Medicare Plus Card: Review
- What is the Medicare Plus Card, and is it legitimate? In this review, we explore this health care discount card, including its costs, what it can pay for and whether it’s a good choice for you.
There are several Medicare insurance products on the market, and it’s possible you may have seen an advertisement for the Medicare Plus Card. In this review, we outline just what this discount card includes so that you can get a better idea of whether or not it’s a good product to consider.
What’s a Medicare Plus Card?
The Medicare Plus Card is billed as a “non-government resource to discounts and savings.” It was created by Medicare World, which describes itself as “the nation’s largest non-government resource for information and tools for those on Medicare.”
Despite its name, the Medicare Plus Card is not actually tied to Medicare or the federal Medicare program in any way. It is essentially just a savings or discount card, not unlike many other similar discount cards available to consumers.
How Does the Medicare Plus Card work?
The Medicare Plus Card offers discounts on prescription drugs, dental, vision and hearing care. To use the card, you must find a pharmacy, dentist, eye doctor or hearing doctor who will accept the card and apply the discount to your appointment or product.
The Medicare Plus Card markets itself as providing coverage for things not covered by Medicare. While it’s true that Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) does not cover prescription drugs, dental, vision or hearing, these benefits are commonly offered by Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plans, which are sold by private insurance companies. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan that includes some of these benefits, you may not need to consider getting the Medicare Plus Card.
The company that provides the Medicare Plus Card claims that the card is accepted at 80,000 dentists, 59,000 pharmacies, 10,000 vision centers and 1,500 hearing centers. The Medicare Plus Card also claims to provide card holders with:
- Up to 65% savings on brand name and generic drugs
- Discounts on Lasik surgery, eye exams and contact lenses
- Savings on travel, restaurants, retail items and groceries
Walmart, Kroger, CVS, Publix, Safeway, Albertsons, Kmart, Rite Aid and Costco are all listed as participating providers, but card acceptance may vary by location. You should check with your pharmacy, eye doctor, hearing doctor or other providers to confirm whether or not they accept or honor any of the discounts offered by the Medicare Plus Card.
The Medicare Plus Card is free and there is no initial, monthly or annual cost to have or use the card.
Is the Medicare Plus Card Legitimate?
The company claims that more than one million people have received a Medicare Plus Card. (For perspective, there are over 61 million Medicare beneficiaries in 2021).
They also claim that the Medicare Plus Card is “the only discount card made for those on Medicare.” That’s not true, as there are several discount programs for prescription drugs available to Medicare beneficiaries, such as discount cards from GoodRx, Script Relief, SingleCare and more.
Medicare beneficiaries are free to use discount cards for dental (such as Carefree Dental or DenteMax), vision (FACT or Careington among others) as well as hearing (Epic Hearing and WellCard to name just a couple) care. Even AAA and AARP offer discounts on vision, dental, hearing and prescriptions.
The Medicare Plus Card may or may not offer any additional savings to Medicare Advantage plan members, as private insurance plans and health care providers often do not allow for any additional discounts to be applied.
In fact, federal anti-kickback laws prohibit the use of drug coupons or discount cards to be used in conjunction with Medicare drug coverage. That means if you have a Medicare Advantage plan with prescription drug coverage or a Medicare Part D plan, you must choose to use either your plan or the discount card when filling a prescription. It would be illegal to use both.
So is the Medicare Plus Card legitimate? There is no indication that the card is any sort of financial scam, as it does not cost anything to get the card. However, you do have to submit some basic information to sign up for the card such as your email address, phone number and home address. The fine print states that by doing so, you are agreeing to receive marketing emails, phone calls and text messages from third party providers.
While the Medicare Plus Card is likely a legitimate discount card, some of the claims may seem less than legitimate. It’s far from the only discount card that may be used by Medicare beneficiaries. It may not be used in conjunction with a Medicare plan for prescription drugs, and it’s possible that it can’t be used in conjunction with a Medicare plan for vision, dental or hearing care either. The card is not actually associated with Medicare in any way, and there is no guarantee you will be able to find a health care provider near you who will honor the discount.
Is there any real risk involved with acquiring a Medicare Plus Card? Not necessarily, unless you don’t want to be inundated with anymore spam emails or phone calls. As long as you can find a provider who will accept the card, it may save you a few bucks here and there if you don’t have a Medicare Advantage plans, a Medicare Part D plan, or other drug, vision, dental or hearing plan.