• Progressive Benefits Solutions           14 Business Park Drive #8, Branford, CT 06405 - Toll Free: 1.888.333.3901 - Fax: 203.234.1139 - Email: claims.support@pbscard.com

Education Center

Our Education Center can assist you in a whole number of ways. Here you can better understand the aspects of your benefits program and determine how much you should contribute to cover expenses.

You can also learn how to calculate your estimated tax savings based upon pre-tax contributions.

And you can learn about how the PBS Prepaid Benefits Card makes paying and tracking your expenses easy!

General Card FAQs

General Questions on the PBS Prepaid Benefits Card

Getting Started and Activating Your Card

Using the Card

General Questions on the PBS Prepaid Benefits Card

What is the PBS Prepaid Benefits Card?

The PBS Prepaid Benefits Card is a special-purpose MasterCard™ card that gives you an easy, automatic way to pay for qualified health care/benefit expenses. The Card lets you electronically access the pre-tax amounts set aside in your respective employee benefits accounts such as Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs), Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), Qualified Transportation Accounts (QTAs), and other benefit accounts.

How does the PBS Prepaid Benefits Card work?

It works like a MasterCard™ with the value of your account(s) contribution stored on it. When you have qualified eligible expenses at a business that accepts MasterCard™, simply use your Card. The amount of your qualified purchases will be deducted - automatically - from your account and the pre-tax dollars will be electronically transferred to the provider/merchant for immediate payment.

How does the PBS Prepaid Benefits Card change how I am reimbursed for expenses?

Before the PBS Prepaid Benefits Card became available, you were required to first make a contribution from your paycheck into your FSA or other benefit account. You then had to pay for your eligible expenses at the time of purchase, submit claim forms along with all receipts, and then wait for the reimbursement to be processed. A check was issued and mailed to you and then you cashed the check. In essence, you paid twice - through payroll deduction and then at the point of service. Then you had to wait for reimbursement.

With the PBS Prepaid Benefits Card, you simply swipe the Card and the funds are automatically deducted from your respective employee benefit account(s) for payment. The Card eliminates most out-of-pocket cash outlays and paperwork, as well as the need to wait for reimbursement checks.

Is the PBS Prepaid Benefits Card just like other MasterCard™?

No. The PBS Prepaid Benefits Card is a special-purpose MasterCard™ that can be used only for qualified expenses. It cannot be used, for instance, at gas stations or restaurants. There are no monthly bills and no interest.

How many PBS Prepaid Benefits Cards will I receive?

You'll receive one or two Cards (unless you have only a Qualified Transportation Account, in which case you will receive one card). If you would like additional cards for other family members, contact your plan Administrator.

Do I need a new PBS Prepaid Benefits Card each year?

As long as the respective employee benefit account(s) remain part of your benefit plan and you elect to participate each year, your PBS Prepaid Benefits Card will be loaded with your new annual election amount at the start of each plan year or incrementally with each pay period, based on the type of account(s) you have.

What if my PBS Prepaid Benefits Card is lost or stolen?

Call your Plan Administrator to report your card lost or stolen as soon as you realize it is missing, so the Administrator can turn off your current card(s) and issue replacement card(s). A small replacement card fee may apply.

Can I use my PBS Prepaid Benefits Card for OTC Medications?

After January 15, 2011, health FSA and HRA PBS PrePaid Benefits Cards may continue to be used to purchase over-the-counter medicines or drugs at drug stores and pharmacies, at non-health care merchants that have pharmacies and at mail order and web-based vendors that sell prescription drugs, if:

  • (1) prior to purchase, (i) the prescription (as defined in Notice 2010-59) for the over-the-counter medicine or drug is presented (in any format) to the pharmacist; (ii) the over-the-counter medicine or drug is dispensed by the pharmacist in accordance with applicable law and regulations pertaining to the practice of pharmacy; and (iii) an Rx number is assigned.
  • (2) the pharmacy or other vendor retains a record of the Rx number, the name of the purchaser (or the name of the person for whom the prescription applies), and the date and amount of the purchase in a manner that meets IRS recordkeeping requirements.
  • (3) all of these records are available to the employer or its agent upon request
  • (4) the PBS PrePaid Benefits Card system will not accept a charge for an over-the-counter medicine or drug unless an Rx number has been assigned.
  • (5) the requirements of the guidance defined by IRS are satisfied. If these requirements are met, the PBS PrePaid Benefits Card transaction will be considered fully substantiated at the time and point-of-sale.

