Medicare Flex Cards are a new benefit offered by some Medicare plans in some areas. Learn more about how this benefit works and how to find out if you can get a flex card.
What is a Medicare Flex Card?
A flex card is a prepaid credit or debit card provided by an insurance plan for use on certain health-related costs. This is a relatively new benefit to be offered and it is only available in a limited number of Medicare Advantage plans from some private carriers.
Flex cards are not available through Original Medicare.
Flex Cards vs. OTC Cards
While flex cards are a new and relatively limited benefit, over-the-counter (OTC) benefits and cards are more prevalent. OTC benefits, also available through Medicare Advantage plans, provide a certain amount of money to spend on products at your local drugstore or to buy those same products at your local grocery store. Note: OTC cards typically do not pay for groceries or food.
Common items covered by OTC cards include:
- Band-aids and bandages
- First aid items
- Cough medicine
- Pain relievers and fever reducers
- Orthopedic support
- Eye drops
- And more!
Any cards you may see advertised as covering groceries, home internet, or other unique benefits are likely to be available only through a select few Medicare plans and in limited areas. These are different than OTC benefits and they are not available through Original Medicare.
What does a Flex Card Cover?
The approved uses of a flex card depend on the terms of your exact Medicare Advantage plan, but in many cases they are designed to cover out-of-pocket costs related to vision, dental, or hearing care.
How do I get a Flex Card?
You can only receive a flex card if you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan that offers this specific benefit. You can research online to find those plans or speak with a licensed insurance agent who can check for flex card benefits available in your area.
Keep in mind that flex cards are only available in a small number of Medicare Advantage plans and enrollment in MA plans is limited to certain times of the year or special circumstances.
Are Flex Cards a Scam?
Flex cards are a real benefit offered in Medicare Advantage plans by real insurance companies. However, many advertisements about flex cards contain misleading information. Flex cards are a new and very limited benefit, so most Medicare beneficiaries will not be able to get them.
This benefit should be one small piece of your approach to healthcare – the premiums and overall benefits of a plan may matter more to you than a few hundred dollars that may be available through a flex card.
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Last Updated: November 1, 2022 MULTIPLAN_ETQEZMwebsite_0722_M