In order to join an MSA, you must have both Medicare Part A and Part B, otherwise known as Original Medicare. The only time you can join an MSA is when you first sign up for Part B coverage when you age into Medicare. Alternatively, you can also join an MSA during fall open enrollment.
Usually, a subscriber to an MSA will still have to pay a Part B premium. Some MSA plans will charge an additional premium on top of the Part B costs.
You will not be eligible for an MSA plan if you have any other healthcare coverage or medical benefits from your employer. Additionally, you cannot qualify for Medicaid, and cannot receive Tricare or VA benefits. Finally, you must not have End-Stage Renal Disease or be receiving hospice care.
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The main cost for beneficiaries is the high deductible portion of the MSA, before the rest of your expenses are covered by Medicare. The cost will depend on your individual plan. However, beneficiaries do not usually directly pay towards the deductible. With MSA plans, if you are able to cover all of your covered medical expenses with the deposited funds, you won’t be paying towards your deductible.
On the other hand, if the deposited funds in your account do not cover all of your expenses, you will have to pay out of pocket until you reach your deductible.