Activating Your Card

How do I activate the Card?

The PBS PrePaid Benefits Card is either automatically activated upon recognition of its first swipe or by calling the toll free number on the activation sticker on the front of your card or visit the website on the back of your card.

If your card requires toll free call activation, you can use both Cards once the first Card is activated - you do not need to activate each card. Wait 1 business day after activation to use your card. Each card user should sign the card with his or her own name.

What dollar amount is on my PBS Prepaid Benefits Card when I activate it?

For Health Care FSAs, the dollar value on your Card will be the annual amount you elected to contribute to your respective employee benefit account(s) during your annual benefits enrollment. It's from that total dollar amount that eligible expenses will be deducted as you use your card or submit manual claims. Some other types of accounts, like Dependent Care FSAs, HRAs, and transportation accounts, are funded incrementally at each pay period, so it is especially important to be aware of account balances in order to avoid declines at the point of service.

Using The Card

Where can I use my PBS Prepaid Benefits Card?

Your PBS Prepaid Benefits Card can be used to pay for eligible goods and services at providers/merchants that offer these goods or services and accept MasterCard™. Be sure to review your current benefit plan or contact your Plan Administrator for a complete list of eligible expenses.

For FSAs and HRAs, starting on January 1, 2008, recent IRS regulations allow you to use your Card in participating pharmacies, discount stores and supermarkets that can identify FSA-eligible items at checkout. You can find out which stores are participating by clicking this link, visiting the website on the back of the Card, or consulting your Plan Administrator. As of January 1, 2008, participants cannot use their Cards at discount stores, department stores, and supermarkets that do not participate, even if you have used your Card at these stores prior to January 1, 2008. The Card transaction may be declined. You can continue to use your Card at freestanding pharmacies and health care providers, such as hospitals, doctors, dentists, etc.

Are there places the PBS Prepaid Benefits Card won't be accepted?

Yes. Your card will not be accepted at locations that do not offer the eligible goods and services, such as hardware stores, restaurants, bookstores, gas stations and home improvement stores.

For FSAs and HRAs, as of January 1, 2008, cards will not be accepted at discount stores, department stores, and supermarkets that cannot identify FSA-eligible items at checkout.

If asked, should I select "Debit" or "Credit"?

The PBS Prepaid Benefits Card is actually a prepaid card. But, since there is no "prepaid" selection available, you'll select "Credit". You do not need a PIN and you cannot get cash with the PBS Prepaid Benefits Card.

Why do I need to save all of my itemized receipts?

You should always save itemized receipts for purchases made with the PBS Prepaid Benefits Card. You may be asked to submit receipts to verify that your expenses comply with IRS guidelines. Each receipt must show: the merchant or provider name, the service received or the item purchased, the date, and the amount of the purchase.

What if I lose my receipts or I accidentally swipe the Card for something that's not eligible?

Usually the service provider can recreate an account history and provide a replacement receipt. In the event that a receipt cannot be located, recreated, or if the expense is ineligible for reimbursement, you can send a check or money order to the Plan Administrator for the amount so it can be credited back to your benefit account.

How do I know how much is in my account?

You can visit your Account Summary page at www.pbscard.com (Your Plan Administrator's web site) and view your account activity and current balance. Or, you can call your Plan Administrator at the phone number on the back of your Card to obtain your current balance. You should always know your account balance before you make a purchase with the Card.

Call PBS at: Toll Free 1-888-333-3901 or locally at 203-985-1711

What if I have an expense that is more than the amount left in my account?

By checking your account balance often – either online or by calling your Plan Administrator at the phone number shown on the back of your Card – you will have a good idea of how much is available. When incurring an expense that is greater than the amount remaining in your account, you may be able to split the cost at the register. (Check with the merchant.) For example, you may tell the clerk you wish to use the Card for the exact amount left in your account, and then pay the remaining balance separately. Alternatively, you may pay by another means and submit the qualified transaction manually via a claim form with the appropriate documentation to your Plan Administrator. The manual claim form can be found on the homepage at www.pbscard.com under form downloads.

