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What Is a Flex Spending Card Offered by Some Medicare Advantage Plans, and How Can I Use the Card to Pay for My Utilities and Health Services?

Seen the commercial on TV?

There are so many commercials on TV talking about Medicare Advantage plans, and you can almost see these commercials on some of the major NYC local channels. As some retirees who have a Medicare Advantage plan are familiar with OTC benefits which some of these Medicare plans offer, not everyone is familiar with Flex Spending Card benefits and how that particular benefit can be utilized. To further illustrate, a Flex Card is a debit card which is pre-loaded with a certain amount of money based on the benefit amount offered by the insurance company, for eligible Medicare beneficiaries. On average, Flex Cards in 2022 are pre-loaded with $500.

Flex Cards can be used to pay for medical expenses and certain utilities

The spending limits on the Flex Card and what you can use the Flex Card on varies depending on every plan; the limitations are specified by the insurance carrier, and each plan illustrates the codes that can be billed.

Medical expense examples for vision and Dental:

For example, hypothetically speaking, Company X offers 1000 dollars Flex Card. You have an appointment with the dentist and the dental under your Medicare Advantage or PPO plan does not cover a particular dental procedure, part of the amount on the card can be to pay for dental services, and the procedures that can be paid for are specified in the Flex Card benefits under that particular carrier.

Another example would be if you go to a vision provider, and hypothetically speaking let’s say Company Y covers up to 200 dollars per year for lenses, frames or contacts. Let’s say your glasses cost over 300 dollars, which is over the 200-dollar limit. If the insurance company offers a Flex Card, part of the amount (or the difference) can be applied to pay for the cost of glasses if insurance permits that difference amount on the Flex Card. They do have a limit depending on the benefits specified in the plan, and they usually come with a yearly dollar limit.

Using Flex Card for Utility Expenses:

Each insurance company specifies if the amount offered on Flex Card can be applied towards utilities, and the types of utilities which are covered. If your Medicare Advantage or PPO plan permits using the Flex Card for utilities, they would specify the limits and the types of utilities that can be covered, which typically comes in codes that can be billed. Also, something worth noting is that you may have to qualifying for a plan approved chronic condition before being able to use your Flex Card to pay utilities.

Some utilities which may be covered include, but not limited to include:

  • Phone or telecommunication
  • Television or cable
  • Water utilities
  • Electric
  • Gas

Other Qualifying medical expenses which can apply for Flex Cards include:

  • Prescription and Over the Counter Medications
  • Medical equipment
  • Hearing care
  • Diagnostic devices, and assistive devices
  • Copayments and deductibles
  • List of service animal supplies
  • Delivered Groceries
  • Other medically necessary expenses, please check with your insurance carrier for plan details and a complete list.

In summary, Flex Cards offered by Medicare Advantage plans drastically make a difference for many seniors, retirees, and individuals with disabilities. Flex Cards offer a variety of benefits that help make a greater difference in our community. We hope you enjoyed this read!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is intended for informational purposes only and in no way intends to provide medical advice. For more information, please contact your healthcare provider or licensed health broker or agent.

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