Some Medicare Advantage plans offer additional benefits, like Medicare flex spending cards. Flex card benefits vary between insurance carriers and plans. But they’re generally prepaid debit cards that you can use to pay for over-the-counter (OTC) items, pharmacy products, and out-of-pocket medical costs. With some plans, you can even buy groceries or pay for rent or utilities with your flex card. 

Which flex benefits you have depends entirely on your individual policy. With certain UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plans, beneficiaries can use their flex card to pay for dental, vision, or hearing services.   

Key takeaways

  • Some UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plans provide members with a prepaid UHC flex card.

  • Your UnitedHealthcare flex card can be used to pay for exams, routine procedures, and other products and services related to dental, vision, and hearing care.

  • You can’t buy groceries, OTC products, or pay for rent/utilities with a UHC flex card.

What is a UnitedHealthcare flex card?

A UHC flex card is a benefit that comes with certain UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plans. If your plan includes this benefit, you’ll receive a prepaid Visa debit card that you can use to pay for dental, vision, or hearing services and products. The amount you’ll receive in flex card benefits and how often you receive them varies from plan to plan. Typically, the money or credits refresh on a monthly or quarterly basis. 

Two things to keep in mind about the UHC flex card:

  • You’ll only be able to use the card at places that accept Visa.

  • The card is meant to enhance or extend the coverage you already have with UnitedHealthcare. This means that you can use your credits as a complement to your existing plan. For example, if your plan doesn’t cover dentures, you can use your flex card to pay for them instead. 

What does the UHC flex card pay for?

If you have a healthcare plan that includes the UHC flex card, you can use it to pay for many dental, vision, or hearing related expenses. This is especially helpful if your plan doesn’t cover out-of-pocket costs for certain medical services (a copay for dental implants, for example). A UHC flex card is also helpful if you go to a provider who isn’t in your plan’s network. 

Read on for a full breakdown of what the flex card can do for you.

Provide additional dental coverage

Most Medicare Advantage plans include some dental coverage, but not everything is covered.

You can use the UHC flex card to help pay for:

  • Exams

  • Cleanings

  • Fillings

  • Crowns

  • Bridges

  • Root canals

  • Dentures

  • Implants

Provide additional vision coverage

Most Medicare Advantage plans include coverage for vision services, but you may still owe some out-of-pocket costs. Some services also may not be covered.

You can use the UHC flex card to pay for:

  • Exams

  • Contacts

  • Frames

  • Lenses

  • Lens upgrades (blended bifocal lenses, tier II, III, IV or V progressive lenses, anti-reflective coating, photochromic lenses, polarized lenses, polycarbonate lenses, tinting, UV coating)

Provide additional hearing coverage

Hearing services are important for your overall health and well-being. Your UHC Medicare Advantage plan may cover some hearing services, but you may still be responsible for out of pocket costs and services not covered.

You can use the UHC flex card to pay for:

  • Exams

  • Hearing aids

  • Hearing aid accessories

Where can I use the UnitedHealthcare flex card?

Unlike with certain insurance plans, you don’t need to go to a provider who only takes the UnitedHealthcare insurance to use the flex card. You also don’t need to worry about finding a provider who is specifically associated with the company’s dental, vision, or hearing networks.

Because there are no restrictions or UHC-approved retailers, you can use the card at your dentist’s office, your favorite shop for eyeglasses, any hearing aid provider, or any other place you’d typically shop for healthcare. Compared to other flex benefits, the UHC flex card is fairly convenient and flexible with where you can use it.

Can you buy OTC products with the UnitedHealthcare flex card?

No, you can’t buy OTC items with the UnitedHealthcare flex card. You can only use it to pay for expenses related to routine dental, vision, and hearing costs. Select UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plans have an Over-the-Counter (OTC) Products Card that you can use to buy covered OTC products. Typically, you would receive a $60 credit per quarter with this card.

Don't let your UnitedHealthcare UCard or OTC benefits go unused! Find out how much money your plan includes, and claim pre-approved OTC items from the UHC 2024 catalog without spending a penny out of pocket. Use the free Chapter app to easily redeem your OTC benefits before your money expires.

Can you use the United Healthcare flex card for groceries?

No, you can’t use your UHC flex card for groceries. The UnitedHealthcare UCard, however, is a monthly preloaded card that you can use to pay for healthy food, OTC products, and utility bills. You must have a Dual Special Needs Plan (D-SNP) to be eligible for this card. 

How to use the UHC flex card

The best way to make the most out of your Medicare Advantage policy is to plan ahead. You’ll want to use your card for exams, procedures, and products that your insurance doesn’t cover. This way, you’ll reap the benefits of your Medicare Advantage plan as well as your flex credits.

The UnitedHealth flex card is also great for prioritizing preventative care. Members with the flex card benefit can catch early symptoms of dental, vision, or hearing issues and be proactive about treatment before conditions get serious. 

It’s clear that flex cards are very beneficial if your plan includes them, but using the benefit isn’t always easy, and some of the rules can be unclear. Many Medicare Advantage plans make it difficult to use flex credits, so members often leave money on the table without even knowing it. If you need help using your UnitedHealth OTC card, contact UnitedHealthcare directly.

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