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Does Medicare Have a Flex Card for Seniors


Medicare advertisements are constantly flooding our screens. However, many of these ads can be confusing or misleading. So, we are here to clear the air about one product – the flex card for seniors on Medicare.

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What is a Medicare Flex Card?

Flex cards are debit cards beneficiaries can use to purchase medical equipment and items. Typically linked to a flexible spending account, these cards are a benefit linked to qualifying health plans throughout the nation.

These cards, issued by private insurance companies, are only available on specific plans. Also, the cards have spending limits that vary by plan and carrier. The flex card benefit is not a common feature of Medicare Advantage plans, but you can find it in a handful of plans nationwide.

How to Use a Flex Card

Flex Cards are for use to cover qualifying medical expenses only. 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?

Currently in circulation are advertisements for Medicare-supplied flex cards from various carriers. These ads usually include a multitude of misleading or false claims.

Truthfully, Medicare is not distributing flex cards for seniors. Thus, these cards are not part of the government-run program.

Private Medicare Advantage plans distribute the cards in these ads – not Original Medicare. So, many legitimate insurance companies offer this benefit. However, they all require beneficiaries to pick up their Medicare Advantage plans.

Again, Medicare Advantage plans do not typically include the flex card benefit. Although some major carriers offer plans with flex cards, they are not part of most available plans.

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Flex Card for Seniors Advertisement Claims

The advertisements include claims that lead beneficiaries to believe they can receive a flex card with up to $2,880 from Medicare to spend as they choose. However, this is entirely not true.

While some carriers offer a flex card benefit, it is rare to receive such a large amount. The average flex card in 2022 is pre-loaded with $500.

Further, the ads tend to be unclear about which items are eligible for purchase with flex cards. According to one commercial, you can use the card for gas, groceries, new clothing, and shoes. While this could be true under rare circumstances, a licensed physician must deem these items medically necessary.

Medicare Flex Card Eligibility

Flex cards are an additional benefit to Medicare Advantage plans. So, to qualify, you must have a participating policy.
Not all Medicare Advantage plans participate in this program. In reality, a very small percentage of plans available nationwide offer this benefit. So, you must live in an area where at least one of these plans is available and sign up during a qualifying Medicare enrollment period.

Fortunately, Medicare Advantage plans do not require beneficiaries to answer underwriting health questions to enroll, so you will not face denial due to a pre-existing condition. However, to participate in a Medicare Advantage plan, you must be willing to abide by strict networks and higher out-of-pocket costs. So you will need to make sure your new plan’s network covers your physicians.

Flex cards are not available in every state or with every carrier. It is best to contact your insurer directly to inquire if your plan offers this benefit. You can also review your plan’s benefits on Medicare.gov.

Are Flex Cards Available with Medicare Supplement Plans?

Medicare Supplement plans do not include flex card benefits. Medigap plans are a direct extension of Original Medicare, available through private insurance companies. Medicare Supplement plans help beneficiaries reduce out-of-pocket spending by covering the holes in Original Medicare.

Flex cards are not a necessary benefit of a Medicare Supplement plan because Medigap beneficiaries typically save on out-of-pocket costs compared to Medicare Advantage plans.

Often, Medicare Advantage plans have high maximum out-of-pocket costs. Companies offer additional benefits to make the policies more attractive to consumers by balancing these high costs. On the other hand, Medicare Supplement plans allow beneficiaries to save money while receiving the benefits they need to reduce Original Medicare costs.

Flex cards are only available with Medicare Advantage plans. So, below we compare the costs for the same medical bill through a Medicare Supplement Plan G and a typical Medicare Advantage HMO plan. Even with the flex card benefit, the Medicare Advantage HMO plan still produces higher out-of-pocket costs than the Medicare Supplement Plan G.

Medicare Supplement Plan G vs. Medicare Advantage HMO

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How to Save Money With Medicare

Spending more than necessary for healthcare is frustrating. Beneficiaries often save more money in total health spending with a Medicare Supplement plan than with a Medicare Advantage plan. Additionally, they find cost-saving benefits such as a flex card never truly live up to their promises.

Medicare Supplement plans make healthcare affordable and easy for all enrollees. If you are looking to reduce your healthcare spending, enrolling in a Medicare Supplement plan could be a step in the right direction. Our agents are ready to help you review your options and find the most cost-effective plan for your needs.

Contact us at the number above or complete our online rate form to see affordable plans in your area today!

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Jagger Esch

Jagger Esch is the Medicare expert for MedicareFAQ and the founder, president, and CEO of Elite Insurance Partners and MedicareFAQ.com. Since the inception of his first company in 2012, he has been dedicated to helping those eligible for Medicare by providing them with resources to educate themselves on all their Medicare options. He is featured in many publications as well as writes regularly for other expert columns regarding Medicare.

42 thoughts on “Does Medicare Have a Flex Card for Seniors

  1. I am so glad for the information. It helped me a lot to understand what the Flex card is about. Thank you

      1. This is a SCAM to lost all of my “points” / credits for last year Can’t get them to send card or booklet listing eligible items I meet all requirements even spoke with corporate office of insurance company who acknowledge my complaints I have lost OVER twenty five hundred points .. 1 point for 1 dollar 25 hundred dollars the insurance stopped paying my qualifying medical bills SCAM it is United Health Care this should be awarded to a reputable insurance company not UHC reps are one page ahead of you in the book not knowledgeable

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