Can I Spend My Medicare Set Aside Money?

Medicare Set Aside Money

When first initiated into Medicare’s complex and sectionalized process, people will typically have a lot of questions. The number one question asked by our readers is, “Can I spend my Medicare Set Aside money?” The short answer is Yes. This money belongs to you and not to Medicare. It is yours. It is money that was afforded to you by your settlement, and thus, it is your asset.

Set Aside money is money that protects Medicare’s interests. In the future, Medicare wants the money to be saved and used for Medical bills, since they would normally be paying your medical bills. Medicare will still cover illnesses and non-work injuries, but work injury compensation for time off, medical expenses, etc. is at the cost of the employee and the employer.

How Can I Spend My Medicare Set Aside Money?

If you plan on using your Medicare Set Aside for something other than future Medical expenses, Medicare will refuse to cover your medical bills for your injury and all related injuries. While the Set Aside money is supposed to be used for one purpose, it is understandable that many people will have to take out and use the money for current expenses. Rent, car insurance, and groceries are examples of everyday expenses that the money can be used for, though you could use the money for just about anything. It belongs to you, and so it is up to you how to use it. Before you ask yourself “Can I spend my medicare set aside money?”, you should probably first ask, “Should I save up this money for future medical expenses?” That would be a much wiser choice.

32 Responses to “Can I Spend My Medicare Set Aside Money?”

  1. Wayne says:

    We fell on hard times. Had to spend some of our MSA money. I understand if I spend my money medicare will not cover my work injury. Will they stop my monthly checks for spending this and should I tell someone I spent some of this? Every year I have to send in how much I spent on medical and prescription. There is nothing more medically that I need other than prescriptions. and we could afford to pay out of our own pocket. Who should I inform that I used this money. Thanks for the replies

  2. Wayne says:

    My wife quit her secretary job and went to college to be an RN. Now she’s a nurse making a good income. But we fell well behind in our bills and couldnt catch up and the car died. We could pay for my medical out of our own pocket when we catch up. I am totally disabled and will never need surgery for my work injury again. This money would really come handy but I dont want to risk losing my monthly SSD checks. Any info on this would be greatlt appreciated.

    • me says:

      im in the same boat i spent all my money i had to or id be homeless. i still go to doctor and still medicare pays for it ther are millons of us.the money is yours to wish as you want and nobody can do a thing about it. just play stupid no one even medicare understands what there doing anyway

  3. Wayne says:

    Please help me !I am so worried.. My wife was just admitted for emergency surgery. Her kidneys are failing and she does NOT have health insurance until Jan 1st. What am I going to do.

    • me says:

      hospitals cant turn your wife away you just have to keep taking her to emergency room until they do something about it and get sick of you then through the bils away no one has ever been sued for hospital bills its illegal the worse thing is it will hurt your credit. who cares. my credit is negative 500 and credit card offers flood my mailbox

  4. Christine says:

    Terrible advice for anyone who may need their Medicare Coverage in the future for the treatment related to their work comp or personal injury claim. Medicare won’t provide coverage for those until you prove that you properly spent your MSA funds….very risky if you ask me.

  5. Barbara says:

    I have a question what if my money was put into a company that pays for my medical needs up to a certain dollar amount yearly and when those funds are exhausted medicare covers the rest. I get a yearly amount for the rest of my life and if I live longer then the attorneys predicted they will have to continue that amount for the rest of my days. My problem is I need money now for so many things even doctors. Even though I have this money I still have to pay medical expense I can’t afford, as well as I have borrowed so much money from family just to live. I would like to get this money out and use it as I need it and make a different arrangement with medicare. I 49yrs old they expect me to live until approx. 84 – I get a little over 7 thousand for medical a year this helps but not enough. Because of the injuries I substain I have additional problems related to the original ones and they won’t cover those. How do I get my money in my name???????

  6. tootie says:

    how can you make them give your money to you now so you can use it befor you die? when its your money not theres? i need my money now i told my lawyer not to put it in a medical set aside fund?

  7. Ellen says:

    My attorney arranged for me to personally administer the Medicare required MSA funds for future medical care. I have a seperate account that accrues interest and if and when I pay for medical care related to the injury I would then write a check from this account to the provider. My question is this; since the settlement was many years ago and I have never required medical treatment for the injury, how long does Medicare require these funds to remain in this account? If after a period of time and no medical care was necessary, does Medicare release the funds to the recipient?

  8. phyllis says:

    would love to hear this answer…I am just getting an $ for MSA and I sure could use some hearing aids and glasses !!!

  9. Kelly says:

    I have a msa since I got that started with the economy has made me go back to work pain or not part of my settlement was a medical set asside account. My medicare has been cancelled so the money sits there and pays the company that holds it. Can I end this account and get the money out of it instead of feeding the company 500 dollars a year to hold it

  10. sharon says:

    I have the same problem i had money set aside for me but spent all of it on everyday living what will happen to me

  11. sharon says:

    can someone help me on this please i am very scared

    • Anne says:

      Your MSA, per your agreement, is only for Medicare covered expenses. If you spent it all, when you become Medicare eligible and get any treatment related to the diagnosis covered by your accident, Medicare will deny those bills and you will be responsible to pay them. You have to evaluate how bad the situation is depending on your age and the likelihood you will need future treatment for that injury. If possible, you should try to put the money back – maybe by setting aside a certain amount each month. You may also want to consult your attorney.

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  13. Frank says:

    I have an MSA. Im also a veteran and have veteran medical coverage. can i not just get medical treatment from veterans. and dont have to worry about spending my MSA?

