Certain Plan date parameters affect the eligibility of claims. This is a tricky topic, but let's explain!
The Basic Rules
Health care expenses with service dates on or after the Plan Year Start Date (or the Member Effective Date, if different) and on or before the Plan Year End are eligible for reimbursement from funds contributed in current Plan Year.
According to CRA guidelines, Plan Year funds can only be used for the year in which the receipts are dated. In other words, you can’t carry forward claimable expenses from this Plan Year for reimbursement from next year’s funds.
Explaining with an Example
Let's explain with a simple calendar year example, based on a Plan year start of 2018-01-01, with Plan year end of 2018-12-31.
Any receipts dated in 2018 can only be reimbursed from funds contributed in 2018. You can't use new funds contributed in 2019 to reimburse receipts dated in 2018.
So, let's say you receive $1,000.00 in contributions in 2018, and have $1,200.00 worth of receipts dated in 2018.
Since you only have $1,000.00 available in 2018, you'll be reimbursed $1,000.00 (less claims processing fees), and will exhaust your 2018 funds. That other $200.00 will unfortunately not be reimbursed (nor will any other receipts dated in 2018), as you've exhausted 2018 funds.
If you have a contribution as of January 2019, you can't use that contribution towards the $200 not reimbursed on the 2018 receipts.
Contributions in the new 2019 Plan Year can only be used for receipts dated 2019-01-01 and onward.
If you've exhausted your Plan Year funds on a receipt, you'll see a message that you've exhausted funds for the Plan Year. Check out our article What does it mean by "Plan Year funds exhausted"? for more info.
Depending on the type of HSA you have (for example, our Classic HSA), any unused contributions from previous years may roll over and be used for future claims.
Keep your claims up to date - remember, for our Classic HSA, claims in any Plan Year must be submitted no later than 90 days after the Plan Year End!
Other types of HSAs do have different submission and contribution roll over rules, which you can find in your Member Guide, found in the resources section of your online Member Centre. You can also say firstname.lastname@example.org at any time, and we'd be happy to help!