Flex Debit Card Technology Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Questions pertaining to the use of flex card technology for cafeteria plans and flexible spending accounts (FSAs) at myCafeteriaPlan.
- What is a Flex Card?
- How do I benefit from using a Flex Card?
- Will I still need to keep my receipts?
- Will I be asked to document all the expenses I use my card for?
- What is a “receipt request” and what do I do with it?
- Where can the Flex Card be used?
- What if the provider location doesn’t accept my card?
- When will I receive my Flex Card?
- How do I activate my Flex Cards?
- How long is my Flex Card valid?
- Can I order a third Flex Card?
- What if my Flex Card is lost or stolen?
- What happens if I use my Flex Card for an ineligible expense?
What is a Flex Card?
A Flex Card is a stored value card that reflects the balance of your medical and/or dependent care reimbursement account or flexible spending account. Since there are no transaction fees or pin numbers, the card should be swiped through the provider location scanner using the “credit/credit card” option. When the Flex Card is swiped, the funds are immediately and directly withdrawn from your account.
How do I benefit from using a Flex Card?
Using a Flex Card eliminates the time spent waiting on reimbursement checks. This allows you to bypass the inconvenience of restricted cash flow arising from the “lag time” between the expense and the reimbursement. However, you may be asked to document your expense after using the card.
Will I still need to keep my receipts?
Yes. According to IRS regulations, each Flex Card transaction needs to be verified for eligibility in the same way that paper claims are. As a result, once a transaction is made using the Flex Card for your flexible spending account or health reimbursement arrangement, myCafeteriaPlan will need supporting documentation to approve the claim and will send out a “receipt request” once a month to obtain that documentation.
Will I be asked to document all the expenses I use my card for?
Not necessarily. Due to recent legislative changes by the IRS, not all Flex Card transactions will require documentation if properly “coded” in the new Inventory Information Approval System (IIAS) beginning in January 2008. With the IIAS in place, provider locations with “non-medical” Merchant Category Codes (MCCs) will be able to “auto-check” the item in question for eligibility under a reimbursement plan. Items marked under the IIAS as eligible will be accepted on the Flex Card and ineligible items will be denied. This new system will eliminate both the hassle of submitting claims or documentation for eligible items and the inconvenience of having to repay the reimbursement plan for improperly swiped ineligible items.
As a result, however, provider locations with non-medical MCCs will no longer accept Flex Cards after their specific cut-off dates, which are:
- December 31, 2007 for grocery and retail centers
- June 30, 2009 for drug stores and pharmacies
In other words, grocery stores or other locations that sell reimbursable prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) items will no longer be able to accept the Flex Card unless they have implemented the IIAS.
For example, an eligible OTC item such as cough syrup swiped in January of 2008 at grocery store with the IIAS will be automatically approved by the plan and can be paid for using the Flex Card with no other documentation necessary. Cough syrup purchased at the same time from a non-IIAS-participating retailer, while an eligible item, will have to be submitted for reimbursement after the purchase, since the retailer will not be able to accept the Flex Card.
Similarly, a drug store that has implemented the IIAS will accept the Flex Card after December 31, 2008, while a drug store without the IIAS will not.
What is a “receipt request” and what do I do with it?
A receipt request is a notice that supporting documentation is needed for verification of transactions that have occurred. This notice lists “initial receipt requests”, “second receipt requests”, and “ineligible expenses” (items not approved or not documented). Automatically approved transactions will not be included on that notice. When you receive a receipt request, gather all supporting documentation for each transaction listed and submit it. DO NOT use a traditional (paper) claim form for a Flex Card transaction. Using a paper claim form for a Flex Card transaction may result in the expense being tagged as a duplicate (ineligible) claim.
Go to the Receipt Request page for more information.
Where can the Flex Card be used?
The Flex Card can be used at any properly coded provider location (including pharmacy and daycare) that accepts the provider logo on your Flex Card (MasterCard or VISA). Flex Card Eligible Vendors is a list of vendors where your card will work for eligible expenses.
What if the provider location doesn’t accept my card?
If you are unable to use the Flex Card, simply pay the expense and submit it for reimbursement on a paper claim form. See How to Submit a Claim
When will I receive my Flex Card?
You will receive your Flex Card approximately three weeks from the date that myCafeteriaPlan receives your enrollment information. Expenses incurred prior to receipt of the card (after the date of enrollment) can be submitted for reimbursement as a paper claim.
How do I activate my Flex Cards?
When you receive your new Flex Cards, you can activate them immediately via the toll-free number on the sticker on the front of the card. Only one card will need to be activated for both cards to work.
How long is my Flex Card valid?
Generally, your Flex Card will be valid for three years from the month that you receive it, unless you terminate your participation in the plan or all cards are re-issued for your plan. Approaching the expiration date, a new card will automatically be ordered and sent to you.
Can I order a third Flex Card?
You will receive two cards so that another family member can use the additional card. This second card will have the same account number. You may order a third Flex Card for a fee of $5, which will be deducted from your account. To order a third card, contact a myCafeteriaPlan representative.
What if my Flex Card is lost or stolen?
To report a lost or stolen Flex Card, simply contact a myCafeteriaPlan representative. Your missing card will be immediately deactivated and new cards will be ordered for you. A $5 replacement fee will be deducted from your account. In the event that unauthorized charges appear on your account, you may contact a myCafeteriaPlan representative to dispute the charges.
What happens if I use my Flex Card for an ineligible expense?
If the transaction is ineligible or lacks sufficient documentation, you will be notified via the monthly receipt request. You have up to 60 days from the initial notification to provide the supporting documentation or to repay the cafeteria plan by making a check or money order (payable to your employer) for the amount of the ineligible transaction. At the end of that period (60 days from the initial notification), if the expense has not been approved or repaid, either a payroll deduction for that amount will be taken by your employer, or your Flex Card will be deactivated. You will be notified of any payroll deductions by your employer.
If your plan year ends or your employment has been terminated prior to the resolution of outstanding ineligible charges, remember that you are still responsible to reimburse the plan for the ineligible charges. Intentional fraudulent use of the Flex Card can lead to the deactivation of your card and/or legal action.