If you have a Medicare Advantage plan that offers an Over-the-Counter (OTC) card benefit, this prepaid card can help you save on healthcare items, groceries, and more at Walmart. This comprehensive guide will explain how OTC cards work and provide tips to maximize the value of your benefits.
What is an OTC Card and What Can You Buy with it at Walmart?
An OTC card is a special prepaid debit card provided by certain health insurance companies to members enrolled in Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription plans. It allows you to purchase qualified over-the-counter healthcare products and groceries at discounted prices.
With an OTC card at Walmart, you can buy:
- Over-the-counter medications
- Cold medicine, pain relievers, digestive aids
- Medical supplies
- Bandages, braces, compression stockings
- Personal care
- Denture adhesive, oral pain relief, incontinence supplies
- Milk, bread, produce, meat (with select plans)
OTC cards can save you 25-50% on these everyday healthcare and grocery essentials. The eligible items vary depending on your specific Medicare Advantage insurance provider.
How Do OTC Card Benefits Work?
Your insurance company will provide you an OTC card with a certain amount of preloaded funds on it per year. This prepaid "allowance" ranges from $25 to $600 annually depending on your plan.
You can spend down this balance on eligible purchases at Walmart over the course of the year. Unused funds will expire at the end of the year or benefits period.
Most OTC cards work like prepaid debit cards. Simply present your card as payment at checkout. The cashier will treat it like any other debit/credit card and the amount will be deducted from the balance.
It‘s important to register your OTC card online or by phone to manage your balance. You can check how much is left and view purchase history.
|Pros||– Discounted prices on healthcare/grocery items|
|– Convenient online ordering and in-store checkout|
|– Card is prepaid so no need to carry cash|
|– Can view balance and transaction history online|
|Cons||– Must remember to use card balance before it expires|
|– Eligible items vary by insurance plan|
|– Most plans only allow in-store purchases, not online|
Now let‘s look at how to use your OTC card benefits at Walmart.
Major Insurance Providers That Offer OTC Cards
Many top Medicare Advantage insurers provide prepaid OTC card benefits. Here are some of the major companies offering OTC cards you can use at Walmart:
- Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
- Clover Health
According to the American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance, 94% of 2022 Medicare Advantage plans include OTC benefit cards.
Always verify directly with your insurance provider that they offer an OTC card usable at Walmart. Look for their name on Walmart‘s OTC page.
Shopping In-Store with an OTC Card
Purchasing items at a Walmart store with your OTC card is simple:
Browse the store and select eligible products from your plan‘s OTC list.
Proceed to checkout whenever you‘re ready.
When it‘s time to pay, let the cashier know you will be using your OTC benefit card.
They will swipe your card as payment. The amount will automatically deduct from your prepaid balance.
Be sure to get a receipt to track your purchases.
If your card is not accepted or the item is deemed ineligible, check your plan details. Some have exclusions or only cover certain brands.
Can You Use an OTC Card Online at Walmart?
While most plans only allow in-store OTC purchases at this time, some insurers are starting to offer online redemption.
For plans with online eligibility, you can use your OTC card on Walmart.com or the Walmart app:
Add eligible items to your cart and proceed to checkout.
Enter your OTC card number in the gift card field instead of credit/debit card details.
The amount will be deducted from your prepaid balance.
Check your plan details to confirm if you can use your OTC benefits online. If so, save your card to your Walmart account for easier checkout.
Purchasing with an OTC Card Over the Phone
Another way to use your prepaid OTC benefits is to order items by phone for delivery or in-store pickup.
To order over the phone:
Call the toll-free number listed on the back of your OTC card.
Explain what eligible items you want to purchase with your card.
The customer service agent will place the order and process payment from your OTC account balance.
The card number on the back also allows you to check your balance and transaction history.
Grocery Benefits with OTC Cards at Walmart
Some OTC cards include allowances that let you purchase discounted groceries at Walmart with your benefit.
Plans with grocery perks provide around $25-$50 weekly in savings on items like:
- Dairy – Milk, cheese, eggs
- Meat & Seafood – Beef, chicken, fish
- Fruits & Vegetables – Fresh produce
- Bread & Grains
According to Walmart, the OTC grocery benefit can save you over $1,200 per year on essential food items.
Always verify if your Medicare Advantage plan includes the grocery allowance before purchasing. And check expiration dates, as grocery funds must be used weekly.
Tips for Maximizing Your OTC Walmart Savings
Follow these tips to get the most value from your OTC card:
Check your balance frequently: Review your balance online or by phone so you know how much you have left to spend.
Use grocery funds weekly: Grocery allowances expire if not used within the week, so buy essentials like milk and produce regularly.
Combine with other discounts: Stack savings by using Manufacturer‘s Coupons or Walmart‘s discounted gift cards on top of your OTC benefits.
Set payment reminders: Calendar reminders to use your OTC card so you remember to take advantage before expiry.
Buy generics: Opt for generic over name brand when possible to maximize what you can purchase.
Don‘t forget personal care: OTC plans also cover dental, foot and skin care items.
Using your OTC card strategically allows you to get the most value from this Medicare Advantage benefit.
Frequently Asked Questions about OTC Cards at Walmart
How do I check my OTC card‘s balance?
Call the toll-free number on the back of your card and follow prompts or register your card online to view your balance and transaction history.
What if my OTC card is not accepted for an item?
If your OTC card is declined, it likely means the product is not eligible under your specific plan‘s coverage. Check your insurer‘s list of approved OTC items.
Can I use my OTC grocery allowance to buy prepared foods?
No, grocery benefits only apply to unprepared food items. Pre-made deli foods, heat-and-eat meals etc. are not eligible.
Do OTC funds expire?
Yes, most plans have use-it-or-lose-it OTC funds that expire at the end of the year or benefits period if not spent.
Can I order online for store pickup?
Yes, you can order OTC eligible items on Walmart.com for pickup at your local store if your plan allows online ordering.
Get Started Saving with an OTC Card at Walmart
Hopefully this guide gave you a better understanding of how to maximize your OTC card benefits for healthcare and grocery savings at Walmart stores and online.
Be sure to check with your Medicare Advantage insurance provider to confirm you have an OTC card, then review the list of eligible items. With a little planning, you can unlock hundreds of dollars in discounts!