As you get close to Medicare, some of you will be automatically enrolled. This presents a problem – you cann continue to contribute to a Health Savings Account when you enroll in Medicare – but you may not be aware you have been enrolled. Here is a quick refresher on who gets autoenrolled:
Automatic Enrollment in Medicare
The following comes from the Code of Federal Regulations:
Individuals who need not file an application for hospital insurance. An individual who meets any of the following conditions need not file an application for hospital insurance:
- Is under age 65 and has been entitled, for more than 24 months, to monthly social security or railroad retirement benefits based on disability.
- At the time of attainment of age 65, is entitled to monthly social security or railroad retirement benefits.
- Establishes entitlement to monthly social security or railroad retirement benefits at any time after attaining age 65.
In other words, you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare Part A* when you reach age 65 if at that time you are already receiving Social Security retirement benefits (or spousal or widow/widower benefits) or have been receiving Social Security disability benefits for more than 24 months. Alternatively, if you claim Social Security benefits (including as a part of a “file and suspend” strategy) at any point after age 65, you’ll automatically be enrolled in Medicare Part A at that time.
In addition, the same CFR section states that, “an application under § 406.10 that is validly filed within 6 months after the first month of eligibility is retroactive to that first month. If filed more than 6 months after that first month, it is retroactive to the 6th month before the month of filing.” In other words, if you become enrolled in Medicare Part A after reaching age 65, they’re going to backdate your enrollment by 6 months (but no earlier than age 65).