Health Care Spending Account

Health Care Spending Account

Retired academic staff who retired on or after 1 May 2001 have access to a Health Care Spending Account (HCSA), currently valued at $1,350 annually. This account can be used for the reimbursement of medical, dental, vision care, and drug expenses.  Premiums paid for the purchase of private extended health insurance plans are also eligible for reimbursement (see below for instructions on how to submit a claim for premium reimbursement.). 

The HCSA is administered by Canada Life (as of 1 November 2020). For information on how to submit claims and to register with Canada Life’s “GroupNet” as a plan member, please visit Canada Life’s Welcome Page for the University community at . Our plan number is 177714..

You can also contact Canada Life at 1-833-794-0225, which is a dedicated number for the University of Ottawa community.

Claiming Extended Healthcare Insurance Premiums

Canada Life claim forms do not have a special section or box to report this type of reimbursement.

To ensure clarity when submitting a claim, Canada Life suggests that at the time a member completes the claim form, they identify the claim type by entering the phrase, “Premiums for health insurance," in Part 5 ("Paramedical Expenses") of the form, under the "Type of Service" column. The member must also ensure to attach supporting documents, such as a payslip or an invoice detailing the amounts of premiums paid, the insurance period during which the premiums were paid, the type of premiums, and the name of the plan participant.

Deadlines for Using HCSA Funds

The terms of access for the HCSA, including carry over provisions and deadlines for claim submissions, are specified in section 40.9 of the APUO Collective Agreement.

The following is a note of clarification provided by the Human Resources Service to a member wondering about eligibility and deadlines for making claims:

"Health Care Spending Account (HCSA) funds are deposited once per year in the first week of January. The HCSA can only reimburse eligible expenses using funds available on the date the expenses were incurred. For example, if you had an eligible expense in October 2023, you could use HCSA funds deposited in January 2023 or January 2022, depending on the balance available to you. However, for this same eligible expense from October 2023, you cannot use HCSA funds deposited in January 2024."