My InfoAssociation of Professors of the University of Ottawa

Health Care Spending Account and Benefit Dollars

Summary

This is a personal account into which the University deposits "benefit dollars", which you can use to pay for unexpected medical fees and dental expenses or to cover expenses that your basic plan doesn’t cover, such as deductibles.

Basic allocation

  • 282 benefit dollars (calculated on a prorated basis from the employment start date).

Additional allocation

  • 864 benefit dollars if you opt out of the Extended Health Insurance Plan
  • 243 benefit dollars if you opt out of the Basic Dental Insurance Plan

The University pays 100% of the premiums.

Tax considerations: Ontario residents don't pay federal or provincial income tax on Health Care Spending Account benefit dollars. Quebec residents, however, pay provincial income tax on benefit dollars.

Note that Manulife often uses the abbreviation HCSA on their Web site.

Eligibility

You are eligible if you are:
  • a permanent employee
  • regardless of age

Benefit dollars

Basic allocation

The University deposits all benefit dollars in your Health Care Spending Account each year. The current basic allocation is 282 benefit dollars. This amount is adjusted every two years.

Additional benefit dollars

Your benefit dollar balance increases by:

Exclusions

You cannot use your Health Care Spending Account for expenses, such as:

  • Health club memberships,

  • Premiums for disability coverage, or

  • Vacation days.

Eligible expenses

You can use your benefit dollars on expenses eligible under the Income Tax Act. These include a much broader range of health and dental expenses than what is provided under the University’s plans; for example:

  • Deductibles.
  • Amounts above the maximums specified in the University's plans, such as basic dental treatments and paramedical expenses.

For more information on eligible expenses:

Tax considerations

Ontario residents pay neither federal nor provincial income tax on Health Care Spending Account benefit dollars. Quebec residents, however, pay provincial income tax on benefit dollars.

Use it or lose it

Under the Income Tax Act’s use it or lose it rule, benefit dollars in a Health Care Spending Account must be used within a specified time. At the end of the year, if you still have benefit dollars left in your Health Care Spending Account, you can carry them over, but only for a maximum of one year.

Insurance forms

Initiate a claim or update coverage

To initiate a claim or modify your policy, log into the Manulife Secure Site - You will then need the following information:

  • Your contract number, which is 14101
  • Your certificate number, which is your 9 digit uOttawa employee number, and
  • Your password (if you do not have a password, you must first sign up online)

Help lines

You can contact Manulife:
  • Via the Manulife website or
  • By phoning the Manulife customer service hotline at 1-800-268-6195

If you encounter any problems or issues, contact Human Resources at hrinfo@uottawa.ca or 613-562-5832