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Top 11 FAQ for a Health Spending Account from our Call Center

Posted by Alden Hui on October 3, 2017
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If you’re thinking about purchasing a Health Spending Account (HSA), chances are you want to know some of the most asked questions from our own customers. We've saved you time by compiling a list of the top 11 frequently asked questions that our call center receives.

1. What is my spending limit?

Your spending limit depends on your plan. If you have the HSA Plus or Basic, then you have a spending limit of $15,000/person. If your spouse is a part of the business, that allots a shared total of $30,000 for use between all eligible family members.

With the HSA Group plan, the spending limit is determined by the employer, with a maximum of $15,000 and minimum of $500 per employee. The spending limits are based on classifications, which are customized by the employer. Each classification is assigned their own spending limit. Although there are no specific rules in place, spending limits between classifications should be reasonable. This ensures fairness between the employer and employees. Olympia suggests a maximum ratio of 10:1 between the employer and employees. Not all employees have to be enrolled into the plan.    

2. What is covered under an HSA?

Unlike traditional insurance plans, an HSA covers a wide range of eligible expenses. Some of the most frequently claimed procedures include braces, physiotherapy, optical, laser eye surgery, MRI, dental, prescription drugs, and sunglasses. If your expense is health-related to a reasonable extent, chances are it will be covered.   

To see if your specific expense is eligible, check our all-inclusive guide on eligible expenses.

health spending account eligible expenses and deductions for small business in Canada

3. Who makes the guidelines for eligible expenses?

The Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) is responsible for creating the eligible expense guidelines. 

4. My spouse has a traditional healthcare plan with an insurance company, can I still claim with my HSA?

An HSA can work in conjunction with the traditional insurance plan. Always claim from your traditional plan first. Any remaining amount can be claimed using an HSA.

Additionally, any traditional insurance premiums or co-pay (when a patient pays a portion of a traditional plan claim) are eligible expenses under an HSA. To read more on eligible expenses, click here.

5. How is an employee reimbursed?

Olympia reimburses the employee by depositing funds directly into their personal bank account.

6. What should I do with receipts after a claim?

Hold onto receipts for up to 10 years in case your claim is audited.

7. What is the difference between our HSA Basic, Plus, and Group plans?

The HSA Basic is our core product, a health spending account. The HSA Plus includes all components of the Basic + three additional insurance plans. These two products are specifically made for incorporated business owners with no employees (aside from a spouse).

Under HSA Basic/Plus, the spouse can be a dependant or shareholder, in the case of shareholder, then an additional $15,000 is allotted into the shared spending limit. 

The HSA Group is a health spending account built for employee benefits, in other words, an incorporated small business owner with employees.

For more on HSA Basic/Plus, read the Top 19 FAQ for a Health Spending Account.

For more on HSA Group, read the Top 22 FAQ for group Health Spending Account employee benefits.

8. How many employees can be enrolled in a plan?

It depends on your plan.

HSA Basic/Plus - only the owner and his spouse (maximum 2 employees)

HSA Group - unlimited number of employees, but there is a one-time $40 fee per employee enrolled.

9. Can my maximum annual benefit/limit be increased?

Yes, as long as there is a reasonable cause for the increase. Interested applicants can fill out a form through their MyOlympia personal portal. Keep in mind, there are additional fees associated with any increase over the standard spending limit.

10. How far can the HSA plan be backdated?

The earliest ANY plan can be made effective is the date the application is completed and paid for online (a.k.a. the day you sign up). 

Additional insurance products (if purchased) have varied effective dates in accordance with policy guidelines. See the Plan Guidelines for full details. 

11. What is the year end of an HSA plan?

HSA Plus/Basic - the year end is one year from the effective date, less one day (the plan renews on the same day each year) 

HSA Group - any day can be chosen; this is selected by the client. 

Our customer service team and call center receives 100+ inquiries every day. Hopefully, this article will answer some of your questions. Have a question that wasn't answered? Don't hesitate to call us, email, or contact us over social media. Our contact information can be found at the bottom of www.olympiabenefits.com.

For more information regarding a Health Spending Account, please read our beginner's guide, it's a good place to start (and it's free!): 

beginner's guide to health spending accounts HSA 2017 eligible expenses

For more information regarding an HSA for a business with employees, check out our COMPLETE HSA Guide: 

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Topics: health spending account, call center, faq