  14. kay says:

    I am yet waiting for ANY type of settlement…. Come this Nov. it will be 8 YEARS since I hired my attorney. I receive SSD and all I hear from my attorney is about the Medical sey aside. Im not having anything done to repair my body (all has been done already ) and Im sick of doctors, meds and outside people , ie. ATTORNEY. When I receive my money I want to know if I can prearrange for my attorney to have myself responsible for handling of my MSA $$ ??? And what can I spend that $ on ? I have insurance thru my husbands employer and I will pay for my own meds If I choose to continue to take them. PLEASE GIVE ADVICE ANY INFO WILL BE GREATLY APPRECIATED :-)

  15. Kay says:

    I was told by my attorney I can only use the $ from my Medicare Set Aside for approved medical things….. However, I could do what I wanted after everything is settled . BUT i need to know. I will sign legal documents stating I understand & agree to the terms. Thus there could be penalties (monitary) 3x’s the amount !!! Is this just a threat and has ANYONE ever been penalized ? Besides Medicare not paying your bills. I have lost nearly everything and I need a home to call my own. This is what I would like to use my MSA for. I have personal insurance so no worries there. Please help …. I have waited so long just want to be aware of my own rights and my OWN $$$ !! Thank you

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  20. Pam says:

    I have a Medicare Setaside fun in my bank it is self administered by me. It is suppose to cover future knee replacement. I lot 45 pounds and have kept it off for a year my knees no longer hurt. Can I spend some of my fund and just pay it back? I also have to send in a yearly paper on my expenses if any? I am also not allowed to touch the interest. What if I never need knee surgery? But then what if I do? I just have some expenses I could really use this money for but cannot pay it all back within a year, can I get finded if they find out, or what could happen to me besides medicare denying the amount in my fund, please answer, thanks Pam

  21. Pam says:

    Does someone answer these questions by email, or how do I find out the answer? I would also like to know if I can be penalized, jail or pay back more then I borrowed from my MSA? Please answer these questions, thanks. How fair is it to me if I have to leave it to my estate if I do not have the surgery, it’s my settlement, I don’t understand please advise, thanks Pam

  22. isidrocarmonagarcia says:

    i need help to get my money from medicare, it seems to me like they have stole from me , because they said that I have to be in the usa to claim it , to me this is stealing it, I am suffering from a 1998 knee injury I had my settlement and they said that they will put a account aside for me , but to me is stealing my money, and not only my money but the money of everybody else, what ashamed of country stealing the money from people that has suffered like me , I have this injury almost 15 years ago and it seems like is the first day of pain , where is my money I want to know I have the right to know about my 160,000 thousand, that medicare put in a account aside for me, I want an answer, please if the government see this message, I need help. where is every bodies money

  23. Pam says:

    I have been waiting for an answer. I have a medicare set aside fund I set up in my bank tht I have total control over. I have to send in a paper each year to say how much is in there I have not spent any. I lost 40 pounds and even though my kness are bone on bone they don’t hurt anymore, they wanted me to get knee cap replacement that wss what the money is for. If I were to spend any can I be chared for fraud since I signed papers saying I would put it in a fund and only use it for my knees? Can I get in trouble or is it just that medicare won’t cover those expenses. I don’t believe this would have anything to do with my social security checks, please advise, I am just thinking of the future if I were to have an emergency, I left a message months ago that no one responded too. My lawyer just keeps telling me not to spend it but won’t answer the legality of it all. Please advise, thankyou so much Pam

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  25. I am a veteran 100 per cent disabled. Medical set aside took over 20 thousand as a medical set aside. I have ALL my medical needs taken care of by the veterans administration. I will never need to use the set aside, why can’t I have it?

  26. 1 daddy says:

    you can spend it anyway you like its yours I have for years no one checks it they put it into a separate account a few bucks a year do as you want with it its there for you to spend just like a savings are a checking account as long as you can pay your med bills each year

  27. vickey Weiss says:

    I received a large work comp settlement. Almost (two million dollars) Part of that settlement is the med-care set aside account, almost $900. thousand dollars is being held by the insurance company. and they seeded the account with 100.thousand. I am guaranteed 3500. a month income for life. I do and never have received sdi, ssi, or any kind of medi-care, in fact medi-care has denied me medi-care twice and put me on a waiting list of two years before I can apply again. In the mean time ITT Hartford is holding almost a million dollars of my money that I donot even recieive interest on (they get it, all I will ever have access to is the principle. I can self insure that covers pre-existing condition and I could invest that money on my own and with low risk investments that money could really grow. I am ready to give up my US citizenship if it means that the company that F-d me over for 16 years prior to settling and almost killing me 4 times by their denial of treatment. I hate ITT Hartford and the thought that they are getting interest on what is technically my money is making me physically ill. How do I make them free that money up. I don’t want medi-care I am sick of being a work comp prisoner and I want control of my life back… ALL OF IT. They have a million dollars of my money, they turfed my credit paying my medical bills so late, and I live in a rented apartment. I am only 55 years old, I still have time to do something with my life. IF ANYONE KNOW HOW I CAN ACCESS MY MONEY..PLEASE HELP ME!!!

  28. steve powers says:

    Same question as all the others. Can I spend the msa, and if I do what are the consequences?

  29. My sugeries were to keep me gainfully employed, I’m retired, I have no need for sugrury, pills, shots or any medical needs By retiring heped me to heal, by not working is a Blessing no need for Medicare set aside