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Benefits Breakdown: What is the Medicare Flex Card Over-the-Counter Benefit?

Posted on June 17, 2022 by Larry Johnson

The Medicare flex card can help you pay for crucial supplies that Original Medicare cannot. Call our experienced, licensed agents today at (800) 950-0608 to see if this benefit is available through qualified Medicare plans in your area.

Qualified Medicare Plans Offer Assistance With Purchasing Needed Supplies

Did you know about all of the benefits available to you through certain Medicare plans? As a current or future Medicare beneficiary, it’s important to know all of the ways that Medicare Advantage plans can help you save money on healthcare costs. For instance, qualifying Medicare Advantage plans may offer:

Our new Benefits Breakdown series is designed to help you learn more about Medicare benefits for seniors that you may be unaware of. One such benefit is the Medicare flex card. Today, we’re going to talk about the Medicare flex card, and how it’s one of the best Medicare benefits for seniors offered through qualifying Medicare plans.

What is a Flex Card?

The Medicare flex card is a benefit that’s talked about in plenty of Medicare Advantage advertisements, but it’s not always explained in the best way. This leaves many of you questioning a few things:

  • “What is a flex card?”
  • “How does a flex card work?”
  • “Does it actually help me save money?”
  • “Are flex cards actually available in my area?”

First, we’ll answer your question about what a flex card is.

A flex card, also advertised as a flex card for seniors, is a type of debit card that you can use to purchase medical equipment and qualifying medical items. The flex card for seniors is pre-loaded with around $500, taken from a flexible spending account, to help you pay for qualifying expenses.

How Does This Senior Flex Card Work?

The Medicare flex card helps you cover certain expenses that Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage plans alone may not cover. All cards are loaded with a fixed amount that’s meant to last for a quarter or for a full year. Each senior flex card provides varying coverage for certain benefits, but they all usually cover:

  • Medical equipment purchases
  • Copays and deductibles
  • Dental, vision, and hearing care 
  • Diagnostic devices
  • Other medical expenses*

One question that comes up often regarding these cards is, “Can I use a Medicare flex card to purchase over-the-counter medicine?” The answer is yes. A flex card for seniors can be used to purchase prescription and over-the-counter medications.

Many wonder how you can get a flex card for seniors in the first place. Some ads out there may lead you to think that the Medicare flex card is distributed by the Federal government, which means that it’s available through both Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans. This is not the case.

The Federal government does not distribute the Medicare flex card. You can only get this benefit through a qualifying Medicare Advantage plan, and they’re available only through a limited number of plans. You also have to live in an area that offers the Medicare flex card as a Part C benefit, and you may have to meet certain criteria, such as having a chronic illness and requiring high-risk care management, to qualify for it.

*If you have the Medicare flex card, be sure to check your plan details for a complete list of medical expenses covered.

Does the Flex Card for Seniors Actually Help Me Save Money?

If you’re eligible for the flex card, it can help you save a great deal on the cost of certain medical expenses. Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage both cover a fair amount of medical services, but there are things that both plans will not pay for. If you find a Medicare Advantage plan with a senior flex card, the money made available to you through this benefit can equal big savings on what the Advantage plan itself does not cover.

There are some advertisers who claim that the Medicare flex card can help you pay for other expenses. This again becomes a point of anger and confusion for seniors who try to pay for gas or groceries with their flex card, only to discover that they cannot. The truth is that flex cards rarely offer this type of flexibility, and even if they do, these expenses must be deemed to be medically necessary.

Is the Flex Card Available in My Area?

Another common misconception that you’ll come across in ads that discuss the flex card for seniors benefit is that it’s one of many Medicare benefits for seniors available in all areas. They are also sometimes advertised as being available with all Medicare Advantage plans. This often leads to confusion and anger in seniors who sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan because they want to get the senior flex card benefit.

flex cards are only available in certain areas. Even in those areas, there are only a few Medicare Advantage plans that actually offer the benefit. Not every insurance company offers participating policies, so it’s important to search and compare to make sure that the Medicare flex card is available through qualifying Medicare Advantage policies in your area.

How Do I Find a Plan in My Area That Offers a Flex Card for Seniors?

The only way to find out whether or not plans in your area offer the Medicare flex card is to search for and compare available Medicare Advantage plans. 

At MedicareInsurance.com, our experienced, licensed agents are happy to help you find a Medicare plan that meets your needs and budget. This includes helping you find any available plans in your area that offer the Medicare flex card.

About the Author

Larry Johnson

Larry is a content writer with several years of experience in creating informative content for a variety of industries on topics that matter. He is a 2009 graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

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