It is the time of year when Medicare advertisements are flooding your screens. However, many of these ads can be confusing or misleading. Now, we will clear the air about one – the flex card for seniors on Medicare.
What is a Medicare Flex Card?
Flex cards are debit cards used to purchase medical equipment and items. Typically linked to a flexible spending account, these cards are a benefit qualifying health plans include throughout the nation.
These cards, issued by private insurance companies, are only available on specific plans. Also, the cards have a spending limit that differs by plan and carrier.
How to Use a Flex Card
Flex Cards are for qualifying medical expenses. These include:
- Medical equipment
- Copayments and deductibles
- Prescription and OTC Medications
- Dental, vision, and hearing care
- Diagnostic devices
- Other medically necessary expenses – check your plan details for a complete list
How Do Seniors Get a Flex Card?
Private Medicare Advantage plans distribute the cards the ads refer to, not Original Medicare. So, many legitimate insurance companies do offer this benefit. However, they all require beneficiaries to pick up their Medicare Advantage plans.
Medicare Flex Card Advertisement Claims
The advertisements include claims that lead beneficiaries to believe such things as up to $2,880 from Medicare would be uploaded to a flex card. However, this is entirely not true. While carriers are offering this benefit, it is rare to receive this large amount. The average Flex Card in 2022 is pre-loaded with $500.
Further, the ads aren’t very clear about which items are eligible for purchase with Medicare flex cards. According to one commercial, you can use the card for groceries, new clothing, and shoes. While this could be true under some circumstances, these items must be deemed medically necessary by a licensed physician.
Medicare Flex Card Eligibility
Flex cards are an additional benefit to Medicare Advantage Plans. So, to qualify, you must have a participating plan.
Not all Advantage plans are participating in this program. So, you must live in an area where these plans are available and enroll during a qualifying enrollment period.
Fortunately, Medicare Advantage plans do not require beneficiaries to answer underwriting health questions to enroll. However, you must give up Original Medicare to participate in an Advantage plan, so you’ll need to make sure your new plan’s network covers your physicians.
Does My Advantage Plan Offer This Benefit?
Flex Cards are not available in every state and are not available with every carrier. To know if your plan offers this benefit, it is best to contact your insurer directly. You can also review your plan’s benefits on Medicare.gov.
How to Protect Yourself Against Misleading Information
It is essential to speak with a licensed insurance agent to ensure you are up-to-date on the most recent Medicare information. If you have questions about benefits or want to know more about a particular plan, call the number listed above to speak with a licensed agent today.
You can also fill out our online rate comparison form to receive accurate rates and information about all plans available to you.