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The TRI-AD BenefitCard Makes it Easy

Click here to watch a video about the BenefitCard

The TRI-AD BenefitCard makes it easy to use your Flexible Spending Accounts! The BenefitCard debit card gives you:

  • Instant access to your account at approved merchants
  • Less hassle with documentation. Many transactions are automatically approved.
  • A convenient way to pay medical and other health care bills with a card rather than a check.
  • Free cards for your dependents.
TRI-AD BenefitCard

Learn more about the TRI-AD BenefitCard

Where Can I Use the TRI-AD BenefitCard?

You can use the TRI-AD BenefitCard FSA signature-free debit card at any health care or dependent care provider who takes VISA. The location's eligibility is triggered by its merchant code on the VISA system. Thus, you can use it at a pharmacy but not at a restaurant.

Drug stores, pharmacies, grocery stores and some discount stores (e.g. Wal-Mart) are required to have an Inventory Information Approval System (IIAS) in place for health care products. This system automatically determines which health care items you are allowed to purchase with your TRI-AD BenefitCard. You will only be able to pay for eligible health care items with the card. You will need to pay for items that do not qualify for reimbursement using another form of payment. Your debit card may be accepted at drug stores and pharmacies that do not have an IIAS system in place, but only if 90% of the store’s annual sales are from qualifying health items. If you make a purchase at one of these stores, TRI-AD is required by law to ask for your receipts. Please be prepared – save your receipts to submit them to TRI-AD upon request.

Click here for an eligible merchant list from SIGIS, the Special Interest Group for IIAS Standards.

When Are Transactions Automatically Approved?

Automatic approval takes a combination of a few things:

  • The transaction must come from an eligible merchant AND
  • It would need to be for a copay amount, multiple of copay, or other amount that can be tied directly to a valid transaction; or
  • If the store's inventory control system (see IIAS info above) is set up to flag certain items as FSA-eligible, or interacts with the card's system to identify items as FSA-eligible, the transaction can be automatically approved if all the items on the transaction are FSA-eligible.

Hint: an eligible merchant can be the pharmacy counter in a drugstore and not the front check-out, depending on the merchant codes used by the store. Where possible, make your eligible purchases at the pharmacy counter.

When Does TRI-AD Ask for Backup Documentation?

The IRS requires that every claim be substantiated. If we cannot automatically substantiate that your claim is eligible, we will ask for backup documentation.

Examples are:

  • You make a purchase for an amount that is not a straight copay (e.g., at the optometrist, dentist, or an amount toward a deductible or co-insurance that is not a predetermined amount.);
  • You use your card for an item that potentially has dual purpose, and the expense needs a doctor's note to be eligible;
  • You use your card at a merchant where non-eligible items can also be purchased and the store does not have an IIAS (Inventory Information Approval System).

Hint: Keep your receipts in case we ask you for backup!

See more hints on filing a claim

Hint: Log in to your account to sign up for e-mail requests for backup documentation. You can receive your documentation requests via e-mail. Also, if you fax back your documentation, you will receive a confirmation of fax receipt if you have signed up for electronic communications.

How Does the BeneiftCard Work with Over-the-Counter Drugs and Medicines?

You will need a prescription for an OTC drug or medicine to be an FSA-eligible expense. However, you can buy prescribed OTC drugs/medicines with your TRI-AD BenefitCard.

In many cases, your OTC purchase transaction will be auto-substantiated at the pharmacy and other stores, so TRI-AD may not ask for your receipts. However, you should always save your receipts and other supporting documentation in case TRI-AD requests them and for tax purposes.

For pharmacies, drug stores, non-health care vendors who have pharmacies, and mail-order or Web-based vendors who sell prescriptions:

  1. You must give your prescription to the pharmacist.
  2. The OTC drug/medicine must be dispensed by the pharmacist according to federal and state laws.
  3. An Rx number must be assigned.
  4. The pharmacy or other vendor must retain a record of the Rx number, purchaser's/patient's name, date and amount of the purchase.
  5. The transaction details must be available to your employer or FSA plan administrator if requested.
  6. The vendor's system must be set up to deny any charge for an OTC medicine or drug if an Rx number is not assigned.

For OTC drug/medicine purchases at other vendors that use FSA-eligible merchant category codes (Doctors, Dentists, etc.):

  1. The vendor keeps the name of the purchaser/patient, the date and amount of the purchase in accordance with IRS card program rules.
  2. The transaction details must available to your employer or FSA plan administrator if requested.
  3. Other IRS requirements for debit card transactions must be met.

Pharmacies and other vendors are still working to make their systems compliant this change in the IRS rules. If your BenefitCard transaction is denied but you think that your OTC drug/medicine purchase is an FSA-eligible expense, you can still submit a claim for reimbursement to TRI-AD with the required documentation. It's another good reason to always save your receipts!


"The BenefitCard makes using my FSA accounts so easy! Most of my expenses are doctors' office or prescription copays, so I rarely have to provide backup documentation. When I do receive a documentation request, I attach the receipts and send it back immediately. I love the way the card gives me instant access to my money!"

- Sharon,
FSA participant