A typical Health Spending Account provides funds for reimbursements of eligible health and dental expenses. Those that are eligible according to CRA's guidelines for eligible medical expenses are tax free for Plan Members.
If your Plan includes a Wellness feature, your Plan Sponsor is still investing in your health and wellbeing by covering the cost of health-related lifestyle expenses.
Unfortunately, those expenses aren't tax free according to the CRA. Thus any funds claimed as a wellness expense will become a taxable benefit.
If you have an HSA Wellness Blend, your Plan covers both eligible medical expenses and lifestyle expenses (we'll do the figuring - don't worry). Only the funds used for claims that are not in CRA's guidelines will be taxed as income by your Plan Sponsor.
Contributions from your Plan Sponsor are only available for lifestyle expenses - your Plan Sponsor has chosen to invest in things that help keep you and your family healthy and active. All contributions are treated as a taxable benefit.
Wellness expenses eligible for reimbursement
Although it depends a bit on your Plan Sponsor's priorities, most wellness programs will cover the following.
- Athletic or fitness club fees, including gym memberships
- Weight loss programs
- Tobacco cessation programs/aids
- Flu shots/screening clinics
- Health/nutrition coaching
- Exercise equipment
- Sports team memberships/registration fees
- Court fees, green fees (including annual memberships), ski passes, lift tickets
- Electronic tracking devices (fitbits)
- Maternity/paternity services (doula, prenatal classes, etc.)
- First Aid/CPR training
- Alternative wellness services (hypnosis, sleep assessments, reiki, rolfing)
Just click the support button in your Member Centre or say firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions - or a really great joke!