Flexible Spending Accounts

Flexible Spending Accounts are not offered to employees represented by the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers (PFT) union at this time.

Employees can elect or change Commuter or Parking FSA accounts anytime during 2019 by contacting benefits@philasd.org.  FSA Payroll deductions are deducted 20 times during the year.

Flexible Spending Account deductions are spread through 20 pays during the calendar year. 2019 FSA deduction schedule:

FSA Deduction Payroll Date
1 1/11/2019
2 1/25/2019
3 2/8/2019
4 2/22/2019
5 3/8/2019
6 3/22/2019
7 4/5/2019
8 4/19/2019
9 5/3/2019
10 5/17/2019
11 6/14/2019
12 9/6/2019
13 9/20/2019
14 10/4/2019
15 10/18/2019
16 11/1/2019
17 11/15/2019
18 11/29/2019
19 12/13/2019
20 12/27/2019

 

There are no 2019 FSA deductions for the following payroll dates:  5/31/2019, 6/28/2019, 7/12/2019, 7/26/2019, 8/9/2019, and 8/23/2019.

 

General Information

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) allow you to set aside money on a pre-tax basis through payroll deductions to pay for eligible health care, dependent care, and / or commuter/parking expenses. This provides an immediate tax break to cover out-of-pocket health and dependent care expenses. When employees purchase benefits on a pre-tax basis, their compensation is reduced for purposes of calculating wages subject to federal and F.I.C.A. taxes and, in most states, state income tax.

For residents of Pennsylvania, state taxes are saved on Health Care FSA elections, but not Dependent Care FSA elections.  Employees can log onto the MyAmeriflex Portal or download the free MyAmeriflex Mobile App to view their most up-to-date transit account balances.  When setting up your account you will use your social security number (with no dashes) as your “Employee ID”. Employees represented by the Philadelphia Federations of Teachers (PFT) are not eligible to participate at this time.

For information on registering your Ameriflex card, visit our FSA FAQs page.

The “Use It Or Lose It” Rule:

If you do not use all the money you have contributed to any FSA account, you will lose any remaining balance in the account at the end of the eligible claims period. This rule exists under the IRS guidelines for tax-advantaged plans; it applies to the medical and dependent care FSA only. The plan year runs from January 1 through December 31. You have two and a half month carryover period to use all deposited contributions. In summary, you have until March 15 of the next year to use up your balance from the previous year. If you resign, retire or separate from the District any time during the year, you have 90 days to submit any claims from the beginning of the plan year to your separation date. For example, if you retire from the District on June 30, you have 90 days to submit a request for reimbursement for any services performed from January 1 to June 30. Below are three tax-advantaged FSA accounts we offer through AmeriFlex, our third party administrator. You can learn more about the products at www.Myameriflex.com.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR TRANSIT ACCOUNTS FROM AMERIFLEX:

In light of a transportation benefits ruling —Rev. Rul. 2014-32— the IRS will no longer allow manual cash reimbursements for transit benefits effective January 1, 2016. Instead, those employers who offer transportation benefits will be required to provide a terminal restricted debit card (meaning it can only be used at a location that exclusively sells transit passes) to their employees.

What this means for you:

Effective January 1, 2016, those who participate in transportation benefits program will no longer be able to submit manual claims for reimbursements. Instead, you will be able to use the MyAmeriflex card to pay for transit passes from a qualified merchant.

Medical Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Dependent Care Account (DCA) Commuter and Parking Reimbursement Accounts (CRA)

Also known as Health FSA, you can use your pre-tax contributions to pay for eligible health care costs such as:

  • Medical and dental out-of-pocket expenses
  • Eye exams, contact lenses/solutions and glasses
  • Prescription drugs
  • Orthodontia and dental care
  • Medical devices such as hearing aids and diabetic testing supplies
  • Deductibles, co-pays and co-insurance

Please be aware that if you pay for a visit with a provider who does not accept our insurance and later get reimbursed by the insurance company, only the out-of-pocket expense is eligible for the FSA reimbursement. Example:You visit the dentist and write a check for the full charge of $150. United Concordia then sends you a reimbursement check for $100. You can submit a claim to AmeriFlex for your out-of-pocket cost of $50. See below for the annual limit and examples of eligible expenses.

Plan Maximum Election Limits  Examples of Eligible Expenses
Medical FSA $2,650 Annually Co-pays for office visits and prescriptions, deductibles, amounts above plan limits, eye exam and glasses, contact lenses, orthodontia, not covered medical and dental expenses, etc.

Annual election will be spread over 20 pay periods, excluding the summer months.

Visit AmeriFlex at www.Myameriflex.com for more information about FSA plans, a list of eligible expenses, forms, etc.

Dependent Care Account (DCA)

A DCA allows you to get reimbursed for eligible childcare expenses that enable you and your spouse to be employed. Typical eligible expenses are:

  • The costs of daycare, after-school care, Pre-K program, and day camp for dependents under the age of 13 years old, the dependent must be your dependent under federal tax rules.
  • Services must be for the physical care of the child, not for education, meals, etc.

Expenses for overnight camps and kindergarten are not eligible for reimbursement. See below for the annual limit and examples of eligible expenses.

Plan Maximum Election Limits  Examples of Eligible Expenses
Dependent Care $5,000 annually

Day care, day camp, preschool, pre-kindergarten, etc.

 

Annual election will be spread over 20 pay periods, excluding the summer months.

Visit AmeriFlex at www.Myameriflex.com for more information about FSA plans, a list of eligible expenses, forms, etc.

