Top 53 FAQ about Olympia Health Spending Account Plans

By: Updated: December 4, 2023

Olympia is a trusted provider of Health Spending Account (HSA) plans. We administer these plans online to more than 55,000 small business owners across Canada through a fast and easy digital claims platform. An HSA is a cost effective alternative to traditional health insurance.

Olympia offers Health Spending Accounts for two distinct types of businesses: an incorporated individual or a business with staff (employees).  For an incorporated individual, we offer three HSA plan choices: Basic, Plus, Deluxe.  For a business with staff, we offer one HSA plan choice: HSA Group.

Note: The pricing and structure of an HSA varies by provider. The information provided is reflective of Olympia's cost, plan structure, and policies.

General HSA Questions

1. What is a Health Spending Account (HSA)?+

An HSA is a tax-efficient alternative to traditional health insurance. It is particularly cost-effective for small businesses.  Benefits offered through this plan are fully tax deductible to the business and received 100% tax free by the employees. There are no premiums, hidden fees, deductibles, copay, or complex policies.

2. What are eligible expenses for an HSA?+

An HSA offers a wide range of coverage. If your expense is health-related, then it will be typically covered.

See all eligible expenses in the 124 deductions for an HSA. 

Some of the most frequently claimed eligible expenses include laser eye surgery, dental treatment, physiotherapy, massages, eyeglasses, and prescription drugs. Contact us if you have any questions about medical expense eligibility.

3. Do I qualify for an HSA?+

You are eligible for an HSA if you:

  • Own an incorporated business
  • Have medical expenses
  • Receive T4 income

4. How much do Olympia HSA plans cost?+

Olympia has 4 HSA plans.  Three options for an incorporated individual:

The HSA Basic plan is $249+tax annually.

The HSA Plus plan is $499 annually (tax is included within the price).

The HSA Deluxe plan is $699 annually (tax is included within the price). 

And one option for a business with staff:

The HSA Group plan is $335+tax as a one-time setup fee. There is a $40+tax fee to add employees on the plan, and an 8% administration fee on claims. There is a $99 annual fee on plan renewal.

For more about plan pricing, check out this breakdown.

5. What is the difference between Olympia’s 4 HSA plans? +

The HSA Group is for a small business with a staff (arm’s length employees).

The HSA Basic, Plus, and Deluxe are for an incorporated individual and dependants. 

The concept of a Health Spending Account is easier to understand when seen from the perspective of these separate business types as the claims process will be different. 

6. Does Olympia have administration fees on claims?+

The HSA Group plan has an 8% administration fee on claims.

The HSA Basic, Plus, and Deluxe does not have administration fees.

7. Does Olympia have plans for sole proprietors?+

Olympia only offers Health Spending Account plans for incorporated businesses. 

8. Do I qualify for an HSA if I only take dividends from my business?+

It is recommended that you receive at least some form of T4 income to prove the legitimacy of your HSA plan. The HSA is meant to be an employee benefit, and T4 income is a reasonable way of showing your employee status. 


  • Work with an accountant to receive some salary which effectively negates any repercussions.
  • Sign up to the plan with the knowledge that you may be audited by CRA.

9. What is the point of taking in salary for an HSA?+

A Health Spending Account is meant to be an employee benefit. In a typical small business, it is reasonable to assume that you are an employee of the business if you receive T4 income. If you only withdraw dividends from your corporation, it can be hard to discern whether you are an employee or a shareholder. That is up to the judgement of the CRA.

10. What is the limit on an HSA?+

The claim limit for the HSA Basic, Plus, and Deluxe is $15,000 per enrolled employee.

The claim limit for the HSA Group plan ranges from $250 - $15,000. The lowest classification limit must be no less than 10% of the highest classification allowance (ex. $1000 vs. $10,000). 

11. Do I need a medical checkup to qualify for an HSA?+

There is no medical checkup required to sign up for Olympia HSA plans. They are not insurance plans. They are tax-efficient ways to get health and dental coverage. You can sign up even if you have pre-existing conditions.

