Medicare Advantage OTC, Flex Spending, and Healthy Grocery cards

This blog post will discuss the benefits that Medicare Advantage Plans offer in addition to the medical coverage. Medicare Advantage over the counter (OTC) card, Medicare Flex Spending card, and Medicare Healthy Grocery card are offered to eligible beneficiaries. The benefit package on each card changes every year and varies across Medicare carriers.

 

Medicare Advantage over the counter (OTC) card

A Medicare Advantage over the counter (OTC) card is a prepaid card to buy most health products and medications. Beneficiary’s insurance carrier oversees reloading the card every month. Many major retail stores accept OTC cards. Some OTC cards can be used to purchase health items, online, in-store at Walmart and other participating stores, as well as by phone.

 

Health-Related Over-the-Counter (OTC) Items

Beneficiaries can use their OTC benefits to get free things that don’t require a prescription.

At partnering pharmacies and other retailers, you may get non-prescription medications and health-related items like aspirin, vitamins, eye drops, laxatives, and more.

For a list of approved items and participating retailers, go to OTCnetwork

 

Medicare Flex Spending Cards

 

Medicare Advantage Plans include a benefit called Medicare Flex Spending Cards.

These aid with the purchase of pre-approved things such as medical equipment and other necessities.

These cards, which are usually linked to a flexible spending account, are a benefit of qualified health insurance.

These cards are only accessible on specific plans and are issued by private health insurance companies.

 

Medicare Advantage plans are becoming increasingly popular.

Plans are more appealing since they include perks in addition to medical coverage.

Flex spending cards for Medicare are becoming a part of the trend.

Auxiliary benefits such as vision, dental, and hearing are included in the majority of plans on the market.

 

Part B give back plans are now available.  Give back plans give beneficiaries money back to cover the part b premium.

 

Below are a few carriers that offer flex spending benefits.

 

Wellcare

Flexible spending cards for dentistry, vision, and hearing services are available through Wellcare Medicare.

This feature is available on many of this carrier’s Medicare Advantage plans.

Beneficiaries have the option of how they choose to spend their money.

To learn more about the Wellcare flexible spending card program, visit carrier website.

On certain Wellcare plans, a flex card is available for utility bills.

The monthly allowance is $50.

This amount does not roll over from month to month.

Always check the availability of specific plans in the plan details.

 

 

Anthem

Anthem provides a similar advantage.

In some jurisdictions, certain MAPD plans provide a $500 yearly benefit.

This benefit is in addition to the coverage provided by the health plan.

As a result, recipients have more freedom in how they spend their money.

 

Cigna

The Cigna Medicare benefit is a little different.

Cigna is offering consumers with some Dual Special Needs Plans (DSNP) a debit card that they can use to pay for certain charges.

The amount of the maximum benefit varies by plan.

Cigna Cash Card Funds can be used for a variety of things by beneficiaries.

Food, utilities, medication, medical and dental costs, and other expenses are among them.

Every month, the funds are transferred to a Visa debit card.

As a result, cards can be used everywhere that accepts Visa cards.

Each month, any unused balances are carried forward.

Balances must, however, be used within three years of the benefit year.

For more information on this benefit, check carrier website.

 

Finding Plans That Provide This Added benefit

Do you need assistance locating plans that provide this benefit?

It can be difficult to navigate the plan’s features.

Both Connecture and Sunfire compare plans from different carriers.

The comparisons highlight all the plan’s benefits, including

additional benefits.

Find and compare Medicare Flex Spending Card benefits.

All of our agents have access to these tools at no cost to them.

 

NOTE: These benefits differ greatly depending on the carrier and plan.

 

Medicare Healthy Grocery Cards

A handful of Medicare Advantage plans will offer Medicare Healthy Grocery Cards in 2022.

Some advantage plans include the card by default, while others offer it as an option to choose from a menu.

Some SNP Advantage plans include cards with a longer list of products for certain conditions.

 

What can you buy?

The cards, as the name implies, give users access to hundreds of healthy food items.

The majority of programs allow you to purchase things in-store at participating retailers.

The retailer list will vary depending on the insurance carrier.

Members can use the benefit to buy fresh fruits and veggies, dairy, meat, whole grains, and pantry staples.

The majority of cards include access to water and vitamins.

 

Non-food goods, pet items, alcohol, infant formula, candy chips, coffee, desserts, soda, and tobacco are frequently excluded.

The list of prohibited products varies per carrier and plan.

Although there are some tempting products on the exclusion list, this is a healthy meal card.

 

Agents can quickly see which plans have healthy grocery cards using Connect4Medicare

 

Medicare Healthy Grocery Cards: How do you know what is and is not eligible?

The types of foods that are eligible will be explained in a welcome packet sent to members.

It will also list the goods that are not allowed.

The majority of companies have information on their grocery cards available on their websites or mobile apps.

The information about the participating retailers will also be included in the welcome package.

A letter and a benefit card will be included in the welcome package.

The amount will be automatically re-loaded on most healthy food cards on a monthly or quarterly basis.

How does the card work?

The card will be mailed along with the welcome package (some companies send a separate packet).

The card will display the amount of qualifying monthly or quarterly benefits and will automatically refresh.

Keep in mind that most plans don’t allow you to roll over your benefits on a monthly or quarterly basis.

In most circumstances, any remaining balance on the card will be lost at the end of the quarter or month.

Any remaining debt can be paid separately if it exceeds the permitted amount.

 

Medicare Healthy Grocery Cards:  Access out of state

The majority of plans allow members to shop at retailers outside of their state or service area.

Furthermore, most cards will operate when on vacation or while traveling.