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10 medical expenses you can't claim with a Health Spending Account

Posted by K. F. on August 18, 2015

A Health Spending Account for small business owners in Canada has a wide and deep range of eligible medical expenses.  However, there are exceptions.

Take a look at 10 medical expenses you can't claim.

1. Over the counter medication

CRA only allows for items filled by a pharmacist. Alternatively, you can see a naturopath and purchase products directly from them or if your doctor has recommended something over the counter. Ask your pharmacist if they will fill it for you.

2. Fitness fees, gym memberships,or weight loss programs

Weight loss is not eligible under CRA. Alternative could be nutrition counseling or in extreme cases of obesity, bariatric surgery (must include doctor's prescription).

3. Hot tub

The exception is that hydrotherapy performed by a medical practitioner is eligible.

4. Athletic therapy

CRA doesn’t recognize the profession of Athletic Therapist (CAT). An alternative would be a Physiotherapist.

5. Purely cosmetic procedures

CRA does not allow for any purely cosmetic procedures unless medically necessary. Items such as liposuction, botox, teeth whitening should be given careful consideration before making a claim if there is no medical necessity.

6. Provincial health premiums

For example, MSP in British Columbia (or any type of provincial health insurance) is not eligible to be claimed. However, private health insurance premiums (such as Blue Cross) are eligible for the Health Spending Account. 

7. Homeopathy

CRA doesn’t recognize the profession of Homeopathic Doctor. An alternative would be seeing a Naturopathic Doctor instead (ND).

8. Massage chair/tools

At home/do it yourself treatments are not eligible. Alternatively, seeing a Registered Massage Therapist for a massage is eligible.

9. Doula

CRA doesn’t recognize the qualifications. An alternative would be a midwife.

10. Blood pressure monitors

Ineligible by CRA. No real alternative.

Check out the complete list of eligible Health Spending Account expenses.

Are you a small business owner doing research for a Health Spending Account? Take a look at our free guide below to learn what to look for in a qualifying HSA.

Beginner's Guide to Health Spending Accounts