There have been many advertisements making claims about the flex card for seniors on Medicare that are simply not true. Flex cards are real, but they are not being distributed by Medicare itself. Instead they are being provided by private insurance companies to those who are enrolled in a qualifying Medicare Advantage plan. These plans are often referred to as Medicare Part C as well.
These flex cards are only available through select Medicare Advantage plans and act an insurance-provided debit card for the use of buying approved medical supplies and equipment.
How do you qualify for a senior flex card?
For Medicare flex card eligibility, you must be enrolled into a Medicare Advantage plan that includes this specific benefit. However, there is only a small number of plans that include a flex card. Open enrollment for Medicare Advantage occurs every year from January 1st to March 31st. This is when you can find a qualifying plan that allows you to qualify for a Medicare senior flex card.
If you’re currently enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan and are unsure if you qualify for a flex card, you can contact your Medicare insurer directly or view the details of your specific plan and benefits included on Medicare.gov.
How does the flex card work?
The flex card comes pre-loaded with an amount of funds decided on by your Medicare Advantage plan. This amount differs based on where you live and the plan you choose.
While there are many advertisements that claim a flex card balance of thousands of dollars, this is often not the case. In 2022, the average balance of a flex card through these plans is $500. There are also restrictions on what this card can be used on. For example, groceries, clothing, gas and other non-medical bills or items cannot be purchased with the flex card.
It is only intended to be used by beneficiaries to pay for medical expenses. These expenses could range from deductibles or prescriptions to medical equipment. The list of qualified expenses can vary between plans, so it is best to check what is eligible through your specific plan.
Is the flex card free?
While you pay nothing out of pocket, technically making the Medicare flex card for seniors “free”, you are still required to be enrolled in a participating Medicare Advantage plan.
Once you’re enrolled into your preferred Medicare Advantage plan, you’ll need to find a doctor who accepts your new insurance. Our Find Your Doctor Tool can help you easily find value-based care doctors in your area who accept Medicare.