How does the ASIFlex Health Care FSA debit card work?
When you apply for an ASIFlex debit card, your card is programmed with the full amount in your flexible spending account for the entire plan year. This means if your annual contribution amount is $1,000 for the plan year, your card will be programmed with $1,000 on the first day of the plan year. (If you apply for the debit card after you have submitted claims for reimbursement, your card will be programmed for the remaining balance in your flexible spending account.)
The FSA debit card is swiped at a credit card machine like a normal credit card. When the card is swiped, two things are checked: 1) available funds in your Health Care FSA account and 2) the Merchant Category Code (MCC) or the Merchant Identification Number of the merchant you are purchasing goods or services from. If you do not have enough available funds on the card to cover the entire attempted transaction amount, the card will be declined. If you attempt to purchase a good or service at a vendor that does not have a MCC indicating it is a health care provider or at a merchant with an IRS-approved Inventory Control System the card will be declined. Please note that even though the card is known as a debit card, you will have to select the “credit” option at the point-of-sale.
Will I benefit from using the ASIFlex debit card?
Yes, if you have high out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs, doctor or dentist visits, or hospital charges. You can use your debit card to pay for your co-pays at the time of service, instead of paying upfront, submitting a claim, and waiting for reimbursement. Additionally, while you will have to submit claims in many instances, using the FSA debit card allows you to utilize the funds from your pre-tax account, as opposed to paying with your personal debit or credit card. The card is provided by your employer to increase convenience, but please don’t forget that using the card doesn’t mean you won’t have to submit any claims for your FSA.
Do I have to sign up for a Flex debit card?
The debit card is optional. If you do want a card, you have to complete an application to get it. If you do choose to use the debit card, you will still have the option to file reimbursement claims for out-of-pocket expenses. ASIFlex will then send you a reimbursement check or deposit the reimbursement directly into your bank account. When you sign up for the card, you will receive two debit cards automatically. Both cards will have the same card number and be in the participant’s name.
Where can I use my FSA debit card?
The ASIFlex FSA debit card is designed to work exclusively for:
- Merchants that have an MCC code defining their services/products as medically related (this includes doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, vision, dental, and chiropractic care).
Merchant Category Code Restrictions
There is not a way to tell prior to using the card whether the provider’s machine is set as a medical provider. We have generally found that the card does work at most doctors, dentists, optometrists and hospitals. In most, if not all cases, the card will not work at grocery or general retail stores (even at the pharmacy counter) unless the grocery store has implemented the Inventory Control System.
- IIAS stores that have an Inventory Control System in place that can detect an FSA eligible expense at the point-of-sale.
Inventory Control System Restrictions
- The IRS says that use of the FSA debit card is ok if it is at a grocery store or general retail outlet that confirms at the point-of-sale that any item that is purchased with the card is eligible for reimbursement.
- If you attempt to purchase a prescription and a Coca-Cola with the same transaction at a store that has the Inventory Control System, the FSA debit card will pay for the prescription and then ask you for a separate form of payment for the Coke. You should keep your receipts for all purchases made with the FSA debit card, but you should never have to submit a receipt for purchases made at these locations with your FSA debit card.
Do I have to file claims when I use my debit card?
It depends. If you use your debit card at a medical provider location where the dollar amount matches the known co-pay (your employer’s insurance co-pay amount) for the treatment or service you received, you will not need to file a claim or send documentation. This includes co-pays for prescription drugs, up to five times the amount of the co-pay. So if you receive a five-month supply of a drug that costs $10 per month, you can charge up to $50 on your debit card without sending a claim. If you charge over $50 on your debit card for this purchase, you must submit a claim form with documentation.
If you use your card at a store with the Inventory Control System, you will not have to submit a claim.
ASIFlex will let you know if you need to submit a claim form, so keep all receipts for debit card purchases. Please do not submit documentation until you receive a notice asking for it, since some items don’t require follow-up documentation. You will need to send this notice to ASIFlex with the supporting documentation.
How do debit card purchases that don’t match a known co-pay or aren’t made at a store with the Inventory Control System affect my account?
If you make a purchase at a pharmacy or pay at a physician an amount different from your insurance co-pay, ASIFlex will immediately reduce your available FSA balance and show this on your ASIFlex account as a payment advance. ASIFlex will send you a notice asking for follow-up documentation to support the purchase you made with your debit card. When ASIFlex receives a copy of your notice back with substantiating documentation, your account will then go back to normal.
Example: Tom pays his dentist $700 for a crown, using his FSA debit card. ASIFlex sends Tom a notice asking for follow-up documentation for the $700 purchase. Before Tom gets the detailed statement from his dentist, he submits a paper claim to ASIFlex for $22 in over-the-counter medication he paid for with cash. ASIFlex processes his claim, but no payment is issued that day. Instead, the amount ASIFlex is showing that Tom has been “advanced” is reduced from $700 to $678. The next week, Tom faxes the notice received from ASIFlex along with his itemized statement for the crown to ASIFlex. ASIFlex processes the supporting documentation for $700, and Tom is issued a payment of $22.
What happens if the supporting documentation for my card purchase is not approved?
If the debit card is used for an expense that is ineligible, you will have two options for resolving this matter:
- You can submit a claim for an eligible expense that you paid for out-of-pocket to compensate for the ineligible payment.
- Or you can send a check or money order payable to ASIFlex in the amount of the ineligible payment.
How will I know if the debit card will work at my doctor’s office or pharmacy?
You won’t know until you receive a service or treatment from your provider. ASIFlex does not know which providers have an acceptable Merchant Category Code. However, if your card doesn’t work at your doctor’s office or pharmacy, you may still file a claim to receive reimbursement. Just let ASIFlex know whether you want a reimbursement check mailed to you, or deposited into your bank account.
How do I use the debit card when I receive care?
You just swipe your debit card through the credit card machine, and select “credit” (not debit). There is no PIN number for you to remember when using your card.
I just tried using the debit card, but it didn’t work. Why not?
Your debit card will not work if:
- You do not have enough funds in your flexible spending account to cover the cost of the transaction.
- You received care or treatments from a provider whose Merchant Category Code is a non-medical provider type.
- You selected “debit” after you swiped your card in the credit card machine, and tried to enter a PIN number. Even though it’s a debit card, always choose the “credit” option.