Benefits forEssex County Public Schools (VA)

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)

You made a great decision by enrolling in a flexible spending account (FSA) and/or dependent care account (DCA)! Now that you’ve gotten the difficult decisions out of the way, use this packet to learn how to best take advantage of your account. Let’s get started!



Your FSA is a spending account that can be used to pay for a variety of healthcare expenses.



  1. You will have access to your entire election on the first day of the plan year.

  2. The funds are taken out of your paycheck “pre-tax” (meaning they are subtracted from your gross earnings before taxes) throughout the course of the year. That means you are increasing your take-home pay simply by participating!



The IRS determines what expenses are eligible under an FSA. Below are some examples of common eligible expenses.

  • Copays, deductibles, and other payments you are responsible for under your health plan.

  • Routine exams, dental care, prescription drugs, eye care, and hearing aids.

  • Prescription glasses and sunglasses.

  • Certain over-the-counter (OTC) healthcare expenses such as Band-aids, medicine, First Aid supplies, etc. Note: OTC medicines require a doctor’s prescription to be eligible.

  • Diabetic equipment and supplies, durable medical equipment, and qualified medical products or services provided by a doctor.



Your DCA is a spending account that can be used to pay for services like daycare, nursery school, and elder care. By simply participating in a DCA, you get to experience benefits like:

  1. A higher take-home pay thanks to your pre-tax payroll deductions

  2. Savings on daycare and other dependent care services you’re already paying for

  3. Easy-to-use MyAmeriflex Debit Mastercard to make purchases



The IRS determines what expenses are eligible under a DCA. Here are some examples of common eligible expenses

  • Daycare

  • Custodial care for dependent adults

  • Summer day camp

  • Nanny service

  • Before and after school programs

  • Pre-school

  • Nursery school



Use this checklist to take full advantage of all the great resources made available to you through your Flexible Spending Account and/or Dependent Care Account.

  1. Set Up Your MyAmeriflex Account

    MyAmeriflex is where you’ll have real-time access to all of your account information, including your current balance, transaction history, payment status, and more. To register your account, visit, select “Login to your account,” and click “Participants.” Then click the “New User” link to get started. You will be asked to enter an Employee ID, which will be your Social Security number with no dashes or spaces, as well as a Registration ID, which will either be your Ameriflex Debit Mastercard number or Employer ID. If you don’t know your Employer ID, please reach out to your HR representative or contact the Ameriflex Participants Services team at 888.868.FLEX (3539).

  2. Download Mobile App

    The MyAmeriflex App lets you access and manage your account anywhere you go, 24/7. It puts all of the great features of the MyAmeriflex Portal right at your fingertips. You can download the app on the Apple App Store and Google Play.

  3. Register for Complimentary ID Theft Protection

    Ameriflex is pleased to offer our cardholders complimentary access to Mastercard’s comprehensive Identity Theft Protection program*, powered by CSID®. You can rest assured knowing that if your MyAmeriflex Debit Mastercard (or any other debit/credit cards you choose to register!) gets misplaced or stolen, you can utilize Mastercard’s industry-leading ID theft protection and restoration services for everything you may need. To register, visit

  4. Use Your Card

    You will receive a MyAmeriflex Debit Mastercard that can be used to make eligible purchases. Your card will be mailed within 7-10 business days after your enrollment is processed by Ameriflex.

  5. Enroll for Direct Deposit

    By enrolling for direct deposit, getting reimbursed is easier and faster anytime you need to pay for an eligible expenses out of pocket. Login to MyAmeriflex to set up direct deposit.

  6. Start Spending

    You’re ready to make purchases! Be sure to hang on to your receipts anytime you make a purchase. Login to MyAmeriflex for a full list of eligible expenses.


The “Use It or Lose It” Rule

If you contribute dollars to a reimbursement account and do not use all the money you deposit, you will lose any remaining balance in the account at the end of the eligible claims period. This rule, established by the IRS as a component of tax-advantaged plans, is referred to as the “use it or lose it” rule.

To avoid losing any of the funds you contribute to your FSA, it’s important to plan ahead as much as possible to estimate what your expenditures will be in a given plan year.


  • FSA plan participants should note that up to $550 of any unused funds from the current plan year will be rolled over into your FSA balance for the new plan year.
  • The rollover modification applies to Health FSA plans only (and not to other types of FSA plans such as dependent care).
  • The rollover does not affect the maximum contribution amount for the new plan year. In other words, even if you roll over the entire $550 from the previous plan year, you may still elect up to the maximum contribution limit allowed under your employer’s plan.



Using Your MyAmeriflex Debit Mastercard®

The easiest way to pay for eligible expenses is to use your MyAmeriflex Debit Mastercard®, which provides you with access to your FSA accounts (healthcare or dependent care) with a single card. The MyAmeriflex Card works just like a regular debit card, but with three important differences:

  • Its use is limited to specific merchants* and to expenses deemed eligible by your plan.

  • You cannot use your MyAmeriflex Card at an ATM or to obtain “cash back” when making a purchase.

  • When using the card at self-service merchant terminals, you may select the ‘credit’ option to sign for your purchase, if offered a choice. If you are prompted to enter a Personal Identification Number (PIN) and do not have it, ask the provider to process the transaction so that you may sign the receipt. (To set up a PIN, register your account online at

Use of the MyAmeriflex Card is limited to day care providers; medical care providers such as hospitals, doctors’ offices, optometrists, dentist, orthodontists, pharmacies, or other merchants providing prescription and overthe- counter eligible products. Your card cannot be used at non-qualified businesses such as gas stations, retailers, convenience stores, etc.


Filing A Manual Claim

If you do not use your MyAmeriflex Card to pay for an eligible expense, you can also pay for the expenses out-ofpocket and then get reimbursed from your FSA by filing a manual claim. To file a manual claim, simply complete the Claim Form ( and send it to Ameriflex along with verification of the claim. Acceptable forms of verification include itemized receipts and the Explanation of Benefits (EOB) from your insurance carrier.

Claims can be submitted through the following methods:


Other Helpful Information

What if there’s not enough money in my account?

If you charge more than the available balance in your account, the transaction will be denied. You can obtain your current account balance by logging in to your account from the Ameriflex website ( register to get started) or by calling the Interactive Voice Response System (available 24/7) at 888.868.FLEX (3539).

Do I need my receipts?

Please save all your receipts as proof that FSA funds were used to pay for eligible expenses! For certain expenses, Ameriflex may need additional information (including receipts) to verify eligibility of the expense and to comply with IRS rules. That’s why it’s important to save your receipts and fax or mail them promptly if requested. Failure to comply could jeopardize the tax-exempt status of your account and cause the card to be deactivated.



Receive balance alerts straight to your cell phone upon your request. For instructions on how to set it up, visit: