Q&A: Medicare Part A

Dear Liz: You recently answered a question from someone who was delaying signing up for Medicare because he had health insurance through his job. You mentioned that if the employer had 20 or more employees, he didn’t have to sign up until that employment ended. That’s correct, but there’s typically no cost for Medicare Part A so there’s no reason not to sign up.

Answer: That’s an excellent point. Medicare Part A covers hospital visits and typically is premium-free, so signing up at age 65 is a good idea even if you have insurance coverage through work. The other parts of Medicare require monthly premiums and can impose penalties if you don’t apply when you’re first eligible.


  1. Glenda Bossow says

    Just keep in mind that if you have a health policy through your work but sign up for Medicare part A, you cannot contribute to an HSA.

    • Liz Weston says

      Yes. The original letter writer got insurance through a spouse’s job, though, so HSA contributions wouldn’t be an issue.