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Catch-Up Contribution FAQs and Answers

Catch-Up Contribution FAQs & Answers

 

If you are age 55 and older, you are allowed to contribute up to an extra $1,000 each year to your health savings account as a catch-up contribution. This increases your 2019 contribution limit from $3,500 to $4,500 (if you’re covered by individual health insurance) or from $7,000 to $8,000 (if you’re covered by couples or family health insurance).

If you’re looking to take advantage of catch-up contributions, see the FAQs below for everything you need to know.

 

Can both spouses make catch-up contributions?

Yes, both spouses can make catch-up contributions provided that they both 1) are 55 or older, 2) are eligible for health savings accounts, and 3) have established their own separate health savings accounts. For 2019, the total health savings accounts contribution limit for two eligible spouses who are each 55 or older with separate accounts and covered by couples or family insurance is $9,000 ($7,000 + $1,000 + $1,000).

 

Can one spouse make a catch-up contribution into the other spouse’s health savings account?

No, you cannot make a catch-up contribution into anyone else’s health savings account. You can only make a catch-up contribution into your own health savings account.

 

If I don’t turn 55 until the end of the year, do I need to prorate that year’s catch-up contribution?

No, you don’t. If you are an eligible individual who is age 55 or older at the end of a particular year, you are permitted to make up to a $1,000 catch-up contribution that year. Your contribution doesn’t need to be prorated based on what month you turned 55.

 

If I lose health savings account eligibility during the year, do I have to prorate my catch-up contribution?

Yes. If you do not remain eligible that entire year, you must prorate your catch-up contribution based on the number of months you were eligible. For example, if you were health savings account-eligible at the beginning of the year and lost eligibility in August, you can make a catch-up contribution of up to $666.67 (8/12 x $1,000), since you were eligible 8 months out of the year.

If you remain an eligible individual the entire year you turned 55, you do not need to prorate your catch-up contribution.

 

Can I make a catch-up contribution when I’m on Medicare?

No, you cannot. Once you enroll in Medicare, you lose health savings account eligibility, which means you cannot make catch-up contributions any more. However, there is a movement in Congress to allow Medicare recipients to keep funding and using their health savings accounts. Contact your representative in Congress if you want to support this measure.

 

If I am eligible for Medicare but not enrolled, can I still make a catch-up contribution?

Yes, as long as you are otherwise health savings account-eligible and have a health savings account, you can make catch-up contributions.

 

Does my catch-up contribution change if I go from individual health insurance coverage to couples or family coverage during the year, or vice-versa?

No, the catch-up contribution limit is always $1,000, regardless of the type of health insurance coverage you have.

 

If you’re investing your health savings account funds as a way to pay for future medical expenses, catch-up contributions are a wonderful way to squeeze every dollar into your account. If you’re not using your health savings account as an investment vehicle, you’re missing out on unparalleled tax savings; learn more here.

Author: James Denison