Certain 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 Claim Period Start Date (or the Member Effective Date, if different) and on or before the Claim Period End Date are eligible for reimbursement from funds contributed in current Claim Period.
According to CRA guidelines, Claim Period funds can only be used for the period in which the receipts are dated. In other words, you can’t carry forward claimable expenses from this Claim Period for reimbursement from next period’s funds.
Claim periods are based on the Plan's HSA annual renewal. If the Plan has a custom renewal in the first year, your first Claim Period will likely be shorter than a year.
Explaining with an Example
Let's explain with a simple calendar year example, based on a Claim Period start of 2018-01-01, with Claim Period 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 Claim Period can only be used for receipts dated 2019-01-01 and onward.
If you've exhausted your Claim Period funds on a receipt, you'll see a message that you've exhausted funds for the Claim Period. Check out our article What does it mean by "Claim Period funds exhausted"? for more info.
Depending on the type of HSA you have (for example, our Classic HSA), any unused contributions from previous Claim Periods may roll over and be used for future claims.
Keep your claims up to date - remember, for our Classic HSA, claims in any Claim Period must be submitted no later than 90 days after the Claim Period 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!