Hey there! If you‘re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you may have received an over-the-counter (OTC) benefit card that allows you to buy certain healthcare items and groceries at discounted prices. This handy prepaid card can be used at Walmart locations nationwide and Walmart.com.
But you may be wondering—what exactly can you buy with an OTC card at Walmart? I‘ve done tons of research to create this comprehensive guide on how to maximize the value of OTC cards when shopping at Walmart. I‘ll walk you through everything you need to know, as your friend!
What is an Over-the-Counter (OTC) Card and How Does It Work?
An OTC card is a prepaid debit card provided by Medicare Advantage insurance companies as part of their coverage benefits. It allows you to purchase approved over-the-counter medicines, health products, and groceries at reduced prices.
Your Medicare Advantage plan loads funds onto the card quarterly or annually. The amount varies by insurer, but is typically $100-$300 per quarter for healthcare items, plus allowances of $25-$50 per month for healthy grocery purchases.
When you use the card at Walmart, it works just like a regular debit or credit card, deducting the amount directly from your available balance. Easy as that!
Nationally, 70% of Medicare Advantage enrollees receive OTC benefit cards in 2024. They are highly valued for the savings and convenience they provide.
What Can You Buy with an OTC Card at Walmart?
Walmart offers a huge selection of over-the-counter healthcare products and groceries. Your OTC card can be used to purchase certain eligible items, including:
This includes non-prescription medicines like:
- Pain relievers: Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, aspirin
- Cold and flu medicine
- Allergy relief medication – antihistamines, decongestants
- Ointments: Antibiotic, anti-itch, antifungal
- Laxatives and antacids
- Sleep aids
- Wart removal treatments
Your OTC card covers certain medical supplies and devices like:
- Diabetes testing supplies – glucose meters, test strips, lancets
- Braces and supports – wrist, ankle, knee, back
- Incontinence supplies – pads, protective underwear
- Denture adhesives and cleaners
- Reading glasses
- Supports and braces
According to a 2021 AARP study, the most popular OTC items purchased with benefit cards are pain relief medication, digestive aids, and skin treatments.
Many OTC cards also provide an allowance that can be used on healthy grocery items each month, typically $25-$50.
You can buy staple foods like:
- Dairy: Milk, cheese, yogurt
- Fruits and veggies: Fresh, frozen or canned
- Breads and cereals
- Meat and seafood
- Beans, lentils
Check your plan details to see which products are covered by your specific OTC card. Your Medicare Advantage insurer provides the list of eligible items.
Major Medicare Advantage Plans Offering OTC Cards for Walmart
The following major Medicare Advantage plans currently provide OTC benefit cards that you can use at Walmart pharmacies and stores:
- Aetna Medicare Advantage
- Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare
- Cigna Medicare Advantage
- Humana Medicare Advantage
- Kaiser Permanente Medicare Advantage
- UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage
- Wellcare Medicare Advantage
Additionally, many smaller regional Medicare Advantage insurers offer OTC cards compatible with Walmart. Check with your plan‘s
customer service or view your welcome materials to confirm if they provide this benefit.
How Can You Use Your OTC Card at Walmart In-Store?
Using your OTC benefit card at Walmart stores is very easy! Here are some tips:
- Add items to your cart – Select the eligible healthcare products and groceries you wish to buy. Need help finding approved items? Check your plan‘s list or ask the pharmacist.
- Proceed to checkout – Go through the checkout line as usual. Self-checkout works too.
- Present OTC card as payment – When it‘s time to pay, simply swipe your OTC card through the credit card terminal.
- Sign the receipt – You may need to sign the transaction receipt depending on the amount.
- Check your balance – Your remaining benefit balance will print on the receipt. No math required!
- Keep your receipt – This will allow you to check which purchases were deducted from your balance.
See, using your OTC card instore couldn‘t be easier! Just one easy swipe.
How Do You Use an OTC Card Online at Walmart.com?
If you prefer shopping online or want delivery, you can also use your OTC card on the Walmart website or mobile app. Just follow these instructions:
- Create account – Sign up for a free Walmart.com account if you don‘t have one yet.
