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How to Disenroll from Medicare Part A

If you or a loved one has turned 65 recently, you may know a thing or two about Medicare enrollment.  Medicare is a government run healthcare plan for individuals over 65 or with some disabilities.  Medicare is divided into four parts, but Medicare Part A is hospital insurance, and it's free for most people.  Because it's free, enrolling is Medicare Part A is usually a no-brainer.  That's why the government automatically enrolls you in Medicare Part A on your 65th birthday (if you're already enrolled in Social Security). 

For those turning 65 and enrolling in Medicare for the first time, there are times when enrolling in Medicare Part A may not the best strategy. For individuals who continue to work after turning 65, enrolling in Part A disqualifies them from accepting employer contributions to Health Savings Accounts.   Employers and employees may contribute a total of $6,150 to Health Savings Accounts for families in 2011 - enrolling in Medicare Part A upon turning 65 would mean forgoing all of that free and/or tax advantaged money.  By disenrolling in Medicare Part A, however, you're required to give up your Social Security benefits, including your monthly Social Security check.  If your employer contribution to your company HSA isn't more than you would earn from Social Security, it's best to stick with Medicare Part A. 

If you want to disenroll from Medicare Part A, you can fill out CMS form 1763 (Request for Termination of Premium Hospital and Medical Insurance) and mail to your local Social Security Administration office.  To disenroll after turning 65, you are required to pay back all of the money received from Social Security as well as any Medicare benefits paid.  You can re-enroll at any time by calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 or visiting your local SSA office. 

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