The Health Stimulus Card, also known as an EIP Card, is an initiative implemented by the US government to provide financial assistance to individuals facing healthcare-related expenses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Health Stimulus Card
During the pandemic, the need for immediate access to financial assistance was critical for many Americans. Mastercard recognized this urgency and stepped forward to facilitate the payment process for millions of individuals.
By enabling direct deposits onto EIP cards, Mastercard significantly accelerated the delivery of financial aid, reaching individuals much faster than traditional paper checks.
These payments were initially issued via paper checks or direct deposit, but later, some eligible recipients received them through Economic Impact Cards (EIPs), also known as stimulus cards.
What are Health Stimulus Cards used for?
Unlike the general EIP program, Health Stimulus Cards were specifically intended to help individuals cover healthcare-related expenses incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. These expenses could include:
- Medical bills
- Prescription medications
- Over-the-counter medications
- Dental care
- Vision care
- Mental health services
Eligibility for a Health Stimulus Card
Eligibility for receiving a Health Stimulus Card was determined by the IRS based on the following criteria:
- Income: Individuals whose adjusted gross income fell within specific thresholds set by the IRS were eligible.
- Filing status: Individuals who filed their tax returns as single, married filing jointly, or head of household were eligible.
- Dependents: Individuals with dependents were eligible for additional payments.
- Bank account information: Individuals who did not have bank accounts on file with the IRS or whose information was outdated were eligible to receive a Health Stimulus Card.
How to use a Health Stimulus Card?
Health Stimulus Cards could be used like any other debit card to make purchases at participating healthcare providers and pharmacies. Additionally, cardholders could use them to:
- Withdraw cash from ATMs
- Transfer funds to bank accounts
- Make online payments
How to apply for Health Stimulus Cards?
If you were eligible for a Health Stimulus Card and met all the criteria, the IRS would have automatically mailed it to your registered address. The card would arrive in an envelope containing the following:
- Information brochure: This brochure provides details about the card, including its features, fees, and usage instructions.
- Activation instructions: These instructions explain how to activate your card and set a PIN.
- Note from the United States Treasury: This note confirms your eligibility for the program and provides additional information.
How to activate a Health Stimulus Card?
To activate your card, you would need to follow the instructions provided in the information brochure. This typically involves:
- Calling a toll-free number.
- Providing your card information.
- Creating a PIN
- Verifying your identity.
Once your card is activated, you can use it to make purchases at participating healthcare providers and pharmacies, withdraw cash from ATMs, transfer funds to bank accounts, and make online payments.
Note: Unfortunately, the Health Stimulus Card program became a target for scams and fraudulent activity.
Scammers used various methods to trick individuals into revealing personal information or stealing their card funds. It is to be aware of these practices:
- Never share your card information with anyone you do not trust.
- Be wary of unsolicited phone calls, emails, or text messages claiming to be from the IRS or a healthcare provider.
- Avoid clicking on any suspicious links or attachments.
- Report any suspected scams or fraud to the IRS immediately.
How to check the Health Stimulus Card Balance?
There are three convenient and free ways to check your Health Stimulus Card balance:
- Mobile App: Download the Money Network® Mobile App and log in with your card information. This app allows you to view your current balance, transaction history, and manage account settings.
- Online: Visit the official website at EIPCard.com and log in to your account. Here, you can access your balance, review transactions, and update your personal information.
- By Phone: Call the toll-free number 1-800-240-8100 and follow the automated voice prompts to access your balance. This option is available 24/7.
Getting Cash Without Fees:
- Use your card at In-Network All Point brand ATMs.
- Find a nearby ATM using the Money Network Mobile App or EIPCard.com.
- Request a Money Network Check and cash it at a participating location.
- Make purchases at participating healthcare providers and pharmacies.
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