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I'm 67 and worked past 65, not enrolling in SS, Medicare A or B. Therefore, I contributed to my corporate HSA through October 2020. I stopped contributing immediately when, upon my research, I heard about Medicare part A imposing a 6-month lookback period within which no HSA contributions are allowed. As such I accidently contributed for a few months before stopping these contributions.

The problem is, I am retiring the end of January 2021 and upon conducting my SS/Medicare sign up interview 1/11/21, the agent suggested one solution was to postpone receiving benefits until May, AFTER the 6 months of non-contribution expires. This is NOT viable! My corporate health insurance etc. ends 1/31/21 and I must start SS, Medicare parts A & B 2/1/21.

What is the solution? Can I withdraw “excess contributions” for the months leading up to my application date? Also, what exactly is the date specified by the Tax code STARTING the 6-month look back period? Is it February 1st when I want to receive benefits? Maybe its 1/13/2021 when I submitted my “Application for Enrollment in Medicare…”? The agent seemed to indicate it was the first time I talked with a SS/Medicare agent in mid-November to schedule my COVID enrollment interview appointment. This will help me know how much I need to withdraw.

I would be fine removing contributions, (<$1,000) which my research leads me to believe are considered as excess contributions, deposited during the 6-month look back period. How do I withdraw these deposits?

Another possibility may be paying a penalty in order to move forward. However, one of your posts suggests that a penalty might continue for as long as I held HSA assets.

Finally, both the IRS Publication 969 about HSAs and the “Medicare & You Handbook” provide the rules, but not corrective paths if the 6-month look back rule is accidently violated. The handbook states, “To avoid a tax penalty, you should stop contributing to your HSA at least 6 months before you apply for Medicare.” Yes, BUT what if I didn’t? What do I do to fix it? I'm certainly not the only one in this situation.

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Your HSA provider typically has a form to fill for undoing part or all of your contributions ("Withdrawal of Excess Contributions"). If it is not on the website, call them.

It's pretty simple and might be just some clicks and typing the amount in.

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