What Medicare Plans Offer Flex Cards in Decatur, IL?
No, Medicare isn’t offering flex cards, or debit cards pre-loaded with cash. If you’ve started hearing buzz about certain Medicare plans offering flex cards, you’re probably wondering what it’s all about, and most importantly, if you qualify for one.
Here’s the truth about flex cards and Medicare plans.
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What is a Medicare flex card?
Flex cards are pre-loaded debit cards that seniors on eligible Medicare plans can use for certain medical expenses.
These flex cards are only offered by some private insurance companies, and they only come with a limited number of plans. The card’s spending limit and what you can actually use it for differ from plan to plan.
Is the Medicare flex card legitimate?
Flex cards that come with some Medicare Advantage plans are legitimate, though they are more of a marketing tactic than anything else.
Some private insurance carriers add this flex card as a perk they can promote in advertisements to lure seniors into joining their plan.
It’s critical to know that flex cards are only available in very limited areas of the country, which is why these promotions can be so frustrating. You may see an ad about flex cards in an area where they aren’t even available.
Finally, while Medicare Advantage can be a great fit for some, it’s important to look past these perks and pay more attention to the core health benefits of the plan, such as how much you can expect to pay out-of-pocket if you get seriously ill or are hospitalized.
What can you buy with a flex card?
If you choose a plan that comes with a flex card, the plan will likely provide you with a list of things you can purchase.
Some examples of common expenses allowed under flex cards include:
- Over the counter medications
- Medical equipment
- Eyeglasses or contact lenses
- Hearing aids
- Healthy groceries
Certain carriers can also get quite specific about what the card is for. As an example, you may only be authorized to use the card for specific dental, vision, and hearing needs.
How much money comes loaded on a flex card?
The amount of money pre-loaded onto a Medicare flex card varies depending on the insurance company and the specific plan.
We’ve seen these cards preloaded with amounts from as low as $100 to as high as $2,500, though they are definitely not available in all locations.
In addition, your average flex card is loaded with a few hundred dollars – not the large amounts you often see advertised. It’s also common for the insurance company to slowly add funds over the course of the year, say $100 each quarter – not all $400 at once.
What’s the catch of a flex card?
Yes, Medicare plans that come with preloaded flex cards are legitimate, but you’re probably wondering… what’s the catch?
As with any Medicare Advantage plan, it’s important to look at the healthcare benefits that come with the plan.
- What is your deductible?
- What’s your coinsurance?
- Is your hospital and doctor in the plan’s network?
- What about specialists?
- How much will you have to pay if you see a physician that’s out-of-network?
Be very careful that you don’t overlook important healthcare benefits in favor of an enticing flex card.
Perhaps most importantly, flex cards aren’t available from all carriers, and they’re not available in all locations. You might get an ad promoting a flex card, even though you don’t live an area where that’s available.
How do you get a Medicare flex card?
To get a Medicare flex card, you need to be eligible for and enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan that comes with this perk.
Carriers like Humana, Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross, and Wellcare offer plans that come with these preloaded debit cards, but they are only available in select locations.
As an example, the Humana $250 flex card is only available for some members of Florida plans. Anthem Blue Cross plans that boast $500 flex cards for dental, vision, and hearing expenses are only available in certain California counties. Aetna’s $400 flex cards are only available on select plans in Pennsylvania and Minnesota. You get the idea.
Needless to say, there are no Medicare Advantage plans in Decatur, IL that come with a flex card.
While flex cards are appealing, it’s important to understand that they’re more of a perk than a reason to join a plan.
In addition, flex cards are not currently available with any Medicare Advantage plan offered in Macon County, Illinois.
If any plans add a flex card to their list of benefits, we will be the first to share that information and help you compare plans.
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