Health Spending Accounts

What is a Health Spending Account (HSA)?

It's like a bank account that you may draw from (only) to cover medical and health related expenses not covered by the rest of our benefit plan and/or your spouse's benefit plan.

Who's eligible?

Each teacher on continuing, probationary and temporary contracts of 1 year or more.

The coverage includes everyone covered by our current benefit plan, including spouse and children. Also, anyone declared on your income tax form as a dependent is also eligible (e.g. elderly parents).

How much is available?

On January 1, $750 was deposited to all continuing contract teachers' accounts (held at SunLife). Another $750 will be added on January 1 of next year.

For teachers starting a full-year probationary or temporary contract between July 1 and September 30, $250 is deposited into the account on September 1. An additional $500 is deposited on January 1 (for a total of $750 for the year.)

These amounts are prorated for teachers on part time contracts.

You do not have to use all your credits during the year. Unused credits are added, or rolled over, to the new year's total. However, the rollover for any one year can be rolled over only once.

For example,
  • Say you use only $400 in 2019, thus rolling over $350 ($750 less $400) into 2020.
  • This means you'd start 2020 with $350 plus the new $750, for a total of $1100.
  • Now, say you use only $250 during 2020. You are still working through the remaining credits from back in 2019.
  • This means at the end of 2020 you would lose $100 ($350 less $250) worth of 2019 credits.
  • Then, with the dawn of 2021, you would now have the unused $750 from 2020 plus the new $750 for 2021, for a total of $1500 in credits.

What does it cover?

Lots, including: deductibles, co-pay (i.e. Sun Life pays 80% and you pay 20%), amounts over fee guide (dentists!), adult orthodontics, contact lenses, laser eye surgery, dietician, chiropractic and massage therapy. And it includes things not covered by our benefit plan, like a pair of prescription glasses bought without requiring a change in prescription.

Ineligible expenses include fees for joining a fitness club, non-prescribed drugs, home gym equipment, health and wellness books, and home equipment such as air conditioners, unless accompanied by a prescription.

How do I make a claim on my Health Spending Account?

Current benefit claim forms are available on the CBE inSite page.

You claim for the Health Spending Account at the same time you claim for benefit reimbursement, using the same form. The new versions of the Medical form and Dental form include a section relating to the Health Spending Account. Be sure you are using the current forms.

Use the Medical form for everything except visits to the dentist. If you wish to draw on your Health Spending Account simply check the box in the Health Spending Account section of the form and submit the appropriate receipts.

If your dentist sends an electronic claim to Sun Life on your behalf after you pay for services above the fee schedule, you must send in a Dental form to claim for that amount. Again, you just have to check the HSA authorization box if you wish to use your HSA.

Please realize a Health Spending Account is a last payer. So, a claim against the Health Spending Account will be processed only after you have exhausted your and your spouse's benefit plans (if applicable).

Be careful to not miss making a claim. You have only 90 days into the new year to claim for expenses from the prior year. For example, you must claim for expenses incurred during 2007 before the end of March, 2008.

How do I know how much I have left in my account?

Of course, you can do this yourself as you make claims. Or, you can register with Sun Life, get a benefits number and PIN, and then track your HSA account online. If you've already registered online with Sun Life, you can use your current number and PIN.