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Ask Phil: Can I keep using my Health Savings Account while on Medicare? Can I keep contributing to it?

The blue UnitedHealthcare logo appears against a white background while calm music plays.

ON SCREEN TEXT: UnitedHealthcare®

Phil Moeller, wearing a suit, addresses the camera against a blue and violet backdrop. A blue graphic slides onto the lower left to display his name and additional text.

ON SCREEN TEXT: PHIL MOELLER

"Ask Phil, by UnitedHealthcare"

PHIL: Hi. I'm Phil Moeller. I spend a lot of time writing articles and books helping people understand Medicare, retirement, and aging. Digging into these subjects gives us a better chance to make more informed health care decisions. And with that in mind, let's explore a question I get asked a lot.

The screen fades to white, and blue text appears as Phil reads it in voiceover.

ON SCREEN TEXT: "Can I keep using my

Health Savings Account while on Medicare?

Can I keep contributing to it?"

PHIL: "Can I keep using my Health Savings Account while on Medicare? Can I keep contributing to it?" That's sort of a two-part answer.

He continues speaking to the camera.

PHIL: Health savings accounts have become very popular as part of employer high-deductible health plans. In those plans, people are allowed to set up health savings accounts that are funded with pre-tax dollars that they contribute, and often their employer contributes some as well. These can really help people defray those expenses from the high-deductible accounts. There's one big wrinkle, though, which is Medicare doesn't work with high-deductible health plans. So if you have Medicare, you're no longer allowed to contribute to an HSA. However, if you have an HSA, you can continue using the money in those accounts for qualified medical expenses. Now, there's one other asterisk: if you've applied for Social Security benefits, by law, you must be enrolled in Part A of Medicare. Guess what-- if you're enrolled in Part A of Medicare, you can't contribute to an HSA. So people need to think very carefully about their Social Security claiming decisions in terms of whether it's going to invalidate their use of an HSA.

Another fade to white, and blue text appears in the center screen.

ON SCREEN TEXT: For more guidance from Phil, visit

newsroom.uhc.com/askphil.html

The text dissolves, replaced by the UnitedHealthcare logo.

ON SCREEN TEXT: UnitedHealthcare®