Health and Wellness
The Health and Wellness Flexible Spending Program provides benefits and related expenses in addition to the Extended Health Benefit Program offered to members of the ASPA bargaining unit.
Under this program, eligible members have the option of allocating an annual amount of $700 to the following two spending accounts:
- The Health Spending Account provides reimbursement for qualifying health and dental expenses for eligible members and their dependents for claims that have not been reimbursed by the extended health or dental plans. Benefits paid by the Health Spending Account are considered non-taxable. The Health Spending Account is administered by Sun Life Financial.
- The Personal Spending Account provides reimbursement for eligible expenses that promote the wellness of eligible members through physical fitness activities that have been shown to contribute to reduced absenteeism and reduce the cost of health benefits. Benefits paid by the Personal Spending Account are considered taxable.The Personal Spending Account is administered by Sun Life Financial according to the “Personal Spending Account Plan Summary”.
The Flexible Spending Program is available to staff members who are members of the ASPA bargaining unit and who work at least half-time and are permanent or have been appointed into a term position of six months or greater.
Members must also be a resident of Canada and be eligible under provincial government health care benefits.
Eligible members may choose, on an annual basis, to allocate the $700 in total credits amongst the Health Spending Account, and the Personal Spending Account, or designate the full amount to one account. Human Resources will notify eligible staff of the requirement to allocate their funds between accounts, or to one account online (through PAWS) before December 31 of each year. Credit allocations between accounts cannot be changed after December 31 of that year.
If no allocation choice is made by December 31, the $700 credit allocation amount will be distributed in the same manner as the member selected in the previous year. New plan members who do not make an allocation choice, will have the full $700 credited to the Health Spending Account. Credit allocations cannot be changed after January 1 of that benefit year.
Maximum Credit Accrual
If there is a credit remaining in either member’s Health and/or Personal Spending Account at the end of the benefit year, it can be carried forward to the next benefit year but only to the extent that it represents one year’s allocation.
The benefit period is the twelve month calendar year, January 1 to December 31. If any of member’s accounts reaches a zero balance at any time during the benefit year, further expenses cannot be carried forward.
Under the University of Saskatchewan’s interpretation of The Income Tax Act, amounts reimbursed from the Heath Spending Account are considered non-taxable benefits to the eligible member. Any amounts reimbursed under the Personal Spending Account are considered taxable benefits to the eligible member.