- Shop for eligible items – Browse or search for approved OTC and grocery products. Add to cart.
- Proceed to checkout – When ready, begin the checkout process.
- Select “Gift Card” as payment – Choose the gift card option when prompted for payment method.
- Input OTC card number – Type in your 16-digit OTC benefit card number in the gift card field.
- Complete order – Finish remaining checkout steps. Your total will be deducted from your OTC balance.
You can also save your OTC card info to your Walmart.com account wallet for faster checkout in the future.
Key Benefits of Using Your OTC Card at Walmart
There are awesome benefits to using your OTC benefit card when shopping at Walmart:
- Savings – You‘ll enjoy discounted prices on eligible healthcare and grocery items.
- Convenience – No more fumbling for cash or change! Just present your card.
- Accessibility – Use easily in stores or online with delivery.
- Simplicity – Walmart handles verifying if products are approved and covered.
- Security – Your card is protected against unauthorized use by a unique PIN.
- Manageable Balance – Check your balance by phone before shopping so you know how much is available.
- Healthy Foods – Weekly grocery allowance helps you eat right.
According to the AARP, 87% of Medicare Advantage members feel their OTC benefit card helps them maintain a healthy lifestyle.
How to Find Eligible OTC Products at Walmart
Wondering how you can easily locate products eligible for purchase with your OTC card when shopping Walmart? Here are some tips:
- Check your plan‘s OTC catalog – Your insurer provides a list of covered healthcare/grocery items.
- Use the Walmart website – They organize approved OTC products neatly by category based on each Medicare Advantage plan.
- Ask the pharmacist – Walmart pharmacy staff have lists of eligible items for the major Medicare Advantage insurer OTC programs.
- Call your insurer – Your plan‘s customer service can let you know if a specific product is covered by your card.
- Look for tags on shelves – Walmart marks approved OTC products with special icon tags making them easy to spot.
- Use the app – Add only eligible items to your cart. The app blocks non-covered items for pickup/delivery.
Doing a quick check will ensure the products you want to purchase with your OTC card are covered.
Shopping with OTC Cards vs Other Payment Methods
There are several advantages to using your OTC benefit card over other forms of payment when shopping at Walmart:
|Discounted prices, balances rollover, groceries covered, convenient
|Can only buy approved items, balances expire
|No discounts, have to withdraw cash beforehand
|Convenient, protected by PIN/chips
|No discounts or incentives
|Walmart Gift Card
|Discounts on select brands
|Balances expire, no health products covered
As you can see, using your OTC benefit card provides the best of all worlds – discounts, convenience, and flexibility. Just remember to check which items are covered!
Tips for Maximizing Your OTC Card at Walmart
Want to make the most of your OTC card benefits when shopping at Walmart? Here are some great tips:
- Check your balance by phone before shopping so you know how much you have available to spend.
- Shop early in the month or quarter before you‘ve used up your benefits allotment.
- Generic over-the-counter medicines are much cheaper than name brands, leaving you more balance for other items.
- Stock up on essential healthcare items when they are on sale to get more for your dollar.
- Take advantage of the weekly grocery allowance to keep your kitchen stocked on a budget.
- Opt for store pickup rather than delivery to avoid fees deducted from your balance.
- Save non-eligible items for a separate transaction if you exceed your card‘s available balance.
- Keep your receipts and track purchases to see your remaining balance.
The Bottom Line
I hope this comprehensive guide gives you a better understanding of how to maximize the value of your Medicare Advantage plan‘s OTC benefit card when shopping at Walmart pharmacies and retail locations in-store or online.
You can save a lot purchasing approved healthcare supplies, over-the-counter medicines, and healthy groceries with your card‘s prepaid balance each month or quarter. Just be sure to check which specific products are covered by your particular Medicare Advantage insurance provider.
Knowing how to use OTC cards at Walmart ensures you take advantage of every benefit and dollar available! Let me know if you have any other questions.