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The Vanguard Group

Health care FSA: Q&A

Last updated: 31 Mar 2014  BenefitsMailbox, Ext. 34BEN or 800-407-8576

Health care FSA debit card

The debit card function is not available for crew members enrolled in the HDHP. See Limited FSA usage with the HDHP for more information.

How do I get my health care FSA debit card?

If you elect a health care FSA, you will automatically receive two debit cards (one for you and one for your spouse or other family member) in the mail within a few weeks of enrolling. You can request additional cards through Aetna.

How do I activate my FSA debit card?

To activate your debit card, call 866-285-2425. When prompted for the last four digits of your Social Security number, please enter the last four digits of your Crew ID instead. Social Security numbers are no longer required to protect your personal data.

Do I need to set up a PIN for my FSA debit card?

Effective April 1, 2013, you or a merchant that accepts your FSA debit card can choose to process your payment as debit or credit. If the merchant requires a debit payment, you will need to enter your personal identification number (PIN) to complete the transaction. To get a PIN for your card, please call Card Services at 888-999-0121 on or after April 1. The same PIN should be used for all debit card account holders on your plan.

Can I use my debit card to pay for office visit deductibles and coinsurance?

No. The debit card is for prescription drug purchases and for eligible over-the-counter purchases. Aetna's Streamline process can be used to pay for office visit deductibles and coinsurance.

Can I use my debit card for retail prescription copays and coinsurance?

Yes. You can use your debit card at any retail pharmacy for prescription copays and coinsurance. These transactions will be automatically deducted from your FSA.

Can I use my debit card to pay for Caremark mail order prescription drugs?

Yes. You can use your debit card to pay for your Caremark mail order prescription drug copays or coinsurance amounts. Simply provide the account information that is listed on your debit card when completing the payment information section of the Prescription mail order form.

Can I use my debit card to pay for eligible over-the-counter products?

Yes. You may use your debit card at many retail locations to purchase certain over-the-counter items that have been approved by the IRS. For a list of locations that accept the card, see Aetna's FSA website. Any over-the-counter purchases made at merchants other than those on the list must be submitted via a paper claim form with a receipt for reimbursement.

Due to health care reform, many over-the-counter medicines now require a prescription from your doctor. These products cannot be purchased using a debit card (you must submit a paper claim). Aetna's FSA website provides an exact list.

Can I use my debit card to purchase over-the-counter products on the Internet?

Yes, there are some online merchants that accept the card, such as Drugstore.com. For a full list, see the merchant list on Aetna's FSA website.

Can I use my debit card during the three-month grace period (until March 15 of the next year) to incur expenses?

Yes. Debit card transactions will be processed against any remaining prior-year balance first. Once your prior-year balance has been exhausted, any purchases made with your debit card will be applied to your current-year balance.

For example, if you were to purchase prescriptions from CVS Caremark in January 2013 and you use your debit card to make the purchase, the expense would be applied to your remaining 2012 account balance first.

Will my debit card still work if I use all the funds in my FSA?

No. The card will be denied when the FSA is "empty" (i.e., your health care reimbursements have exceeded the amount of the annual health care pledge). Therefore, you will have to pay for remaining health care expenses out of pocket for the rest of the plan year.

Is there a limit on the number of prescriptions I can purchase in one debit card transaction?

Yes. You only can purchase up to eight prescriptions per debit card transaction. You can purchase more than eight with separate transactions.

Will a new debit card be issued for each plan year I enroll?

No. The debit cards are good for three years, so do not cut them up or throw them away should you exhaust your account during the plan year. New cards will be issued when the old ones have expired.

How do I know when a debit card expires?

The expiration date is printed on the card.

If employment with Vanguard is discontinued, can I still use my debit card?

No. The health care FSA debit card will be deactivated upon termination.