What are some reasons my PBS Prepaid Benefits Card might not work at point of service?

The most common reasons why your card may be declined at the point of service are:

  • Your Card has not been activated
  • You used your Card before the 1 business day period after activation
  • You have insufficient funds in your respective employee benefit account to cover the expense
  • You've included non-qualified expenses at the point of service (retry the transaction with the qualified expense only)
  • The merchant is encountering problems (e.g. coding or swipe box issues)
  • The discount store, department store, or supermarket cannot identify FSA-eligible items at checkout according to IRS rules on or after January 1, 2008

Am I responsible for charges on lost or stolen PBS Prepaid Benefit Cards?

If the Plan Administrator and the issuing bank are notified within 2 business days, you will not be responsible for any charges. If the notification is after 2 days, you may be responsible for the first $50 or more. A small replacement card fee may apply.

Whom do I call if I have questions about my PBS Prepaid Benefits Card?

Call PBS at: Toll Free 1-888-333-3901 or locally at 203-985-1711

Can I use the PBS Prepaid Benefits Card to access last year's money left in the account this year?

The IRS allows for a grace period in the current year to use up funds carried over from the prior year. Check with the Plan Administrator to find out how the grace period is handled for your specific program.

How will I know to submit receipts to verify a charge?

You will receive a letter or notification from the Plan Administrator if there is a need to submit a receipt. All receipts should be saved per the IRS regulations.

What if I fail to submit receipts to verify a charge?

If receipts are not submitted as requested to verify a charge made with the PBS Prepaid Benefits Card, then the Card may be suspended until receipts are received. You may be required to repay the amount charged. The Plan Administrator will advise you that the Card has been suspended, if a receipt is not received. Submitting a receipt or repaying the amount in question will allow the Card to be reactivated.

Flexible Savings Account (FSA) FAQs

Questions on Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)

Using FSAs

Enrolling in FSA

Questions on Health Care Flexible Spending Accounts

What is a Health Care Flexible Spending Account?

A Health Care Flexible Spending Account, also called a Health Care "FSA," is like a personal bank account in which you can set aside an amount of money on a pre-tax basis to cover qualified health care expenses that are not covered by your health plan.

How is an FSA funded?

You contribute to an FSA through payroll deductions. Your deductions are made on a pre-tax basis, which means before income taxes, FICA (Social Security). This lowers the amount of taxes you pay.

Why should I participate in an FSA?

Basically, if you want to save money on your out-of-pocket health care expenses you should seriously consider participating in an FSA. Since your contributions are made on a pre-tax basis your taxable income is reduced by the amount you contribute, and that lowers the amount of taxes you pay. For example, an individual in the 28% federal income tax bracket who pays $2,000 in qualified medical expenses out of an FSA would save $560 in taxes!

Of course, using the PBS Prepaid Benefits Card makes using an FSA simple and automatic!

What health care expenses may be reimbursed through a Health Care FSA?

The IRS defines qualified health care expenses as expenses you or your dependents incur for the diagnosis, cure, treatment or prevention of diseases, conditions or ailments. Most cosmetic surgeries, unless they are for medical reasons, are excluded.

Please see the IRS website to see the details of what expenses are eligible to be reimbursed.

Examples of qualified out-of-pocket health care expenses that are not covered by your benefit plan but are able to be paid for with an FSA include:

  • Copayments
  • Medical statements with a "patient balance due," e.g., health plan deductibles and coinsurance
  • Dental Expenses
  • Eyeglasses and Contact Lenses
  • LASIK Surgery
  • Orthodontics
  • Online and Mail Order Pharmaceuticals
  • Eligible Over-the-Counter Products (OTCs) – excluding OTC medications. (As of January 2011 all OTC medications will need a medical necessity form filled out and signed from your physician in order to be considered as a qualified expense.)
  • Hearing Aids
  • Non-covered charges for qualified medical expenses, or provider bills for amounts beyond what insurance pays
  • Health care expenses not paid by insurance (e.g., in vitro fertilization)
  • Cholesterol Testing Kit
  • Wheelchair Rental
  • Acupuncture
  • Oxygen
  • Smoking cessation programs
    -- Smoking-cessation medications as of 1/1/2011 if prescribed, however, you cannot include in medical expenses amounts paid    for drugs that do not require a prescription, such as nicotine gum or patches, that are designed to help stop smoking.
    -- Smoking-cessation programs - amounts paid for a smoking-cessation (stop-smoking) program may qualify

Health FSAs can't reimburse expenses that are reimbursable from any other source.