12. Does Olympia offer insurance products?+

The HSA Plus package contains 3 built-in insurance plans (travel medical, emergency medical, and catastrophic drug).

The HSA Plus package costs $499 for the entire family. There are no additional costs. It simplifies the need for multiple insurance plans from different providers.

The HSA Deluxe plan ($699) also includes these three insurance products.

These 3 insurance products can be added as an option with the HSA Group Plan. 

13. How much are the premiums / is there a monthly charge?

A Health Spending Account does not charge premiums or monthly fees. It is not a form of insurance.

14. Can I claim expenses incurred before setting up the plan?+

The effective date of our plans is the day the plan is set up. Only receipts on and after the effective date can be submitted, as back-dating is not allowed on our plans.

15. How far back can I claim after I set up the plan?+

Only receipts on and after the effective date can be submitted, as back-dating is not allowed on our plans.

Therefore, the effective date of the plan is the day the plan is being set up. 

16. If my claim is audited, do I get my original receipts back?+

When a claim is selected for audit we only require a copy of the receipts for verification. We are required to keep all documents that are mailed to our office, should you decide to mail the original receipts. 

17. Which HSA fees are deductible business expenses?+

Our HSA plans have different fee structures. Generally, all HSA fees are deductible including the initial set up fee, employee enrollment fees, membership fees, annual fees, and the cost of employee’s claims and their respective administration fees.

18. How do I file the HSA fees on my company taxes?+

They are Employee Benefit Tax Deductions.

19. Can my dependants claim?+

Yes, dependants are eligible to share your claim limit if they are:

  • Your legal spouse or unmarried, unemployed dependent children
    • Includes natural, adopted, and step-children
    • Includes common-law spouse and children given that you are living together and all previous rules apply
  • Under the age of 21
    • Age can be extended to 25 years given that they are full-time students
  • You claim them as dependants on your personal tax return

20. How far can an HSA 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. 

21. When can I close the plan?+

The employer can terminate an HSA plan at anytime. There are zero costs associated with terminating a plan.

22. Can I supplement my existing insurance plan with an Olympia HSA?+

Yes, premiums and other associated costs paid in a health insurance plan can be claimed in our HSA plan. This means you can make your insurance premiums (and other associated costs) tax free.

23. Do I make a claim to my insurance plan or my HSA first (if I have both)?+

In most cases, the HSA will be the last payer. This means:

  1. Try to get your medical expense covered through insurance
  2. If it is not eligible, then claim with an HSA
  3. Any co-pays, co-insurance, deductibles (or associated claim fees under an insurance plan) can be claimed in an HSA. Keep in  mind to supply the Explanation of Benefits document from the other insurance company.

Note: You cannot claim the same expense using both an HSA and also insurance, only amounts not reimbursed by insurance.

24. Why should I choose Olympia as my Health Spending Account provider?+

  1. Our prices are available for everyone to see. No hidden fees.
  2. Your claim will be processed in 2 days. Fast and simple digital claims.
  3. More than 55,000 small businesses choose Olympia. Performance you can trust.
  4. We’ve been in this industry for 20+ years. Experienced in all aspects.
  5. Our top priority is educating small business owners. Many dedicated resources.

Olympia specializes in serving small business. Our HSA plans are cost effective with no hidden fees. 

All our HSA plans have their own unique cost structure.

25. When was Olympia Benefits created?+

Olympia Benefits started in 1997. It is a subsidiary of publicly traded Olympia Financial Group. In current day, we provide Health Spending Account plans to over 55,000 small business owners across Canada.

26. How do I sign up?+

  1. Click Sign Up. (top right of home page)
  2. Select your plan
  3. Complete your personal application form
  4. Pay the annual fee using your business credit card
  5. A confirmation email will be sent to your email with your Olympia account information
  6. Once you login, follow the directions to make your first claim


For An Incorporated Individual: HSA Basic, Plus, and Deluxe 

27. How does the HSA plan work?+

An HSA is short for Health Spending Account. It is a cost-effective and affordable alternative to traditional health insurance for an incorporated family business, consultants, contractors, and the self-employed. An HSA turns your after-tax personal medical expenses into before-tax business expenses through your corporation. Basically, it lets you pay for your medical expenses with before-tax dollars. 

