What is a healthy benefit card?
Healthy benefit cards offer a convenient way for eligible individuals to purchase groceries and over the counter drugs using their healthcare benefit. These cards are offered by some private health insurance companies and Medicare Advantage plans. More than 30 million Americans are now enrolled in Medicare Advantage programs, and at least 5 million participants are currently receiving hundreds of dollars on healthy benefit cards through their health plan.
Can I accept these cards in my store?
It depends. In order to accept healthy benefit cards in your store, your POS system must be able to talk with the healthy benefit card payment networks who adjudicate the transaction to ensure only covered products are purchased. NGA has convened the key stakeholders in this field to work together to bring this service to your stores. See the table below for which POS systems work with which payment network. NGA will continue to update this table as more systems become available.
POS Systems and Processors Supporting Independent Grocers
*This table will continue to be updated as new information becomes available
What do I do next?
NGA has developed several resources depending on where you are in the process of accepting healthy benefit cards. If you are currently unable to accept these cards, we have developed signage to help inform your customers about the current situation and what they can do to help. If you are working to start accepting healthy benefit cards, we have developed a guide to the steps you need to take in order to begin accepting these new cards. Finally, NGA is continuing to advocate for more the expansion of these payment systems into independent grocery stores. Please sign our open letter to encourage ongoing cooperation with key stakeholders on this issue.