare. There are rules that differ based upon the size of company that you work for and what type of insurance coverage is in place.

Can I still contribute to my HSA after I am on Medicare?

You cannot contribute to a Health Savings Account and be on Medicare at the same time. If your employer has less than 20 employees, you must sign up for Medicare parts A, B, & D or Part C and you will no longer be on your employer’s plan. The only exception to this would be if your spouse is on your company plan and you want to keep her covered as a dependent. There may be some less expensive options depending on several factors.

Can I still contribute to my HSA after I turn 65?

This is one of those complicated situations. If your employer has less than 20 employees, then no. If your employer has more than 20 employees and it is allowed within the contracts of the health insurance, you may be able to contribute to an HSA. You would have to arrange to delay registration in Medicare and remain in your employer plan. It must be well documented so that when you retire or lose your employment you can register for Medicare and avoid the late registration penalties.

Are there any penalties for registering late in Medicare?

There is a 10% penalty applied to your Part B Premium for every year you do not register. If you are still employed and covered by your employer’s plan, this late penalty is waived. The penalty is simple, not compounded. If you delay by 3 years, then the penalty is 30% instead of a compounded 33.1%. This penalty usually is assessed for the rest of your life.