Over-the-counter (OTC) cards are an often underappreciated benefit provided by certain insurance and healthcare plans. These cards allow cardholders to purchase eligible health and wellness items, essentially freeing up resources that might have been directed towards these purchases otherwise. One popular destination for utilizing an OTC card is Walmart, a multinational retail corporation with a substantial array of products to choose from. This article will explain what you can buy at Walmart using an OTC card.

What Is an OTC Card?

An Over-The-Counter (OTC) card is a prepaid card loaded with a specific dollar amount each month, quarter, or year by some health insurance plans, primarily Medicare Advantage plans. It is designed to help individuals cover the costs of health-related items that are not typically covered under traditional health insurance plans, such as non-prescription drugs and medical supplies.

What Can You Buy at Walmart With an OTC Card?

Walmart, being one of the largest retail chains in the world, offers an extensive range of products you can purchase with an OTC card. Here are some categories of items you may buy:

  1. Over-the-Counter Medications: You can buy OTC medications like pain relievers, allergy medications, cough suppressants, heartburn medications, and more. It’s important to note that while you can buy these items, you cannot purchase prescription medications with your OTC card.
  2. Health and Wellness Items: This category includes items like vitamins, minerals, and supplements. You can also purchase items such as band-aids, first-aid kits, thermometers, blood pressure monitors, and diabetic supplies.
  3. Personal Care Items: Depending on the specifics of your plan, your OTC card may allow you to purchase items like toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwash, denture care items, and other oral care products. You might also be able to purchase personal care items like soap, body wash, shampoo, and incontinence supplies.
  4. Eye and Ear Care Products: You can purchase products such as eyeglass repair kits, lens cleaning wipes, contact lens solution, and even certain types of reading glasses. Ear care products like earplugs and earwax removal aids are also available.

Please note, though, that the specific items you can purchase with your OTC card depend on the details of your insurance plan. Some plans may not cover certain types of items, or they may have a limit on the amount you can spend on specific categories. Always check with your insurance provider if you’re unsure about whether a certain item is covered.

How to Use an OTC Card at Walmart

To use your OTC card at Walmart, you simply shop as you normally would and present your OTC card at the checkout just like any other payment card. For online purchases, you can enter your card information at checkout in the same manner. The key is to ensure that your total does not exceed the available balance on your card, as most OTC cards do not allow for split transactions.

A Few Important Notes

It’s important to understand that the balance on your OTC card does not roll over from month to month (or quarter to quarter, depending on your plan). If you don’t use the full balance in the specified time, you’ll lose the remaining amount. Therefore, it’s wise to plan your purchases to make sure you’re making the most of your OTC card.

Lastly, the use of OTC cards for purchases not covered under your plan (like groceries or clothes) is strictly prohibited. Misuse of your card may lead to penalties, including having your card disabled or being required to repay the misused funds.

In conclusion, an OTC card can be an incredibly helpful tool, especially when used strategically at a retailer like Walmart. Always check with your healthcare provider to understand the specifics of your plan and to ensure you’re using your card correctly. The better you understand the system, the more benefits you can reap from your OTC card.