Debit Cards & Disbursements
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Debit Cards

Accountholders receive a signature based MasterCard debit for convenience in making qualified healthcare purchases. It takes about 2 weeks to get a new Sterling debit card and it’s activated at the first use for a qualified medical expense. You can choose to allow dependents on your account to have a debit card as well.

Your card and HSA account are regulated by the IRS, so IRS rules determine who can use the account and for what items and services. To make sure that your card is only used to purchase eligible items, the IRS requires most pharmacies and all general merchandise stores to install and maintain an inventory control system that can identify the eligibility of items at checkout. In most instances, your card transaction will be automatically verified at checkout, which means you will not have to submit a receipt to Sterling after the transaction. You should keep each receipt for tax purposes and in the event it is needed for verification that the expense was qualified under HSA rules. Sterling will scan and archive receipts for you, if you want this service.

If you use the card at a healthcare provider or pharmacy that does not have an IRS-approved inventory system, Sterling will likely require that you submit a receipt or your health insurance explanation of benefits (EOB) to verify that the transaction was for an eligible healthcare good or service.


Paying Medical Bills

We will pay qualified medical bills that you submit to us for payment. To take advantage of this service, please complete a Request for Disbursement form with a copy of your original bill and an Explanation of Benefit form from your insurance carrier. We will then pay your provider or reimburse you. Sometimes we are presented with bills to pay that we believe may subject you to IRS inquiries. In such cases, we will contact you and ask for direction. A fee may apply to our medical bill paying service based on the Sterling account plan you choose.

While we understand that this process may take longer than simply using a debit card, one of the services we offer relies on our deep health insurance experience to review the Explanation of Benefit from your insurance carrier and make sure you pay only what you should. This service from Sterling can be worth tremendous savings to you and we highly recommend that you only use debit cards for paying small health care bills.