A new benefit getting a lot of attention is Medicare Flex Cards. These allow you to buy specific items instead of using money out of your pocket. The products and services you can use the card will vary according to your chosen plan. These cards are debit cards typically linked to a flexible spending account.
What is a Medicare flex card?
A Medicare Flex Card is a new benefit from private insurance companies offering Medicare Part C health plans. The benefits are for items approved by your health insurance plan. Even though we are seeing more private Medicare Advantage plans provide this benefit, they aren’t common. They are only available as an additional benefit in specific plans nationwide.
These cards are usually linked to a debit or credit card, work like an FSA, and can be a valuable plan to offset the costs of specific Medicare benefits. The cards pay for several out-of-pocket costs associated with your plan.
Medicare flex card benefits
The benefits of your Flex Card will vary depending on the Medicare Advantage plan and carrier you choose and your area. These cards pay copays for certain services, buy over-the-counter products and supplies, and even healthy food.
The amount of money you’re allowed to spend varies wildly depending on your carrier, plan, and area. The average benefit is about $500 per year, and in the current advertisement, everyone asks about a $2,880 Medicare Flex Card. While there may be one plan with this benefit, it’s unavailable in all areas or for all beneficiaries.
Insurance companies that offer Medicare Advantage plans will advertise benefits to entice beneficiaries to call in or fill out a contact form. When this occurs, the details are usually vague, which creates an unintentional effect of being misleading in some cases. They will use terms such as free money with your Medicare coverage.
There are so many variations on the benefits offered. The advertisements are not specific to your area or plan. Your amount or availability could differ from that shown in the ad.
How are flex card benefits used?
These cards are for qualified medical expenses like medical equipment, copays or coinsurance, Dental, vision, or hearing care, prescriptions, over-the-counter items, diagnostic devices, healthy food, and more.
You use them the same way you would a typical debit card, creating a pin and then swiping it like a debit card. You can’t use these cards at any store like you do your bank debit card. Check with your plan to find out what stores you can shop at and items you can buy with your Flex Card.
To be eligible, you must enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan that offers the card benefit. Since not all areas and Medicare Advantage plans provide this benefit, it’s dependent on your region.
Suppose you live in a place where the card benefit is available. You must have Medicare Part A and Part B and enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan that provides this benefit.
Is it true Medicare provides a $2,880 flex card?
Not exactly. Medicare itself doesn’t offer this benefit. In certain areas, Medicare Advantage plans are offering these cards. Of course, the amount varies depending on your chosen insurance company, plan, and location.
Does Original Medicare offer flex cards?
No, Original Medicare does not give you this benefit. That’s because this card is exclusive to Medicare Advantage plans.
Is there a flex card benefit for beneficiaries?
Yes, they’re available through Medicare Advantage plans.
Can I get a flex card with my Medigap plan?
No. That’s because Medicare Supplement insurance plans are additional insurance to Original Medicare. If Original Medicare doesn’t offer it, neither will your Medigap plan.
Can you use your Medicare flex card for food?
Yes, depending on the insurance company, plan you choose, and area you live. Some Medicare Advantage plans allow you to use your flex benefits card for certain healthy food items.
Can I buy over-the-counter items from the store using my flex card benefit?
Yes! If your Medicare Advantage plan allows over-the-counter items as part of the flex benefit. Not all cards have the same benefits. Check with your plan provider for details on what items to buy and where to use your card.
Can I use my flex card for copays?
Yes! Depending on the plan you choose. Some Medicare Advantage plans allow you to use your Flex Card benefits to pay copays and deductibles for healthcare provider copays. On the other hand, other plans may limit it to dental, vision, or hearing costs or OTC items.
How do I know if my Medicare Advantage plan offers a flex card?
Suppose you enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan. In that case, you can call the customer service number on the back of your medical card to receive assistance.
Does Medicare have a flex card for seniors?
Yes! These are additional benefits in some Medicare Advantage plans. Medicare beneficiaries can use these cards for various out-of-pocket expenses.
Do Medicare Supplement plans offer a Medicare flex card?
No! Medicare Flex Cards aren’t available as a Medigap plan benefit. Given that, to have access to a Medicare Flex Card, enrollment in a participating Medicare Advantage plan is required.
Find a Medicare Advantage plan in my area that includes a Medicare flex card
Flex Card benefits are only available in certain zipcodes. You can visit Medicare.gov to see what plans are available in your area.