Olympia is a trusted provider of Health Spending Account (HSA) plans. We administer these plans online to more than 54,000 small business owners across Canada through a fast and easy digital claims platform. It's a tax-efficient plan for health and dental coverage.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about our 3 different HSA plans: Plus, Basic, and Group.
Note: The pricing and structure of a Health Spending Account (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 for health and dental coverage. It is particularly cost-effective for a small business or self employed individual.
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.
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
- Pay income tax
- Receive T4 income
4. How much do Olympia HSA plans cost?
The HSA Basic plan is $249+tax annually.
The HSA Plus plan is $499 annually (tax is included within the price).
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 3 HSA packages? (Group / Plus / Basic)
The HSA Group is for a business with arm’s length employees.
The HSA Plus and Basic are for a typical family business with no arm’s length employees. If you are an incorporated consultant or contractor, then you qualify for this plan.
It is also important to note that a Health Spending Account works differently depending your plan type. This is because Health Spending Accounts deal with tax planning.
6. Does Olympia have administration fees on claims?
The HSA Group plan has an 8% administrative fee on claims.
The HSA Basic and Plus do not have administrative 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 and Plus is $15000.
The benefit allowance for the HSA Group plan ranges from $250 - $15000. The lowest classification allowance must be no less than 10% of the highest classification allowance (ex. $1000 vs. $10000).
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.
These 3 insurance products can also be added onto a 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, they 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 are eligible for 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:
- Try to get your medical expense covered through insurance
- If it is not eligible, then claim with an HSA
- 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.
24. Why should I choose Olympia as my Health Spending Account provider?
- Our prices are available for everyone to see. No hidden fees.
- Your claim will be processed in 2 days. Fast and simple digital claims.
- More than 54,000 small businesses choose Olympia. Performance you can trust.
- We’ve been in this industry for 20+ years. Experienced in all aspects.
- 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 54,000 small business owners across Canada.
26. How do I sign up?
- Click Sign Up. (top right of home page)
- Select your plan
- Complete your personal application form
- Pay the annual fee using your business credit card
- A confirmation email will be sent to your email with your Olympia account information
- Once you login, follow the directions to make your first claim
HSA Basic and Plus Questions
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, Emergency Medical, and Catastrophic Drug).
30. How do I know the HSA Plus or Basic 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!)
31. How do I submit a claim in the HSA Plus / Basic plan?
Example: here’s how a claim would work for a $1,000 medical expense.
- Pay for your medical expense from your personal account (Pay $1,000 medical expense using personal credit card)
- Make an online claim (enter your expense details, submit the claim)
- Make a payment from your corporation for the amount of your expense. (Pay Olympia $1,000 from your corporation)
- 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.
32. Am I paying for the expense twice?
No, the claims process cycles your payment from personal to business. The tax-free reimbursement to your personal account effectively cancels out your initial personal payment. What you are left with is a business expense.
33. 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.
34. What is the maximum benefit limit?
The maximum annual limit is $15,000 per enrolled employee. This amount is shared between your entire family, meaning that anyone enrolled in your account can claim up to that amount.
35. 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.
36. How come your Plus and Basic plan have no administration fee?
Olympia has streamlined the Plus and Basic HSA 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 and still enjoy no fee claims.
37. How many employees can be enrolled in HSA Plus and Basic?
2 employees at most (owner and spouse). Dependants claimed on your tax return can also qualify as dependants under an HSA.
38. 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).
HSA Group Questions
39. What is the HSA Group?
The HSA Group plan is for a small business with 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.
40. Can I sign up for the HSA Basic / Plus 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.
41. 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.
- The employee pays for the $1,000 medical expense using their own funds.
- 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.
- 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.
42. What would be an ideal set up for my company and employees?
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.
43. How much should I budget for my employee benefits?
- Figure out your current (health and dental plan) budget
- Add up your total liabilities (classification amount x employees in the classification - for all classifications)
- Divide the total liabilities by 12 (months)
- 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.
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.
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 owner. 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.
I hope this FAQ about Olympia Health Spending Accounts gave you the information you needed. Feel free to contact us if you would like to clarify anything 1-888-668-8384 or if you're ready to sign up:
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