Commuter and Parking Reimbursement Accounts (CRA)

A CRA allows you to use pre-tax contributions to pay for eligible mass transit, parking, and vanpooling expenses.

Transit Account – to be used for public transportation such as costs for SEPTA monthly passes, tokens, and regional rails. Parking Account – to be used for parking costs at or near your work location, or the parking costs at a train station where you get transportation to work.

The IRS sets a monthly reimbursement limit annually, please refer to the below chart for the current plan year. You have to pay out of pocket (post tax) for any amount over the IRS monthly limits. You have the ability to adjust future contributions to avoid excess or shortage by completing a form to change your payroll deductions. See below for the annual limit and examples of eligible expenses.

 
Plan Maximum Election Limits 2019 Examples of Eligible Expenses
Commuter $265 per month Transportation expenses such as subway or bus passes, van or car-pooling costs, etc
Transit $265 per month Parking expenses incurred to park your vehicle near your employer or near mass transit/commuter facilities.

Annual election will be spread over 20 pay periods, excluding the summer months.

Visit AmeriFlex at www.Myameriflex.com for more information about FSA plans, a list of eligible expenses, forms, etc.

Who’s eligible for this benefit?

These voluntary benefits are available to full time CASA, SPAP, 32BJ/District 1201, Local 634, and Non-Represented employees. Waiting period: For the Medical and Dependent care FSA, employees must complete 90 days of of full time service to be eligible to participate or during the open enrollment period-whichever comes first. Employees can sign up for the commuter and parking benefit at any time during their career with the District; there is no waiting period and enrollment can be completed throughout the year without having to wait until Open Enrollment. Employees represented by the Philadelphia Federations of Teachers (PFT) are not eligible to participate at this time.

When and how can I enroll?

Open Enrollment for all FSA accounts will be held in November for plan election starting in January. To enroll visit https://enrollments.flex125.com/flex. The Group Ameriflex ID is AMFSCOFPH. This site is only available during the November Open Enrollment. Eligible employees received a notice on their School District e-mail account with details on how to enroll. For those who have received an e-mail, please use these instructions to complete your enrollment online: AmeriFlex Open Enrollment Guide

Medical (FSA) and Dependent Care (DCA) accounts: Elections are made during Open Enrollment in November for the next calendar year. Once your contributions start, IRS regulations do not allow you to terminate or change your election.

Commuter FSA (Transit and Parking): Elections are made during Open Enrollment in November for the next calendar year; however, you are allowed to enroll or change election amount at any time during the year. We encourage you to renew or start your election in November along with other benefits to ensure that you will have contributions to use in January.

Your election will be spread over 20 pay periods, excluding the summer months. Keep a record of your elections.

Employees represented by the Philadelphia Federations of Teachers (PFT) are not eligible to participate at this time.

 

When and how can I make changes or cancel participation?

Once your contributions start, IRS regulations do not allow you to terminate or change your election to the Medical and Dependent Care FSAs.

For Commuter and Parking accounts, you are allowed to elect, change, or stop contributions at any time by submitting the Change of Election for Commuter Reimbursement Accounts to the office of Employee Benefits.

What does the deduction look like on my paycheck?

Below is a chart that displays the plan type and what the deduction looks like on your paycheck.

Plan Type Paycheck Code
Medical FSA “FSA MED”
Dependent Care Account “FSA DEPEND”
Parking Account “FSA PARKING”
Transit Account “FSA COMMUTE”

 

*Annual election will be spread over 20 pay periods, excluding the summer months. You can check your balance online by creating an account at www.Myameriflex.com, or call the customer service number listed on your AmeriFlex debit card.

How do I use this benefit throughout the year?

All participants in the Health Care, Dependent Care FSAs and/or the CRAs will receive a debit card after enrolling. This debit card will be issued by AmeriFlex. This card may be used for all three accounts to pay for many of your various out-of-pocket eligible expenses. It’s used just like a bank debit card – you present it at the time of payment and the cost of the service is automatically deducted from your applicable account. The debit card can only be used up to your available account balance, which varies by account. Debit charges that exceed this balance will be denied at the time of use. More information will be included with your debit card. If the provider/vendor does not accept debit cards, a paper claim will need to be mailed or faxed and you will receive a reimbursement check in the mail.

Effective January 1, 2016, those who participate in transportation benefits program will no longer be able to submit manual claims for reimbursements. Instead, you must use the MyAmeriflex card to pay for transit passes from a qualified merchant. Make sure you save your receipts/invoices for all debit card purchases, because AmeriFlex may require you to submit verification of the charges. The IRS regulations require verification of certain FSA expenses; you may receive a Substantiation Request from AmeriFlex for charges incurred using your convenience card. If you do not have the documentation to substantiate the charge, your card will be deactivated until documentation or repayment is received by AmeriFlex.

You can use the debit card for all eligible expenses incurred during the plan year (January 1 through December 31). You have until March 15 of the following year to submit claims for any incurred services from January through December of the previous year. These claims must be submitted using a paper claim form. You can check your balance online by creating an account at www.Myameriflex.com, or call the customer service number listed on your AmeriFlex debit card.

 

How do I check my balance?

You can check your balance online by creating an account at www.Myameriflex.com, or call the customer service number, 1-888-868-353.

Please view the MyAmeriflex Portal tutorial video which includes instructions for checking account balances.

The MyAmeriflex App lets you access and manage your account anywhere you go, 24/7. Designed to accommodate your schedule and lifestyle, the MyAmeriflex App is perfect for situations when you’re away from home and need to pull up your Ameriflex account quickly and securely.