Wal-Mart Accepting Flexible Spending Account Debit Cards

BENTONVILLE, Ark. - Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. said it is introducing a new technology for customers who use flexible spending account (FSA) debit cards to pay for health care or dependent care merchandise.
The inventory information approval system (IIAS) automatically identifies FSA-eligible merchandise, which has a unique identifying number, at checkout. At the end of the transaction, a total is displayed showing FSA and non-FSA merchandise. The customer can then use his or her FSA card for payment of FSA-eligible merchandise, along with another form of payment for non-FSA merchandise.

Wal-Mart's move follows a Dec. 14 ruling by the Internal Revenue Service that allows consumers to use Health Reimbursement and Flexible Spending Account (HRA/FSA) debit cards at all supermarkets and mass merchant outlets.

Previously, the IRS held that consumers could redeem benefits with HRA and FSA debit cards only at drug stores until supermarkets and mass merchants install the IIAS technology. Under the new ruling, retailers will still be required to install IIAS technology, but they'll have a grace period.
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