You can use the PBS Prepaid Benefits Card for all these – and more – thereby stretching your health care dollar and making it easy to do so!

Be sure to review your current benefit plan or contact your Plan Administrator for a complete list of eligible expenses.

What are some examples of health care expenses that are not allowed to be reimbursed through a Health Care FSA?

Examples Include:

  • Teeth whitening services and products
  • Health clubs
  • Hair transplants
  • Most cosmetic surgeries
  • Expenses that are covered by another insurance plan
  • Insurance premiums or premium contributions

Please go to the IRS web site for a complete list. Always check your employer's benefit plan materials as well.

Can I change my contribution amount during the year?

Yes, but only under certain circumstances. The IRS regulations allow you to change your election within thirty days of a change in "family status." Family status changes include marriage, divorce, death of spouse or child, birth or adoption of child, and termination of employment of spouse. Always check your employer's benefit plan materials regarding changes.

What happens if I don't use all the money in my account?

In 2006, the IRS began allowing employers to extend the period for a plan year's purchases up to 2 1/2 months after the plan year. However, employers can choose whether or not tallow this additional grace period. Check with your employer or Plan Administrator to determine a) if they are allowing the grace period for purchases and b) if you can use your PBS Prepaid Benefits Card for these purchases or if you must submit a manual claim. If your employer does not allow the grace period, you must use all your FSA contributions before the end of the plan year or you will forfeit any money left in your account.

What happens if I have an expense at the end of the year and don't submit it by the end of the plan year?

You will have time after the end of the plan year to file claims for qualified expenses that you incurred on or before the end of the plan year. The deadline for submitting claims is usually three months following the end of the plan year. Always check your employer's benefit plan materials or call your Plan Administrator.

In 2006, the IRS began allowing employers to extend the period for a plan year's purchases up to 2 1/2 months after the plan year. However, employers can choose whether or not tallow this additional grace period. Check with your employer or Plan Administrator to determine a) if they are allowing the grace period for purchases and b) if you can use your PBS Prepaid Benefits Card for these purchases or if you must submit a manual claim. If your employer does not allow the grace period, you must use all your FSA contributions before the end of the plan year or you will forfeit any money left in your account.

Can I still benefit from an FSA if I don't itemize deductions on my tax return?

Yes. You don't need to itemize deductions to take advantage of this benefit.

Can I deduct the health care expenses on my tax return that are reimbursed through the health care FSA?

No. You cannot claim a tax deduction for the same expenses that are reimbursed tax-free through your health care FSA. But, keep in mind only health care expenses that are more than 7 1/2% of your adjusted gross income can be deducted from your income taxes, and most people do not have enough expenses to take the deduction. So, in a sense, an FSA eliminates the 71/2% threshold.

If I become disabled and am only working part-time, can I adjust my FSA account contributions?

Yes. This constitutes a family status change. Always check your employer's benefit plan materials.

Will I ever need to submit a paper claim form?

You may need to submit a claim form – along with the receipts – if:

  • You make a purchase at a place that does not accept MasterCard™
  • You forget to take your PBS Prepaid Benefits Card with you
  • You choose not to use the Card for a particular transaction
  • Your transaction is denied for any reason
  • You make a purchase for an OTC medication that is ONLY covered with a medical necessity form signed filled out and signed by your physician.

Where do I get a claim form

If, you don't use the PBS Prepaid Benefits Card, go to www.pbscard.com, on the main page under form downloads you will find any and all forms needed. If you do not have access to a computer please see your HR department or contact your Plan Administrator at the phone number on the back of your Card to obtain a claim form.

How much money can I set aside in my account?

The maximum is set by your employer and is identified in your employer's enrollment materials

Using FSAs with the PBS Prepaid Benefits Card

Can I use this account to pay for my spouse's deductibles, copayments or other eligible expenses?

Yes, an FSA can be used to pay for your spouse's eligible expenses. You can receive two PBS Prepaid Benefits Cards so your spouse or dependent can sign and use one of them.

