Skip to main content

Posted November 3, 2021


In a world where everyone has unique healthcare needs based not only on their medical conditions, but also their lifestyle, interests, and physical location…

If you’re a partner looking to support the needs of a Medicare Advantage population in a way that best suits those needs, how do you best do it?


The Medicare Advantage debit card powered by WEX is here to help! 

With the Medicare Advantage debit card, members enjoy quick access to funds via a VISA or Mastercard restricted, pre-paid debit card for supplemental benefits like dental, vision, hearing, fitness, chiropractic, acupuncture, groceries, OTC, home services, and more!

Overview of the Medicare Advantage debit card

Medicare Advantage card

Our Medicare Advantage debit card helps deliver a flexible, simple, supplemental benefit where health plans have the freedom to create benefit accounts that cover one or more categories that best suit member needs.

The best part? This 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 benefit 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.

Better yet…

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. That means you can use this flexibility to create an experience to match member needs, creating a better (and simplified) experience.

Grocery + OTC benefit

As one of the first to provide debit card-based benefits to Medicare Advantage members, WEX also offers health plans the ability to offer a grocery + OTC benefit to members! This functionality makes it easy for members to purchase healthy foods + 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 use 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.

Medicare Advantage card

Using filtered spend technology, the grocery + OTC benefit powered by WEX automatically approves debit card transactions 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 debit card already provides, we are excited to offer this functionality to continue to 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 supplemental benefits debit 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 the expertise of a partner who can 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 and want to learn more about the Medicare Advantage debit card and how you can use it to create a flexible, simple offering for members? 

Get in touch with your account executive today.


Emma Tupa

Emma is a product marketing manager within the benefits division at WEX. With 6+ years of marketing experience (specializing in product marketing + copywriting), Emma writes about all the amazing things that partners, employers, and participants can do within the WEX benefits platform.

Learn from experts on a variety of industry topics