The Health Spending Account (HSA) benefit is available for some employee groups at UBC.
If you are eligible for this benefit, the HSA provides you with an annual credit to pay for certain expenses that are not covered by UBC’s Extended Health and Dental plans. These expenses could include the cost of deductibles or amounts over plan maximums. The HSA credit is allocated to you and you may use it to pay for claims for your eligible dependents. The HSA benefit is available to employees who are members of the CUPE 116, CUPE 2950, IUOE 115 and Management & Professional employee groups who are also enrolled in the UBC Extended Health Plan. Effective January 1, 2021, BCGEU Child Care, Non-Union Child Care and Faculty (includes Academic Executives and Postdoctoral Fellows) employee groups will also have access to the HSA.
You are eligible for the Health Spending Account (HSA) benefit if you are a member of one of the following employee groups and you are enrolled in the UBC Extended Health Plan:
- CUPE 116
- CUPE 2950
- IUOE 115
- Management & Professional (Paymaster and TRIUMF M&P employees are not eligible for the HSA benefit)
- BCGEU Child Care and Non-Union Child Care (effective January 1, 2021)
- Faculty (includes Academic Executives and Postdoctoral Fellows) (effective January 1, 2021).
Eligibility for new hires
If you have just joined UBC, you are eligible for the HSA benefit as of the date you are enrolled in the Extended Health Plan. This benefit is not pro-rated, so even if you enroll partway through the year, you are still eligible for the full annual amount of the HSA benefit.
How the HSA benefit works
You will receive a credit on January 1 of each year. The Health Spending Account (HSA) credit is valued at:
- $350 per year if you are a member of CUPE 116,
- $125 per year if you are a member of CUPE 2950 ($375 for 2021 and $250 for 2022 onwards),
- $200 per year if you are a member of the Management & Professional employee group,
- $1,100 per year if you are a member of IUOE 115 (for calendar year for 2020 – 2021 and $1,000 per calendar year for 2022 onwards),
- $300 per year if you are a member of BCGEU Child Care or Non-Union Child Care ($300 for calendar year 2021 and 2022, $200 for 2023 onwards) (effective January 1, 2021), or
- $200 per year if you are a member of the Faculty (includes Academic Executives and Postdoctoral Fellows) employee group (effective January 1, 2021).
The HSA is a non-taxable benefit and it must be used within a certain time frame. You can carry forward unused portions of the credit for one year, but if you do not use the carried-forward amount by the end of the second year, you will lose the carried-forward amount.
Deadlines for submitting claims
There is a deadline to submit HSA claims. You have 90 days from the end of the benefit year (December 31) to submit an HSA claim for expenses incurred during that year. For example, at the end of December 31, 2020, you have 90 days (until March 31, 2021) to submit claims for 2020. After March 31, 2021, you are no longer able to submit 2020 claims to your HSA.
Here is an example of how the HSA works for employee groups with a $200 credit per year.
|Activity||Date||Transaction Amount||HSA Balance|
|Starting Balance||Jan. 1, 2020||$200 for 2020||$200|
|Claim #1||Oct. 1, 2020||$50||$150|
|Claim #2||Nov. 1, 2020||$25||$125|
End of 2020
Dec. 31, 2020
You have 90 days from Dec. 31 to submit 2020 claims
|Activity||Date||Transaction Amount||HSA Balance|
|Starting Balance||Jan. 1, 2021||$200 for 2021 + $125 carry-forward from 2020 = $325||$325|
|Claim #1||Sept. 1, 2021||$120||$205|
|Claim #2||Oct. 1, 2021||$50||$155|
|End of 2021||Dec. 31, 2021||You have 90 days from Dec. 31 to submit 2021 claims||$155 carry-forward|
If you have questions about making HSA claims, you can contact Sun Life via secure message at mysunlife.ca, or phone them directly at 1-800-661-7334 or 1-800-361-6212.
What does the HSA cover?
Your Health Spending Account (HSA) benefit can be used for many expenses that are either not covered or are only partially covered by UBC’s Extended Health and Dental plans. These include:
- deductibles; amounts over plan maximums (for example, if you’ve reached your annual maximum for physiotherapy, then you can claim your extra expense);
- amounts over plan maximums (for example, if you’ve reached your annual maximum for physiotherapy, then you can claim your extra expense);
- unpaid portions of prescription drugs, dental (including orthodontics) and paramedical services;
- unpaid amounts from your spouse’s plan (if you are covered under your spouse’s plan);
- unpaid amounts for out-of-country claims;
- unpaid amounts for laser eye surgery;
- physician fees for completing forms/reports; and
- insurance premiums for private health or dental care coverage.
For a complete list of eligible expenses, refer to the Sun Life HSA List of Eligible Expenses, Canada Revenue List of Common Medical Expenses You Can Claim or visit the Sun Life Members website. This list is subject to any changes that are made to the list of items qualifying as medical expenses under the Income Tax Act (Canada).
What is not covered by the HSA?
Your HSA does not cover the following expenses:
- provincial health plan premiums,
- non-prescription medication,
- fitness club fees,
- home gym equipment, or
- books about health and wellness.
For more information on ineligible expenses, refer to the Canada Revenue List of Common Medical Expenses You Cannot Claim.
HSA claims for dependents
The HSA credit can also be used towards dependent’s claims as well.
- spouse or partner,
- dependent children (age 18 or younger, or age 19 to 24 if in full-time attendance at a school or university), and
- disabled children of any age who are financially dependent on you
The following dependents are also eligible if they are financially dependent on you in accordance with the Canadian Income Tax Act and they reside in Canada:
- dependent children age 25 and over,
- brothers and sisters,
- aunts and uncles, and
- nieces and nephews.
When you submit your claim online or sign your paper claim form, you are acknowledging that the dependent you are claiming for is financially dependent on you.
How to submit your HSA claim
As with most UBC Extended Health and UBC Dental expenses, you can submit HSA claims online or by mail. We’ve outlined the process below, and have included information about how to coordinate your claim with another group plan.