Card payments are part of everyday life. No matter where you go – doctors’ offices, pharmacies, grocery stores, retail shops, taxis, subway stations, and more – you can use a credit or debit card to pay for goods and services. Cards are more convenient and secure than cash or check, and more and more employers are making them an essential part of their benefits packages.
When you have a benefits debit card linked to your Flexible Spending Account (FSA), Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA), or Health Savings Account (HSA), you can enjoy extraordinary convenience and security.
Plan participants with an FSA debit card can use it in stores and online to pay for IRS-approved healthcare expenses. Some retailers and pharmacies clearly identify FSA-approved items, and many card processors offer auto-adjudication for those purchases. There are also specialty online stores, like FSAStore.com, that sell only FSA eligible items. This makes it easy for card holders to know where their FSA dollars are going; the restricted purchasing helps to stop fraud and misuse.
If you have a Dependent Care FSA (also known as DCAP) with a card, you can use it to pay tuition and fees at the childcare provider.
If your company offers HRAs, it can add an account-linked card for employer-approved expenses. With an HRA debit card, you don’t have to pay out of pocket and file for reimbursement. It’s a win-win for you and your employer since this greatly reduces the amount of claims filing and processing.
Like an FSA, HSAs can also be linked to a debit card. An HSA debit card can be particularly useful for those who enjoy rollover at years’ end, which can result significant account growth. You can find specialty online merchants like HSAStore.com, which sells only HSA eligible items. Many HSA providers also have an online receipt storage vault where you can store electronic versions of claims-related documents for self-certification.
In addition to FSAs, HRAs, and HSAs, there’s another employer-benefit account that can be linked to a debit card: a Transit account. With a Transit debit card, you can pay for bus, subway, and taxi fare, cover parking expenses, and more.
If you have an employer-sponsored benefits debit card for your account(s), you cannot use it 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.