Medicare works with private insurance companies to offer you ways to get your health care coverage. These companies can choose to provide a consumer-directed Medicare Advantage Plan, called a Medicare MSA Plan. These plans are similar to Health Savings Account Plans available outside of Medicare. You can choose your health care services and providers (MSA plans usually don’t have a network of doctors, other healthcare providers, or hospitals).
What Are MSA Plans?
Medicare Savings Account (MSA) plans are a different type of Medicare Advantage plan that puts aside money from Medicare for you to use toward your covered healthcare expenses. These plans typically have a high deductible health plan as the main health insurance portion.
MSA Plan Benefits
MSA plans are convenient for some people because there is already money set aside for your healthcare expenses. It simplifies the process of paying for your health insurance.
Another nice thing about MSAs is that you can use the money in the account for qualifying medical expenses that are not covered under Medicare, such as dental care. Check with the IRS to review what is and is not a qualifying medical expense before you withdraw money for that use. Medicare MSA Plans don’t cover Medicare Part D prescription drugs
If you join a Medicare MSA Plan and want Medicare drug coverage, you’ll have to join a separate Medicare drug plan.
MSA Plan Coverage Area
MSAs may use a network of healthcare providers. In this case, you would be covered for services received from providers inside the network. If your plan does not have a network of healthcare providers, you are able to see any provider that accepts your plan and its payment terms.
MSA Plan Costs
The high deductible health plan portion of the MSA functions just the same as any other health insurance plan. You owe monthly premiums, the high deductible, copayments and coinsurance. The savings account can help with the out-of-pocket expenses, but not the premiums.
You can apply for the money from your Medicare Savings Account to any qualified medical expense, as defined by federal regulations. Medicare deposits a certain amount of money into the account every year and the money you do not use can usually roll over into the next year. For this reason, MSA accounts can serve as a healthcare expenses emergency fund. If you are someone with few medical expenses (i.e. you have your annual physical but are rarely sick and in generally good health), the funds that roll over year after year can serve as an emergency fund for medical expenses.
Keep in mind that the money in the account is intended to be used only for qualifying medical expenses. If you make a withdrawal for something other than a healthcare expense, you will have to count that money as income on your tax return.
Finding a Medicare Advantage MSA Plan
MSA Medicare Advantage plans are just one plan type available to you. The plans can be especially beneficial for people who use healthcare services infrequently and would have a significant amount of money roll over each year.
What if I chose a Medicare MSA Plan for the first time & changed my mind
You can cancel your enrollment by December 15 of the same year. You still only have until December 7 to join another health or drug plan. After December 7 and up to December 15, you can only return to Original Medicare.
Can my Medicare MSA Plan ever cancel my enrollment?
Your plan can cancel your enrollment if one of these events happen:
- You get Medicaid.
- You enroll in a Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) plan.
- You get health care benefits from the Department of Defense ( Tricare ) or the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
- You get benefits (like an employer or union group health plan) that cover all or part of the yearly MSA deductible permanently.
- You move outside of the service area of the plan or are temporarily out of the service area for longer than 6 months.
We are an independent insurance agency that provides help to those on Medicare and helps them choose the appropriate coverage, including Medicare Supplements, Medicare Advantage, and stand-alone Prescription Drug Plans from over 30 different insurance carriers. Let the Medicare Help Desk explain your options and help you find the best Medicare Plan for you.
For more information on Medicare Advantage plans feel free to contact us via phone: