When you reach age 65, your health and financial needs as well as priorities may shift as you consider your Medicare options.

First things first—Medicare and your HSA

Many of you are enrolled in a medical plan with an HSA. If you keep your Hitachi Vantara medical plan—but also enroll in Medicare—you can no longer contribute to your HSA or receive HSA contributions from Hitachi Vantara.

Very important! If you:

  • Have already enrolled in Medicare and have started receiving Social Security payments, you can no longer continue contributing to your HSA after age 65. If you do, you’ll forfeit current and future Social Security payments and have to repay the federal government for any Social Security benefits you received.
  • Have already enrolled in any Medicare benefit but have not yet begun receiving Social Security payments, you may disenroll from Medicare and continue to be eligible for HSA contributions.

Medicare and Your Hitachi Vantara Benefits

If you’re working at Hitachi Vantara and enrolled in an Hitachi Vantara medical plan when you reach age 65, your medical benefits won’t be affected. Even if you enroll in Medicare and continue on an Hitachi Vantara medical plan, your Hitachi Vantara medical plan will still be the primary plan that pays your healthcare claims.

Follow this four-step checklist to use Medicare with your Hitachi Vantara benefits.

1. Know when to enroll.

You’re first eligible to enroll in Medicare during a window of time called your Initial Enrollment Period, or IEP. Your IEP is the three months before your 65th birthday through the three months after your 65th birthday. This fact sheet has more detailed information about enrollment periods. If you’re enrolled in an Hitachi Vantara medical plan, there’s no requirement to enroll in Medicare until you retire.

2. Medicare Part A.

Generally, the government will automatically enroll you in Medicare Part A during your IEP. It’s premium-free hospital insurance that covers inpatient stays and/or care in a skilled nursing facility. It’s a good idea to contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 to either delay your Part A enrollment and submit any required forms, or to confirm enrollment in Part A if that is what you choose to do.

3. Consider whether to enroll in Medicare Part B.

Medicare Part B, known as “medical insurance,” covers doctors’ visits, lab work, vaccinations and other outpatient treatments. During your IEP, you’ll need to enroll in or decline Part B. If you are covered by Hitachi Vantara, you may decline Part B coverage. Or, you can enroll in Part B to have secondary coverage to your Hitachi Vantara medical plan. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons (like HSA participation) to maintaining dual coverage (benefits through Hitachi Vantara and Medicare). Learn more at www.medicare.gov.

Whatever you choose, you need to inform the Social Security Administration of your decision.

4. Manage your benefits through retirement.

If you keep your Hitachi Vantara benefits and do not enroll in Medicare Part B during your IEP, you will be eligible for a Medicare Special Enrollment Period. During that period, you can enroll in Medicare Part B anytime while you are still working, and for up to eight months after you retire or lose employer coverage. If you're over 65 and planning to retire in the next six months, this fact sheet walks you through key decision points so you're prepared—before you stop working.

It’s important to know that COBRA and retiree insurance do not count as employer insurance under Medicare. You must be working and covered by an employer plan to qualify for the Special Enrollment Period when you retire and to avoid the late enrollment penalty for Part B.

Review the Enroll in Part A and Part B fact sheet for help on making your Medicare enrollment decision.

Special Notice on Prescription Drug Coverage

Medicare Part D explains the rules around Medicare prescription plans. Basically, it’s the government’s way to help you take care of your drug costs. Hitachi Vantara’s coverage is actually much better, so you can keep your Hitachi Vantara plan now and join a Medicare prescription plan down the road.