Fidelity Joins FSA Debit Card Trend

August 20, 2003 ( - Fidelity Investments has joined the list of vendors offering a debit card payment option for corporations that use its outsourcing services for their health-care flexible spending accounts (FSAs).

The electronic payment option allows FSA participants to pay for qualified out-of-pocket health-care expenses with the swipe of a card at the time of the transaction, the Fidelity announcement said. Participants can use the debit card to pay for common recurring out-of-pocket costs such as office visit co-payments and prescription drugs, without having to submit a claim later.  

Fidelity said the new debit card reduces participants’ burden of submitting receipts and eliminates having to wait for reimbursements for their eligible health-care expenditures

At the time of purchase, transactions using the FSA debit card are charged against the participant’s personal FSA balance.   The electronic payment option employs a new technology that authenticates most charges at the point of service, making sure ineligible expenses are not processed.   For example, when a participant presents an FSA debit card for a prescription drug co-payment, the debit card system electronically matches the charge with the participant’s insurance plan co-pay amount, therefore authorizing payment with the debit card.

FSAs allow employees to withhold pre-tax dollars from their paychecks to pay for eligible health-care expenses that are not covered by their health-care plans, such as pharmaceutical items, co-payments, plan deductibles, and certain vision and dental services.    

By logging into their FSAs via Fidelity’s NetBenefits Web portal, participants can view their transaction history, monitor their account balance and access educational information and tools, Fidelity said.