Can I use this account to pay for my dependents' eligible expenses, even if they are covered under a different health plan or I have waived medical coverage for them?

Yes, you can use your account for eligible expenses for anyone who qualifies as your dependent. As of 01/01/2011, due to health care reform, dependents are covered by the FSA plan up to age 26 no matter if a participant is claimed on a participant's taxes or not.

You will receive two PBS Prepaid Benefits Cards so your spouse or dependent can sign and use one of them. You can also purchase additional Cards for a small fee to suit your unique dependent needs.

Where can I use my PBS Prepaid Benefits Card?

Your PBS Prepaid Benefits Card can be used to pay for eligible goods and services at providers/merchants that offer these goods or services and accept MasterCard™. Be sure to review your current benefit plan or contact your Plan Administrator for a complete list of eligible expenses.

Starting on January 1, 2008, recent IRS regulations allow you to use your Card in participating pharmacies, discount stores and supermarkets that can identify FSA-eligible items at checkout. You can find out which stores are participating by clicking this link for a PDF document, visiting the website on the back of the Card, or consulting your Plan Administrator. As of January 1, 2008, participants cannot use their Cards at discount stores, department stores, and supermarkets that do not participate, even if you have used your Card at these stores prior to January 1, 2008. The Card transaction may be declined. You can continue to use your Card at freestanding pharmacies and health care providers, such as hospitals, doctors, dentists, etc.

Are there places the PBS Prepaid Benefits Card won't be accepted?

Yes. Your card will not be accepted at locations that do not offer the eligible goods and services, such as hardware stores, restaurants, bookstores, gas stations and home improvement stores.

For FSAs and HRAs, as of January 1, 2008, cards will not be accepted at discount stores, department stores, and supermarkets that cannot identify FSA-eligible items at checkout.

How will the Card work in participating discount stores and supermarkets starting January 1, 2008?

  • Bring prescriptions, vision products, OTCs and other purchases to the register at checkout to let the clerk ring them up.
  • Present the Card and swipe it for payment.
  • If the Card swipe transaction is approved (e.g., there are sufficient funds in the account and at least some of the products are FSA-eligible), the amount of the FSA-eligible purchases is deducted from the account balance and no receipt follow up is required. The clerk will then ask for another form of payment for the non-FSA-eligible items.
  • If the Card swipe transaction is declined, the clerk will ask for another form of payment for the total amount of the purchase.
  • The receipt will identify the FSA-eligible items and may also show a subtotal of the FSA-eligible purchases.
  • In most cases, you will not receive requests for receipts for FSA-eligible purchases made in participating pharmacies, discount stores or supermarkets.

Can I use my PBS Prepaid Benefits Card for prescriptions ordered prior to activation of the card?

No. Your Card must be activated prior to the order or purchase date of your prescriptions. You need to wait 1 business day after activating your card to purchase prescriptions at your pharmacy with the Card. For example, if the Card is activated on Tuesday, a prescription can be ordered and picked up on Wednesday.

Can I use the PBS Prepaid Benefits Card if I receive a statement with a Patient Due Balance for a medical service?

Yes. As long as you have money in your account for the balance due and the provider accepts MasterCard™, simply write the Card number on your statement and send it back to the provider. Enrolling in FSA.

Enrolling in FSA

How do I enroll in an FSA?

Just complete the Enrollment Form provided by your employer or found online at www.pbscard.com and indicate the amount you want deducted from each paycheck.

When can I enroll in an FSA?

You can enroll in the FSA during your employer's annual open enrollment or during the plan year, if you experience a family status change. But remember, if you are eligible for the FSA during open enrollment and you choose not to participate, you will not be eligible to participate in the FSA until the next open enrollment unless you have a family status change. Always check your employer's benefit plan materials.

Qualified Transportation Account (QTA) FAQs

Questions on Qualified Transportation Accounts QTA

Using QTAs

Enrolling in QTAs

Questions on Qualified Transportation Accounts

What is a Qualified Transportation Account?

A Qualified Transportation Account, also called a "QTA," is like a personal bank account in which you can set aside an amount of money on a tax-advantaged basis to cover qualified transportation and parking expenses incurred to and from your place of work. Within a QTA, there are two subcategories: a Mass Transit Account and a Parking Account.

How is a QTA funded?