28. What is the HSA Basic?+

The HSA Basic plan is a standalone Health Spending Account with $15000 claim limit.

29. What is the HSA Plus?+

The HSA Plus plan is a Health Spending Account with 3 added insurance product (Medical Travel and Emergency Medical). 

30. What is the HSA Deluxe?+

The HSA Deluxe plan is a Health Spending Account with 3 added insurance product (Medical Travel and Emergency Medical) and Dialogue Telemedicine Services (which allows access to qualified doctors and nurses over the phone at any time through video chat). 

31. How do I know the HSA Basic, Plus or Deluxe is right for me?+

  • You own an incorporated business
  • You pay medical expenses
  • You pay income tax
  • You run the business by yourself or with a spouse (self employed individuals / contractors qualify!)

32. How do I submit a claim in the HSA Basic, Plus, or Deluxe plan?+

Example: here’s how a claim would work for a $1,000 medical expense.

  1. Pay for your medical expense from your personal account (Pay $1,000 medical expense using personal credit card)
  2. Make an online claim (enter your expense details, submit the claim) 
  3. Make a payment from your corporation for the amount of your expense. (Pay Olympia $1,000 from your corporation)
  4. Olympia reimburses your personal banking account for the original expense ($1,000 medical expense)

The payment from your corporation to Olympia is 100% tax deductible. The reimbursement you receive from Olympia is 100% tax free.

See the top 9 FAQ on the claim process.

33. Am I paying for the medical expense twice?+

Technically, the medical expense is paid twice.  First, you must pay for the medical expense personally.  In order for your corporation to get the tax deduction, your corporation must then pay Olympia for the amount of the expense.  Olympia reimburses you personally for the full cost of the expense.  In the end, your corporation gets the tax deduction and you receive the reimbursement tax free.

34. How do you fund a claim?+

Payment must be submitted electronically through the business’s online banking system (similar to paying a utility bill) at the time your claim is filed. Olympia’s website will direct you to the appropriate page if you are required to utilize your online banking system when your claim is being submitted.

35. What is the maximum benefit limit?+

The maximum annual limit is $15,000 per enrolled employee, with a maximum of two - owner and spouse. This potential claim amount is shared between your entire family, meaning that anyone enrolled in your account can claim up to that amount.

36. Can the maximum annual benefit be increased?+

Yes. The applicable form is available to all clients through their personal portal of MyOlympia and identifies the relevant fees associated with the increase. There is a 10% fee for every claim over the limit.

37. How come your Plus and Basic plan have no administration fee?+

Olympia has streamlined the Basic, Plus, and Deluxe plans so that customers don't have to worry about administration fees on claims. All our costs are built into the set up fee. You can claim up to the $15,000 limit per employee (max. 2: owner + spouse) and still enjoy no fee claims. 

38. How many employees can be enrolled in HSA Basic, Plus or Deluxe?+

2 employees at most (owner and spouse). Dependants claimed on your tax return can also qualify as dependants under an HSA.

39. When are benefits renewed under an HSA?+

The plan year end is one year from the effective date, less one day (the plan automatically renews on the same day each year).


For a business with staff: HSA Group 

40. What is the HSA Group?+

The HSA Group plan is for a small business with staff (arm's length employees). In this corporate structure, think of an HSA as an employees benefits plan which reimburses your employees for medical expenses with tax free dollars. 

41. Can I sign up for the HSA Basic, Plus, or Deluxe plan if I have arm's length employees?+

No, you cannot. The digital claims platform is built according to your corporate structure. If you have arm's length employees, sign up to the Group plan.

42. How do I submit a claim in the HSA Group plan?+

Example: here’s how a claim would work for a $1,000 medical expense.

