No matter where you go – doctors’ offices, grocery stores, retail shops, and more – you can use a debit or credit card to pay for goods and services. But did you know you can also use a debit card that’s linked to your healthcare benefits accounts?
If your employer offers a Flexible Spending Account, Health Reimbursement Arrangement, Health Savings Account or Transit/Commuter benefit account, you may have the option to get an account-linked benefits card.
One of the best things about a debit card is that it’s super convenient and you have fewer claims to file. At many vendors, such as pharmacies and doctor’s offices, your purchase is automatically verified and the money comes out of your benefit account, which means you don’t have to spend time filling out paperwork and waiting for a reimbursement. Keep in mind, however, your administrator may require proof for record keeping, so hang on to those receipts!
You can’t use your card to pay for just anything, though. Locations where you can use your debit card are restricted by merchant category codes, which means the card only works at pre-approved vendors such as medical clinics, pharmacies, eye care centers, day care facilities, or bus and train terminals. This prevents theft and benefit fraud. For instance, you can’t use the debit card at a movie theater or gas station. In addition, many retailers use inventory codes to ensure that only approved items and services may be purchased with the card.
You may be able to use just one debit card for all your benefit accounts! For example, you can have a Dependent Care FSA, healthcare FSA and Transit account all on the same card. When you pay for goods and services, the card automatically pulls the money from the correct account.
It’s important to note, however, that you cannot use your benefits debit card at an ATM to withdraw cash. For more information about your benefits debit card, or to find out if your company offers them, contact your HR department.