You contribute to a QTA through payroll deductions. Your deductions can be made on a pre-tax basis, which means before taxes, FICA, and Medicare are taken out of your paycheck.

How much money can I set aside in my account on a pre-tax basis?

As of 2014, you may contribute on a pretax basis up to 130.00/month (from $245/month in 2013) into the Mass Transit Account if you have qualified mass transit expenses, and $250/month into the Parking Account if you have qualified parking expenses, on a pre-tax basis. (These limits are set by the IRS and will be reviewed annually so be sure to check your benefit plan design). Should your monthly expenses for transit or parking be higher than these amounts, your employer may allow you to contribute additional funds on a post-tax basis – be sure to check your employer's benefit plan design. Money from the parking account cannot be used for mass transit expenses, and vice versa.

Can I participate in both accounts/categories?

Yes, if you have qualified expenses in both categories.

Why should I participate in a QTA?

You save money on expenses you would incur any way by contributing to the QTA monthly and on a pre-tax basis up to the 2014 IRS-imposed maximums of $130.00/month (from $245/month in 2013) into the Mass Transit Account, and $250/month into the Parking Account. And the PBS Prepaid Benefits Card makes using the QTA simple!

In one conservative example, let's assume an individual in the 28% federal income tax bracket (assuming a $30,000 salary) pays $1,200 qualified transit and parking expenses out of a QTA – doing so would save $336 in taxes! The PBS Prepaid Benefits Card makes accessing the funds simple and automatic!

What transportation expenses may be reimbursed through a QTA?

The IRS defines qualified transportation expenses as expenses that are necessary for you to travel to and from work, including parking, mass transit and commuter highway vehicles.

Please click here to visit the IRS web site for the details of what expenses are eligible to be reimbursed. Always check your employer's benefit plan material.

Examples of qualified out-of-pocket transportation expenses that can be paid for with a QTA include:

  • Parking expenses for any type of vehicle on or near your work location
  • Parking on or near a location from which you commute using mass transit
  • Transit Passes
  • Transit Tokens
  • Transit Farecards
  • Transit Vouchers

You can use the PBS Prepaid Benefits Card for all these, thereby stretching your dollar and making it easy to do so!

What transportation expenses cannot be reimbursed through a QTA?

Some examples of ineligible transportation expenses are:

  • Carpooling with a neighbor
  • Transportation and/or parking expenses to attend leisure events
  • Expenses incurred by your spouse and/or dependents in connection with their commutes
  • Tolls
  • Mileage and gas expenses associated with going to and from work

Always check your employer's benefit plan materials.

Can I change my contribution amount during the year?

Yes, since the QTA is a monthly election, you can change your amount or stop contributions at any time throughout the year. Retroactive changes are not allowed, only changes that will affect future months are allowed. Be sure to check your employer's benefit plan design.

What happens if I don't use all the money in my QTA?

Funds can be rolled over from month-to-month and to a new plan year, so check your employer's benefit plan design.

It's important to note that PBS allows for real-time access at transit and parking locations for amounts you've contributed to your QTA. So PBS makes it easy to use your QTA and keep track of your balance. Go to the web site on the back of your card for more information and to check balances.

Can I still benefit from a QTA if I don't itemize deductions on my tax return?

Yes. You don't need to itemize deductions to take advantage of this benefit.

Can I deduct the expenses on my tax return that are reimbursed through a QTA?

No. You cannot claim a tax deduction for the same expenses that are reimbursed tax-free through your QTA.

When are funds available to me, and when can I start using my PBS Prepaid Benefits Card?

QTA funds are only available if they have been deducted from your payroll. For example, suppose you elect to contribute $50 per month and your employer deducts those funds in two equal installments over the first two pay periods of the month. After your first pay period, you would have only $25 of your $50 monthly election available. After your second pay period, an additional $25 would be available. Because of this rule, you cannot use the PBS Prepaid Benefits Card until you have "saved" enough money in your QTA to pay for the first expense you will incur.

What happens if the amount that I want to use in a month is higher than the IRS will allow?

