Medicare Advantage Flex Card for Seniors
Some Medicare Advantage plans offer flex cards to help pay for health care costs and services for seniors. Depending on your plan provider, the preloaded amount and the spending rules can vary. Learn how Medicare Advantage Flex Cards work, which programs are legitimate and how to avoid online scams.
- Written by Lindsey Crossmier
Lindsey Crossmier is an accomplished writer with experience working for The Florida Review and Bookstar PR. As a financial writer, she covers Medicare, life insurance and dental insurance topics for RetireGuide. Research-based data drives her work.Read More
- Edited ByLamia Chowdhury
Lamia Chowdhury is a financial content editor for RetireGuide and has over three years of marketing experience in the finance industry. She has written copy for both digital and print pieces ranging from blogs, radio scripts and search ads to billboards, brochures, mailers and more.Read More
- Published: September 13, 2022
- Updated: April 27, 2023
- 11 min read time
- This page features 6 Cited Research Articles
- Edited By
- Medicare Advantage Flex Cards are prepaid debit cards a plan issues to beneficiaries with a pre-loaded amount that can be spent on specific health care costs.
- Rules for using a card and the amount on the card vary from plan to plan.
- The cards are only available from certain Medicare Advantage plans and in certain states.
- Medicare Advantage Flex Cards are not available with any other Medicare product — including Original Medicare, Medigap or Medicare Part D prescription drug plans.
What Is a Medicare Advantage Flex Card?
A Medicare Advantage Flex Card is a prepaid debit card you can use to pay for specific health care costs. The amount that comes preloaded on the card — and the services and items you are allowed to spend it on — is determined by your Medicare Advantage provider.
It’s important to note that Medicare Advantage Flex Cards are not affiliated with the government, and these types of payment cards are not an option if you have Original Medicare.
Many people mistakenly assume that Medicare Advantage Flex Cards are like a Flexible Spending Account (FSA). Some competitors confuse the two and spread misinformation about flex cards. Understanding how a Medicare Advantage Flex Card works can help you decide if it’s a viable option for you to help cover your health care expenses.
How Do Medicare Advantage Flex Cards Work?
If you have a Medicare Advantage plan that offers a Medicare Advantage Flex Card, you’ll likely get the card in the mail along with your plan information and important documents. You’ll use your Medicare Advantage Flex Card just like a debit card. Some cards come preloaded with a certain amount, while others may be linked to a spending account that can be reloaded.
Each Medicare Advantage provider has different spending rules and funding amounts for their flex cards. Generally, you can expect to start out with several hundred dollars preloaded onto the card, and you can only spend those dollars on health care services.
|Medicare Advantage Provider||Amount on Card||What You Can Spend It On|
|Aetna||$400 ($100 loaded onto the flex card each quarter)||Copayments for in-network primary and specialist care, and other medical and diagnostic services|
|Anthem||$500||Out-of-pocket costs related to dental, vision, or hearing services|
|Humana||$250 or more||Out-of-pocket costs related to dental, hearing and vision services or devices|
Unfortunately, Medicare Advantage Flex Cards may not be available to everyone, as many plans limit the benefit to only members in certain states. For example, Humana’s Medicare Advantage Flex Card is only available to members of some plans in Florida. With Aetna, the Medicare Advantage Flex Card is only for specific plans in Pennsylvania and Minnesota.
Contact your provider to see if they offer a Medicare Advantage Flex Card in your state. You could be missing out on additional money that can be put toward your out-of-pocket health care costs.
Are Flex Cards Available with Other Medicare Programs?
Don’t fall victim to online scams. Flex cards are currently only available for Medicare Advantage plans, not for any other Medicare program. If someone is offering you a flex card with an Original Medicare or Medicaid plan — they are trying to scam you.
If you are having difficulty covering your health care expenses on your own, there are legitimate Medicare resources that can provide assistance.
Legitimate Medicare Resources
The government offers an Extra Help Program and Medicare Savings Programs that can provide financial aid if you have limited income or resources. Both programs could potentially save you thousands of dollars a year if you qualify.
Each resource also has options for $0 deductibles and $0 premiums. It’s important to know that there are eligibility requirements to qualify for each program.
Medicare Flex Card Scams
You may have seen ads or online posts that boast about a government-issued Medicare Flex Card with a value of $2,880. Don’t be fooled — this is a scam. Original Medicare, which is government affiliated, does not offer flex cards.
And the high dollar amount advertised should also make you suspicious, as most flex cards only have a few hundred dollars preloaded for medical uses. If any company claims that their flex card can be used to pay for groceries or bills, this should also be a red flag.
The best way to avoid any Medicare Flex Card scam is to go directly to your Medicare Advantage provider to find information. Don’t click on any links you see in advertisements or respond to telemarketers about flex cards offers.
- The flex card has an advertised value over $2,000
- The company claims to be backed by the government or Original Medicare
- You saw the flex card in an advertisement
- The company claims you can use the flex card for groceries or other bills
Frequently Asked Questions About Medicare Flex Cards
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6 Cited Research Articles
- Curet, M. (2022, January 12). Medicare ‘Flex Cards’ Are Not as Advertised. Retrieved from https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2022/jan/12/facebook-posts/medicare-flex-cards-are-not-advertised/
- Sbraccia, S. (2021, December 14). Medicare Flex Cards Feature Misleading Ads. Retrieved from https://www.cbs17.com/news/investigators/medicare-flex-card-features-misleading-ads/
- CVS Health. (2021, October 1). Aetna 2022 Medicare Plans Feature More Benefits, Lower Member Costs and Greater Affordability. Retrieved from https://www.cvshealth.com/news-and-insights/press-releases/aetna-2022-medicare-plans-feature-more-benefits-lower-member-costs
- Humana. (2021, October 1). Humana Expanding Medicare Advantage Health Plans in 2022 to Address Beneficiaries’ Most Important Needs, Delivering Predictable, Affordable and Understandable Health Care. Retrieved from https://press.humana.com/news/news-details/2021/Humana-Expanding-Medicare-Advantage-Health-Plans-in-2022-to-Address-Beneficiaries-Most-Important-Needs-Delivering-Predictable-Affordable-and-Understandable-Health-Care/default.aspx
- Anthem. (2021, September 22). Special No-Cost Medicare Advantage Benefits Supporting Your Health, Comfort and Convenience. Retrieved from https://www.anthem.com/ca/medicare/learn-about-medicare/extra-services-with-medicare-advantage
- U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (n.d.). Flexible Spending Account (FSA). Retrieved from https://www.healthcare.gov/glossary/flexible-spending-account-fsa/
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