Flex Card  

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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.

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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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Enrollment Eligibility

Annual Enrollment Period (AEP)

Medicare Annual Enrollment Period runs each year from October 15 to December 7. What is the Annual Enrollment Period vs. Open Enrollment Period?

Initial Enrollment Period (IEP)

Your Initial Enrollment Period generally surrounds your 65th birthday but may occur if you otherwise become eligible for Medicare for the first time.

Special Enrollment Period (SEP)

You may be eligible if you experience a qualifying life event such as moving to a new zip code, losing employer coverage, or change in Medicaid status.

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