FSA debit card

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Description:
An FSA Debit Card is a special type of debit card issued in the United States to access tax-favored spending accounts such as flexible spending accounts (FSA) and health reimbursement accounts (HRA), and sometimes health savings accounts (HSA) as well.

All such cards to date bear the Visa, MasterCard, or Discover brand and operate through their main networks; thus all FSA debit card transactions are of the offline variety (also known as "signature debit" or, inaccurately but commonly, "credit"). This can create confusion at merchants such as Wal-Mart that attempt to "steer" debit cards to online debit (aka "PIN debit" or just plain "debit"); FSA debit cards will not work that way.

Background

Though these cards can be issued with HRAs and HSAs as well as FSAs, the FSA is the oldest and most common of these accounts; therefore, for simplicity these cards are often referred to as "FSA" debit cards. Walgreens and drugstore.com have "FSA stores" designed for use with these cards, whether tied to medical FSAs, HRAs or HSAs.

Though a few FSA debit cards are also issued for dependent care and transportation expenses, most are issued for medical expenses. (The rest of this article deals only with FSA debit cards used with medical FSAs, HRAs or HSAs.)

Traditionally, to meet Internal Revenue Service (IRS) substantiation requirements, FSAs were accessed only through claims for reimbursement after incurring (and...
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