by Emma Tupa
If you’re looking to support a Medicare Advantage population in a way that’s relevant to their medical conditions, interests, lifestyles, and physical locations, how do you do it?
The Medicare Advantage flex card powered by WEX is here to help!
With the Medicare Advantage flex card, members enjoy quick access to funds via a VISA or Mastercard-restricted, prepaid debit card for supplemental benefits like dental, vision, hearing, fitness, chiropractic, acupuncture, groceries, OTC products, healthy foods, home services, and more!
Overview of the Medicare Advantage flex card
This card helps deliver a flexible, simple, supplemental benefit tailored by health plans to cover one or more categories that best suit member needs.
The best part? The card gives members the flexibility they need to spend their dollars in the way that works best for their unique healthcare needs.
Here is a quick overview of how it works:
- WEX gives you the ability to access a private-labeled, ready-to-use debit card.
- You create flexible supplemental benefits accounts that cover one or more categories based on your member needs (with the help of industry experts).
- You share the card with your members to improve engagement, satisfaction, and retention.
WEX makes it easy for health plans to lead with their brand, customize the experience, define configuration and spending, meet requirements, leverage analytics to create a better user experience, integrate member reimbursement, and select an ideal service level based on the needs of their population.
Bottom line: You can use this flexibility to create a better, simplified experience for members.
Grocery + OTC benefit
As one of the first to provide debit card-based supplemental benefits to Medicare Advantage members, WEX also offers health plans the ability to leverage this card for their grocery + OTC offering! This functionality makes it easy for members to purchase healthy foods and over-the-counter items at places they regularly shop.
Here’s a quick rundown of how it works:
- A member shops at a participating merchant.
- They swipe their grocery and/or OTC debit card at the point of sale.
- Approved grocery + OTC items are automatically paid for using their debit card.
- Any unapproved items can be paid for by your member at the same time, with a different card.
Using filtered spend technology, grocery + OTC debit card transactions are automatically approved at a universal product code (UPC) level for groceries, over-the-counter items (including mail order), meal kit and meal replacement, approved produce delivery services, and more!
With merchants in all 50 states using an approved product list, members can use their grocery + OTC benefit at places they regularly shop, boosting engagement and satisfaction with their benefits.
Combined with the user experience our Medicare Advantage flex card already provides, we are excited to offer this functionality to further simplify the member experience.
Updates in the Medicare Advantage industry
SIGIS recently announced that IIAS could be leveraged for OTC purchases from Medicare/Medicaid plans. With this announcement, SIGIS is acknowledging the growing popularity of the flexibility and convenience that a Medicare Advantage flex card provides. While this is great news, know that there are gaps in the items that are covered using the IIAS eligible product list and that the IIAS list eligible product does not equal a CMS-approved product list.
The lesson? Make sure you’re taking the needs of your population into consideration, and leveraging WEX’s expertise to help you build the right benefit for your population with technology that can adapt to the rapidly changing needs of the market.
Are you a partner who wants to learn more about the Medicare Advantage flex card and how you can use it to create a flexible, simple offering for members?
Get in touch with your partner account executive today.