Health care debit cards can be used beginning Jan. 13

If you set up a pre-tax health care spending account for 2012, your entire election for 2012 will be loaded onto a MasterCard prepaid debit card on Jan. 13. After that date, you will be able to use your debit card to pay for prescriptions, co-pays, eyeglasses and other eligible medical expenses.

Your 2012 flexible spending account dollars are available to you between Jan. 1 and Jan. 13 — you just can’t access them via your debit card. Instead, you will have to submit a claim for reimbursement to OptumHealth via mail, email or fax.

If you had a Health Care Flexible Spending Account last year, the debit card you were issued in 2011 will be replenished with your 2012 election. If you lost or destroyed your old debit card, you may order a new one by contacting OptumHealth Financial Services at 866-204-8154.

If you didn’t have a health care spending account in 2011, you’ll be mailed a debit card loaded with your entire year’s contribution in mid to late January.

The debit card is a service offered to employees who created Health Care Spending Accounts during the recent open enrollment period. The debit card offers the advantage of allowing you to pay for eligible health care expenses directly from your health care spending account rather than paying out of your own pocket and then submitting claims for reimbursement.

Important reminders about Health Care Spending Accounts

Current year only: You can use your 2012 debit card ONLY for expenses incurred in 2012. You cannot use your 2012 debit card to pay for services rendered in 2011.

Save your receipts: Even though you have a debit card, be sure to save your receipts! The IRS requires that you save receipts and documentation for expenses paid under the plan, whether the prepaid debit card is used or not.

In addition, you may be asked to send expense documentation to OptumHealth after paying with your debit card. Be sure to follow the instructions in the e-mail or letter request and provide the requested information within the time limits.

Over-the-counter medications: You cannot buy over-the-counter medications with your debit card.

You can be reimbursed from your Minneflex Health Care Spending Account for the cost of an over-the-counter drug ONLY IF you have a doctor’s prescription and you submit a copy of the prescription and the receipt to OptumHealth Financial Services.

Debit card access: Your debit card accesses only Health Care Spending Account — not your HRA/VEBA account or a dependent care account.

Expiration dates: Debit cards expire three years after their issue date. If you participated in the health care Flexible Spending Account in 2011, check the “Valid Thru” date on your MasterCard Benefits Card. If the date is later than 01/12, your debit card will be replenished with your new 2012 health care spending account election. 

If the Valid Thru date is 1/12 or if you did not participate in the health care FSA, you will receive a debit card in mid-January.

 

Published Jan. 4, 2012