The IRS monthly limits govern contributions and payments that may be made with pre-tax dollars. There are two ways you could use the PBS Prepaid Benefits Card for an amount greater than the monthly QTA limits:

  • If your monthly parking or transit expenses are higher than the IRS limits and your employer's plan permits it, you should elect to contribute additional post-tax dollars to your QTA. The PBS Prepaid Benefits Card can only authorize a payment if sufficient funds are in the account. So, for example in 2014, if your monthly commuter rail pass costs $255, you would elect to contribute $255/month to your pre- and post-tax accounts. The first $130 would be pre-tax and the additional $125 would be post-tax based on the 2014 IRS defined allowances. The PBS Prepaid Benefits Card could then be used since there would be sufficient funds on the card to cover the transaction.
  • • If you save up several months of contributions to purchase a multi-month (e.g. quarterly) transit or parking pass, that single transaction could exceed the dollar limit for the month. For example, you might wish to purchase a quarterly parking pass for $270. In that case, you would elect to contribute $90/month on a pre-tax basis. You would save three months' worth of contributions in your account and use them to purchase your parking pass for the following quarter. Since the amount of the transaction ($270) would be higher than the IRS monthly limit, you may be asked to send in a copy of your receipt to document that the pass being purchased covers more than one month.

What if I pay for eligible expense a month in advance?

Many transit and parking passes are payable in advance. Simply save up one month's worth of contributions into your QTA. Once you have saved enough, just use your PBS Prepaid Benefits Card to pay for the next month's pass. For example, you can purchase a transit pass for the month of March in late February, as long as there is enough money in your account to pay for the pass. Then, your March contributions into the account can be used near the end of the month to pay for your April pass, and so on.

What happens if a QTA expense is quarterly?

Simply save up three months worth of contributions in your QTA, then begin paying on a regular basis each quarter. If the amount of the quarterly expense is higher than the IRS monthly limit, you may be asked to send in a copy of your receipt to document that the expense covers more than one month.

Will I ever need to submit a paper claim form?

You may need to submit a claim form - along with the receipts – if:

  • Your transportation expense is incurred at a location that does not accept MasterCard™
  • You forget to take your PBS Prepaid Benefits Card with you
  • Your transaction is denied for any reason
  • Be sure to check your employer's benefit plan design.

Where do I get a claim form?

When using the PBS Prepaid Benefits Card, you usually don't need a claim form. However, if for some reason you don't use the PBS Prepaid Benefits Card, contact your Plan Administrator at the phone number on the back of your Card or as identified below to obtain a claim form or online at www.pbscard.com.

Call PBS at: Toll Free 1-888-333-3901 or locally at 203-985-1711.

What happens if I incur an expense and my QTA balance is less than the amount of the expense?

If the amount of payment you seek to make using the PBS Prepaid Benefits Card is greater than your QTA balance, the card request will be denied. You need to limit your card request to the amount in your QTA and pay the remaining amount with another method. If allowed by your employer, you can avoid having this happen by contributing enough funds each month (pre- and post-tax, if necessary) to cover your monthly transit or parking expenses.

If I run out of money in my parking account, can I pay for additional parking expenses with money from my transportation account?

No. The two funds are separate and you cannot transfer funds from one account to another.

If I stop participating, what happens to the money left in my account(s)?

You can submit claims for expenses that were incurred while you were a participant. However, any other funds will be forfeited.

What happens if I terminate my employment?

Upon termination you will have a specific amount of time dictated by your employer's benefit plan design to file claims on the unused balance in your account. You may submit for reimbursement for services provided prior to the termination date. Any unused funds after that employer-defined amount of time will be returned to the employer. Per IRS guidelines, these funds are non-refundable to the employee.

Can I use this account to pay for my spouse's transportation and/or parking?

No. The transportation benefit is only for the employee who works for the employer offering the QTA.

How do I know how much is in my account?

You can visit your Account Summary page at the web site on the back of your card and view your account activity and current balance. Or, you can call your Plan Administrator at the phone number on the back of your card to obtain your current balance. It's a good idea to know your account balance before you make a purchase with the PBS Prepaid Benefits Card.

Enrolling in QTA

How do I enroll in a QTA?

Just complete the Enrollment Form provided by PBS and indicate the amount you want deducted from each paycheck for each account – parking and/or transportation. Forms are available on the PBS website for downloading at www.pbscard.com for your convenience.

When can I enroll in a QTA?

You may be able to enroll in the QTA at any time during the year but check with your employer as this depends on the particular benefit plan design.