Health Spending Account

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 2950, IUOE 882 or Management & Professional employee groups who are also enrolled in the UBC Extended Health Plan.

  • CUPE 2950: Eligible for $125 per calendar year.
  • IUOE 882: Eligible for $400 per calendar year until December 31, 2017.
  • Management & Professional (also includes Service Unit Director and Administrative Executive): Eligible for $325 per calendar year for 2017 and 2018 and $200 per calendar year for 2019 onwards. Paymaster and TRIUMF M&P employees are not eligible for the HSA benefit.

Learn more

Eligibility

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 2950: Eligible for $125 per calendar year.
  • IUOE 882: Eligible for $400 per calendar year until December 31, 2017.
  • Management & Professional: Eligible for $325 per calendar year for 2017 and 2018 and $200 per calendar year for 2019 onwards. Paymaster and TRIUMF M&P employees are not eligible for the HSA benefit.

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:

  • $125 per year if you are a member of CUPE 2950,
  • $325 per year if you are a member of the Management & Professional employee group (for calendar year 2017 and 2018 and $200 per calendar year for 2019 onwards), or
  • $400 per year if you are a member of IUOE 882.

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, 2016, you have 90 days (until March 31, 2017) to submit claims for 2016. After March 31, 2017, you are no longer be able to submit 2016 claims to your HSA.

Here is an example of how the HSA works for employee groups with a $125 credit per year.

2016

Activity Date Transaction Amount HSA Balance
Starting Balance Jan. 1, 2016 $125 for 2016 $125
Claim #1 Oct. 1, 2016 $50 $75
Claim #2 Nov. 1, 2016 $25 $50
End of 2016 Dec. 31, 2016 You have 90 days from Dec. 31 to submit 2016 claims $50 carry-forward

2017

Activity Date Transaction Amount HSA Balance
Starting Balance Jan. 1, 2017 $125 for 2017 + $50 carry-forward from 2016 = $175 $175
Claim #1 Sept. 1, 2017 $120 $55
Claim #2 Oct. 1, 2017 $50 $5
End of 2017 Dec. 31, 2017 You have 90 days from Dec. 31 to submit 2017 claims $5 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.

Eligible Expenses

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);
  • 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;
  • eye exams;
  • 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 plan premiums such as the Medical Services Plan,
  • 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.

Eligible dependent(s) include your:

  • 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,
  • grandchildren,
  • parents,
  • grandparents,
  • 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.

Submitting a claim online

When you submit a claim online rather than by mail, you will be reimbursed faster. The table below shows the types of claims that can be submitted through mysunlife.ca or the Sun Life mobile app.

The Sun Life mobile app includes a photo submission feature for uploading receipts and doctor’s referrals, if required. This is why more claims can be submitted over the app compared to mysunlife.ca.

The following claims can be submitted online:

Expense mysunlife.ca Sun Life mobile app
Prescription drugs Y Y
Paramedical services:
Acupuncturist
Chiropodist
Chiropractor
Massage therapist*
Naturopath
Physiotherapist
Podiatrist
Psychologist*
Audiologist
Clinical counsellor
Dietician
Homeopath
Occupational therapist
Social worker
Speech therapist
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Medical equipment/supplies and services:
Nurse
Ambulance
Diabetic Supplies
Medical Equipment and Supplies
Hearing Aid and Supplies
Hospitalization
Laboratory/Diagnostic Services
Custom-made Orthopaedic Shoes
Prosthesis
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Dental** Y Y

*Your first claim for massage and/or psychological services cannot be submitted online because a doctor’s note must accompany the claim. Submit the first claim by using Sun Life’s mobile app (you can submit the note with their photo submission feature) or by paper. A doctor’s referral is required every 12 months.

** With the exception of claims for bridges, crowns, dentures, dental accidents and all dental work that requires preauthorization.

To submit a claim online:

  • Log into mysunlife.ca or Sun Life mobile app using your Access ID and password. If you don’t have an Access ID, contact Sun Life at 1-800-361-6212 to sign up.
  • Select “my claims”.
  • Select Prescribed Drug/Vision Care/Paramedical e-claim, Dental e-claim or Health Spending Account e-claim.
  • If you are not coordinating benefits: For drug, vision care or paramedical claims, submit a Prescribed Drug/Vision Care/Paramedical e-claim and select the option to submit a Health Spending Account (HSA) claim for any unpaid balances. For a dental claim, submit a Dental e-claim followed by a Health Spending Account (HSA) e-claim.
  • If you are coordinating benefits with another Sun Life group plan: Submit a Prescribed Drug/Vision Care/Paramedical or Dental e-claim and select the option to submit a Coordination of Benefit (COB) claim. Any unpaid balance can be claimed by submitting a Health Spending Account (HSA) e-claim.
  • If you are coordinating benefits with a group plan that is not with Sun Life: Submit an e-claim to the Plan that is the first payor, then second payor (see Cooordinating Benefits below to determine the order of claims submission). Any unpaid balance can be claimed by submitting a Health Spending Account (HSA) e-claim.
  • Complete the information requested and submit the claim online.

If you are submitting your claims online, remember to keep your receipts and any supporting documentation for your records and for auditing purposes for a 12-month period. Supporting documentation may include the Sun Life Claimant statement or statement from your second plan showing how much you were reimbursed, if you are coordinating claims. If your claim is randomly audited by Sun Life, you must send Sun Life supporting documentation for your claim before it will be reimbursed.

Submitting a paper claim

Download and print the combined Sun Life Extended Health + HSA claim form or Sun Life Dental + HSA claim form. These forms are also available on mysunlife.ca. For instructions on submitting paper claims, visit our Claims page.

When submitting claims, please indicate in the HSA section of the claim form (Part 3) how you would like your claim processed by Sun Life. Your three options are:

1. You don’t want to use your HSA for this claim.

  • Select this option if you want to save your HSA credits for future claims.
  • If you are coordinating benefits: Select this option if you are covered under another group benefits plan (second plan) that is not with Sun Life; in order to maximize your HSA credits you should ensure that you receive reimbursement from the second plan before submitting any unpaid balances against your HSA.

2. You want Sun Life to assess this claim under your Extended Health benefit first and then assess any unpaid balance under your HSA.

  • Select this option if you would like claim any balance not paid by the Extended Health benefit against your HSA account.
  • If you are coordinating benefits: Select this option if you have a second plan that is with Sun Life, and after receiving reimbursement under both plans you would like to claim any unpaid amounts under your HSA.

3. You want Sun Life to assess this claim under your HSA only.

  • Select this option if the claim is not covered or partially covered under your Extended Health benefit and you would like to claim any unpaid amounts against your HSA account.
  • Select this option if you have used your drug card or dentist/provider has submitted your claim electronically on your behalf and there are unpaid amounts you would like to claim under your HSA.
  • If you are coordinating benefits: If you have coordinated benefits with the second plan that is not with Sun Life and you would like to claim any unpaid amounts under your HSA.

When submitting claims by paper, send Sun Life the original receipts and any supporting documentation. Supporting documentation may include the Sun Life Claimant statement or statement from your second plan showing how much you were reimbursed, if you are coordinating claims.

Sign your claim form, attach your receipts and mail it to the address indicated on the form.

Making a claim for a dependent

You must submit a paper claim if you are making a claim for a dependent who is not covered under the Extended Health benefit, but who meets the Income Tax Act definition of an eligible dependent for the HSA.

Coordinating benefits

If you are coordinating benefits with another group plan (second plan) and are unsure of which plan to submit to first, please visit the Coordination of Claims section of this website for more information.