Answers to questions about Visa Healthcare & Benefit cards

Here are the most common questions we’re asked about Visa® Healthcare & Benefit cards. If you need additional information or want to add a card to your health and benefits program, please contact a Visa Card Provider.


What are Visa Healthcare & Benefit cards?

Visa Healthcare & Benefit cards give benefit account holders convenient access to their account funds. Whether the account is a Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA), Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA), the respective Visa card allows direct access to those funds. Instead of paying out-of-pocket and filing for reimbursement, or worrying about reconciliation, employees can pay for qualified medical expenses with their card – wherever Visa Debit Cards are accepted. Visa Healthcare & Benefit cards can also be issued in connection with Transit, Dependent Care and Wellness programs. Ask your card provider for details.

How are Visa Healthcare & Benefit cards used?

Visa Healthcare & Benefit cards can be used to easily pay for any qualified medical expenses allowed by the benefit plan. FSA and HRA cards are restricted-use cards in compliance with IRS guidelines. HSA cards can be issued either with or without restrictions, such as Merchant Category Code (MCC) or ATM enabled, depending on the program structure. Either way, the employee is responsible for following IRS guidelines for the use of HSA funds.

How do I add Visa Healthcare & Benefit cards to my program?

Simply visit the Find a Provider section of our website. You can easily search by type of provider and/or product offering. After identifying partners who meet your criteria, you can contact them directly through the links provided.

How do employees and employers benefit from Visa Healthcare & Benefit cards?

Visa cards add efficiency to healthcare, transit and other benefit accounts for both employees and employers. Employees are often more satisfied with benefit programs when they know a Visa card will make it easier to access their funds. And since these accounts are tax-advantaged, employees benefit from greater tax savings on money set aside to pay for eligible expenses. Employers also realize reduced payroll tax liability for their pre-tax contributions to employee accounts. In addition, Visa Healthcare & Benefit cards reduce the hassle associated with reimbursement, since the card provides direct access to benefit account funds.

What if a particular healthcare merchant does not accept Visa Debit cards?

Participants should follow these steps:

  • Use another form of payment for the qualified medical expense
  • Retain an itemized receipt
  • Follow rules and requirements of their plan
  • File for reimbursement from the plan administrator if enrolled in an FSA or HRA
  • Reconcile/Self-reimburse if enrolled in an HSA

Can Visa Healthcare & Benefit cards be used for online purchases?

Yes, as long as the items are eligible medical expenses from a qualified merchant. An itemized receipt should be obtained.

Why do employees need to save itemized receipts?

Itemized receipts should always be retained as proof of qualified medical purchases. The benefits plan – or the IRS – may require documentation on how these funds were spent.

What if there are not enough funds in the account to cover qualified expenses?

Unless a merchant supports partial authorizations, transactions will be declined if there are insufficient funds in the account. Many benefit plan administrators provide regular updates or alerts to members regarding their remaining balance to help them manage their funds. The cardholder should determine how much of the total to cover with the remaining funds and then pay the balance using a different payment method.

Where can I find more information on HSAs?

What if an employee has detailed questions about Visa Healthcare & Benefit cards or a related healthcare account?

The employee should contact their plan provider with specific questions.

What are the IRS guidelines around IIAS?

As a general rule, otherwise unreimbursed medical expenses may qualify as an eligible expense. For further information consult IRS Publications 502, 503, and 569. Also, IRS Revenue Ruling 2010-59 and 2011-05 provided additional guidance on eligibility requirements for Over-The-Counter (OTC) Drugs & Medicines. Find out more at the Department of Treasury website.

Find the right card to add to your company’s health benefit program

Find a Visa Healthcare & Benefit card provider