Flex Card for Seniors on Medicare: What You Need to Know

Katie Wilkinson
Reviewed by
Max Mayblum
,
Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Discover how prepaid debit cards offered by private Medicare Plans can help seniors manage healthcare costs, what they cover, how to apply, and more.
Published
March 29, 2023
Last updated
5
min read
Health

Flex Card for Seniors on Medicare: What You Need to Know

Katie Wilkinson
Reviewed by
Max Mayblum
,
Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Discover how prepaid debit cards offered by private Medicare Plans can help seniors manage healthcare costs, what they cover, how to apply, and more.
Published
March 29, 2023
Last updated
5
min read
Health
Flex Card for Seniors on Medicare: What You Need to Know
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With the price of everything from eggs to gasoline skyrocketing, how can seniors keep up with high costs and inflation? A Medicare flex card is a prepaid debit card offered by private Medicare Plans designed to help seniors cover out-of-pocket expenses. These cards can provide a convenient way to pay for eligible expenses related to your health and well-being, such as copays, deductibles, and OTC medications.

Ahead, we explore the details of prepaid debit cards offered by private Medicare Plans, including what they cover, how to apply, and some critical considerations, including how to avoid scams. Whether you're already enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan or just starting to explore your options, this article will help you make informed decisions about your healthcare coverage.

What is the Medicare flex card for seniors?

A flex card is a prepaid benefits card designed to help seniors pay for home care services such as in-home nursing, therapy, and personal care. The flex card allows seniors and their caregivers to pay for services without relying on third-party payment systems. Seniors can pay for medications, insurance copays, and dentures with a simple swipe. 

Medicare Flex cards provide access to funds to help cover a family caregiver's costs. The exact amount depends on the individual's Medicare plan and other factors, such as income and level of care needed by the recipient. Caregivers find these cards a convenient way to provide care for their loved ones. 

What a Medicare flex card covers

First, know that Original Medicare does not offer a flex card for seniors. Flex cards are only available through private insurance, like qualified Medicare Advantage Programs, and the program differs from state to state. Because of this, each flex card offers different benefits.

Seniors can use these prepaid debit cards for eligible expenses related to their health and well-being. Here are some examples of what seniors may be able to use their prepaid debit card for:

  1. Prescription drug copayments or coinsurance
  2. Over-the-counter (OTC) medications and health supplies, such as bandages and vitamins, with a doctor's prescription
  3. Medical equipment
  4. Transportation to and from medical appointments
  5. Fitness classes or gym memberships
  6. Health and wellness products or services, such as acupuncture or chiropractic care

The amount on a prepaid debit card offered by a private Medicare Plan may vary depending on the plan and the specific benefits package. Some programs may provide a set amount of money each month, while others may offer a lump sum for the year that can be used as needed.

It's also important to note that the funds on the prepaid debit card may be subject to certain restrictions, such as expiration dates or limitations on what types of medical expenses can be covered. Seniors should carefully review the terms and conditions of their specific plan and the prepaid debit card to understand how much money is available and how it can be used.

It's important to note that the specific benefits and eligible expenses may vary depending on the plan and the card issuer. Seniors should check with their plan administrator or the card issuer for more information on what expenses are covered by their specific prepaid debit card.

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Who qualifies for the flex card on Medicare? 

The Medicare flex card allows family members or other caregivers to pay for medical services, such as copayments, coinsurance, and lab tests, on behalf of the patient. Family members and other caregivers can use pre-loaded debit cards to make these payments, simplifying the process and saving time and money.

To qualify, the senior should participate in a Medicare Advantage plan. They need to live in the state service area which provides these cards. Apply for the card during the Initial Enrollment Period or Medicare's annual enrollment. No government insurance program offers flex cards. Seniors can only apply through a qualifying private insurer that provides the benefits. 

How do I get a flex card? 

To apply for a prepaid debit card offered by a Medicare Advantage plan, you must first enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan that offers this benefit. Here are the general steps you can take to apply for a prepaid debit card:

  1. Research Medicare Advantage plans in your area: Start by researching the Medicare Advantage plans available in your area to see which plans offer a prepaid debit card benefit. You can use the Medicare Plan Finder tool on the Medicare website or work with a licensed insurance agent to compare plans.
  2. Enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan: Once you have selected a plan that offers a flex card benefit, you can enroll during the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), which runs from October 15 to December 7 each year. You can also enroll during a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) if you have a qualifying life event, such as moving to a new area or losing your current coverage.
  3. Receive your prepaid debit card: Once enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan offering a prepaid debit card, you will receive your card in the mail. The card may come pre-loaded with a set amount of money, or you may need to activate it before using it.
  4. Use the prepaid debit card for eligible expenses: You can use the prepaid debit card to pay for qualified expenses related to your health and well-being, such as copays, deductibles, and OTC medications. Be sure to check with your plan administrator or the card issuer to understand what expenses are covered and any restrictions or spending limits that apply.

If you have any questions about how to apply for a Medicare Advantage plan or the prepaid debit card benefit, it's best to contact the plan administrator or the card issuer for assistance.

Feel confident that you have the money for today. And tomorrow.

Set up spending and savings budgets to stop guessing how you are going to make it all work.
DOWNLOAD APP

Track your care spending and savings. Without spreadsheets.

Know exactly how you're spending on your loved one. Full transparency for you, and your family.
DOWNLOAD APP

All of the savings you deserve. None of the time researching.

Browse government programs, exclusive discounts, and more. Get expert tips on different ways to save.
DOWNLOAD APP
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Scams and the Medicare flex card

Medicare flex cards offered by well-known Medicare Advantage plans are legitimate, but unfortunately, older adults are targeted by scammers. Misleading commercials may direct someone to call a phone number or visit a website, resulting in scammers obtaining personal information and committing fraudulent activities. It is important to be cautious and verify the legitimacy of any offers or communications related to Medicare flex cards.

To protect your loved one, research any unfamiliar companies that contact you, refuse unsolicited calls and offers, and watch out for deceptive mailings. Look out for claims that flex cards are a government-run program or are "free money." While these cards offer supplemental benefits, your insurance premiums will likely be higher; it is not simply free money.

If you think you have been the victim of a Medicare flex card scam, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to report it to the government.

A note from Givers

While the flex card can help cover certain expenses, enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan that best meets your healthcare coverage needs is essential. We recommend speaking with a trusted advisor or licensed insurance agent who can help you navigate your options and make an informed decision. 

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Katie Wilkinson

Katie Wilkinson

Katie Wilkinson is the Head of Marketing at Givers. Watching her dad take care of her mom when she was sick gave her a front-row seat to witness the weight of being an unpaid caregiver. Katie is passionate about the intersection of healthcare and technology, and making sure that unpaid family caregivers get the care and support they deserve.

Givers helps people caring for loved ones plan, track, and save on care.