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Flexible Spending & Commuter Reimbursement Accounts

Welcome to the School District of Philadelphia's Flexible Spending Accounts page!

Please click on the links below for more information on how this program works:

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. Based on 2005 tax rates, and depending on an employee's individual tax bracket, potential savings range from 17.65% to 35.65% on each pre-tax dollar. 

Employees can log into the MyAmeriflex Portal or download the free MyAmeriflex Mobile App to view their most up-to-date transit account balances. Please view the MyAmeriflex Portal tutorial video  which includes instructions for checking account balances. 

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.flex125.com or click on the below for a summary description of each plan.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR TRANSIT ACCOUNTS FROM AMERIFLEX:

In light of a recent transportation benefits ruling —Rev. Rul. 2014-32— the IRS will no longer allow manual cash reimbursements for transit benefits beginning 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)

Medical Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

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 and co-pays
  • eye exams, contact lenses/solutions and glasses
  • prescription drugs
  • orthodontia and dental care
  • medical devices such as hearing aids and diabetic testing supplies

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
 $2,600 Annually
Co-pays for offce visits and prescriptions, deductibles, amounts above plan limits, eye exame 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.flex125.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 FSA

$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.flex125.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 van-pooling 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

Examples of Eligible Expenses

Commuter FSA

 

    Transit

 

$255 per month

Transportation expenses such as subway or bus passes, van or car-pooling costs, etc.

    Parking

 

$255 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.flex125.com for more information about FSA plans, a list of eligible expenses, forms, etc. 

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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.

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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.

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. Elections can only be changed during the year if you have a qualifying life event. 
  • 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.

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When and how can I make changes or cancel participation?

  • For Medical and Dependent Care FSA accounts, requests for contribution changes can only be allowed if you have a qualifying life event as defined under the IRS rules. Here are some examples:
  • Marriage
  • Divorce
  • Legal separation from my spouse
  • Birth of a child
  • Legal adoption of a child
  • Death of my spouse
  • Death of my dependent
  • Your spouse has lost his/her insurance coverage
  • One of your dependents has lost their insurance coverage
  • Your spouse has terminated employment
  • Commencement of employment by your spouse

To change your contribution or stop a contribution for the Medical and Dependent Care FSAs, you must complete and submit the Life event/contribution change form form to the office of Employee Benefits.

  • 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.

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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.flex125.com , or call the customer service number listed on your AmeriFlex debit card.

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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 will be able to 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.flex125.com, or call the customer service number listed on your AmeriFlex debit card. 

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Forms

Below are links to forms that must be completed to make changes or submit claims.

All forms are to mailed or faxed to the Office of Employee Benefits at (215) 400-4631 or benefits@philasd.org unless otherwise noted. 

You will need the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader to download these files.

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How do I check my balance? 

You can check your balance online by creating an account at www.flex125.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. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to frequently asked questions about this program:

What are the available spending accounts? Medical, Dependent Care, and Commuter are the three FSA plans the District is currently offering to eligible employees. You can learn more about each plan by reading the plan summary above, or you can visit AmeriFlex’s website for detailed plan information.

Who is eligible to enroll? Employees affiliated with CASA, SPAP, District 1201, Local 634, and Non-Represented employees are eligible to enroll. Employees represented by the Philadelphia Federations of Teachers (PFT) are not eligible to participate at this time.

When can I enroll? Eligible employees may enroll during our Voluntary Benefits Open Enrollment in November for plan year starting in January of the next year. However, you can enroll in the either or both Commuter Reimbursment Accounts at any time during the year.

How much should I contribute? The amount depends on your annual expenses for health care and dependent care. You should estimate based on how much you spent the previous year for out of pocket cost related to health care, vision, prescription drugs, and dental work. Also consider expenses that you anticipate will incur in the participation year as well, such as potential dependent care cost or a dental/medical procedure. You can contribute up to the plan’s maximum allowed limit set each year, see chart for details.

As a reminder: Health and Dependent Care FSA contributions are “use it or lose it” funds, unused balance at the end of the grace period of the plan year will be forfeited. Please estimate carefully.

Can I change my election or stop contributing at any time during the year? For Medical and Dependent Care FSA, request for contribution changes can only be allowed if you have a qualifying life event as defined under the IRS rules. Here are some examples:

  • Marriage
  • Divorce
  • Birth or adoption of a child
  • Death of a spouse or dependent child
  • A termination or commencement in your spouse’s employment.

You are allowed to elect or stop contribution to a Commuter FSA at any time by submitting the contribution change form (available under the "All Forms" section) to the office of Employee Benefits.

How do I enroll during November?

To enroll during the annual Open Enrollment, visit https://enrollments.flex125.com/flex. The Group Ameriflex ID is AMFSCOFPH. Please refer to instructions for a step by step guide or call Ameriflex directly at 888-868-3539 for assistance. The annual Open Enrollment is held in November for a January 1 effectived date. 

How can I get my plan information, such as my annual elected amount, balance, claims I submitted, pending substantiation, or a history of my incurred expenses? Our third party administrator, AmeriFlex, manages all participants account information. You may create an online account via www.flex125.com to access your plan information, or you may call AmeriFlex at 1-888-868-3539.

Can my spouse/domestic partner or dependent child(ren) use my Medical FSA account to get reimbursed or pay for health care related expenses? Yes, as long as the expenses are eligible under the rules for medical FSA as defined by the IRS. Again, please keep all receipts/invoices as you may be required to submit for verification. Additional Convenient Debit Cards can be ordered by completing the "Request a Card" form available in the "All Forms" section, or by calling AmeriFlex at 1-888-868-3539.

Can I get reimbursed from my Dependent Care FSA as soon as I pay the provider? You can only be reimbursed, up to your contributed amount, for the care that has already been taken place. If the care has not started and you paid up-front for the cost, you will not get reimbursed until the care for the child fulfills the time period for which you paid. For example, you paid $300 in August for daycare in September and submitted claims for the amount in August. You will receive reimbursement in October for the $300 you spent in September.

When can I start using the funds I elected? For Medical FSA, your annual election fund is available for you to use on January 1. For Dependent Care and Commuter FSA, your available funds are amounts that were deducted from your pay checks. You will not have anything to use on January 1, you can start to submit claims by the second pay in January or later. Again, eligible reimbursements are based on how much you’ve contributed.

How do I submit claims for reimbursement? Complete the Ameriflex Spending Account Claim form. A signed form and required documentation must be sent to AmeriFlex for processing. See below for submission options:

Fax Claim to: 1-888-631-1038 Attention: Claims Department

Mail Claim to:  

AmeriFlex Claims Department      

PO Box 269009            

Plano, TX 75026          

Email Claim to: claims@flex125.com

 

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