  1. The employee pays for the $1,000 medical expense using their own funds.
  2. The employee logs into their personal HSA account with Olympia and submits the details of their receipt online. The employee holds on to the original receipt.
  3. Olympia takes funds from the company’s funding account to reimburse the employee directly for their claim. A direct deposit of $1,000 will be made to the employee’s personal bank account.

The $1,000 reimbursement is TAX FREE.
The $1,000 payment from your corporation is TAX DEDUCTIBLE.

This process (including reimbursement) usually occurs within 2 days (48 hours). 

These funds are 100% tax free, meaning employees can use them on eligible expenses up to their spending limits. This provides cost control for the employer and choice for employees. 

43. How much should I budget for my employee benefits? +

  1. Figure out your current (health and dental plan) budget
  2. Add up your total liabilities (classification amount x employees in the classification - for all classifications)
  3. Divide the total liabilities by 12 (months)
  4. Deposit the calculated amount into the HSA at the beginning of each month

44. How do you fund a claim?+

The employer determines the funding amount and spending limits. Group plans are funded by the employer with a pre-set amount at the start of every month. This means that funding is held on account to satisfy any claims submitted by your employees. 

We recommend allocating a sufficient amount at the start of the plan so that employees can be reimbursed immediately after a successful claim.

45. How much money should I give my employees?+

It is up to you. We recommend working with your employees to see what is a reasonable amount. A typical amount is $1000 per employee on the lowest level classification. 

Keep in mind, there is no ideal set up. You can control the plan budget and choose to increase or decrease the spending limit of your employees. We can offer advice based on your employee spending after 1 year.

46. As the employer, do I get to see what my staff are claiming?+

You are only able to see the amount of the claim that was reimbursed to them. Due to the privacy act, you are not able to see the specific items each employee is submitting towards their benefit limit. However, you can rest assured that our secure auditing process ensures that approved claims are on eligible medical expenses. 

47. How many employees can I enroll?+

There is no limit to how many employees you can enroll. Employees can be split into classifications (ex. Associate, Manager, VP, President) with different spending allowances (ex. $1000, $2000, $5000, $10,000).

48. Do we have to include all employees?+

You do not have to include all employees. However, there must be reasonable conduct within the plan. This means the plan cannot include solely the shareholders. That scenario would conflict with the rules of an HSA set forth by CRA. It would appear to be a shareholder benefit as opposed to an employee benefit. As a result, it is recommended that you include at least one class of full time employees.

49. Can I choose which employees to cover?+

Yes - the employer can create employee classifications to include in the plan, as well as the spending limits for each employee classification (ex. Associate, Manager, VP, President).

50. What is my spending limit?+

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. 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. It is suggested to maintain a maximum ratio of 10:1 between the employer and employees.

51. How is an employee reimbursed?+

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

All reimbursements are 100% tax free.

52. When are benefits renewed under an HSA Group plan?+

You may choose one of the following; 1 year from the effective date, the company's fiscal year end, or the calendar year end. This date is chosen during the HSA plan setup and cannot be changed later. 

53. What happens to unused funds (funds not claimed during the plan year)?+

Olympia can give a full refund to the employer at any time. Remember, a deposit for the HSA funding account is not the same as a premium payment to insurance. You can withdraw funding from your HSA account at any time.  

At the plan's year end, remaining funds can be returned to the employer or left for next year’s budget.


Start saving with a Health Spending Account today:

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Call 1-888-668-8384 for customer service 


Related Reading - Health Spending Accounts: 

The Complete HSA Walk-through for a business with NO arm's length employees

The top 19 FAQ for a Health Spending Account+

Top 24 FAQ about Employee Benefits Package for Small Business

How does a Health Spending Account work for a small business in Canada


Write off 100% of your medical expenses

Are you an incorporated business owner with no employees? Learn how to use a Health Spending Account to pay for your medical expenses through your corporation: 

Download the HSA Guide for Incorporated Individuals

Do you own a corporation with employees? Discover a tax deductible health and dental plan that has no premiums:

Download the HSA Guide for a Business with Staff

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