Health Care Spending Account and Benefit Dollars
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.
- 300 benefit dollars (calculated on a prorated basis from the employment start date).
- 1,044 benefit dollars if you opt out of the Extended Health Insurance Plan
- 288 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 Canada Life often uses the abbreviation HCSA on their Web site.
- a permanent employee
- under age 71
The University deposits all benefit dollars in your Health Care Spending Account each year. The current basic allocation is 300 benefit dollars. This amount is adjusted every two years.
You cannot use your Health Care Spending Account for expenses, such as:
Health club memberships,
Premiums for disability coverage, or
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:
- Amounts above the maximums specified in the University's plans, such as basic dental treatments and paramedical expenses.
For more information on eligible expenses:
- Visit the Canada Revenue Agency website.
- Contact Canada Life.
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.
To initiate a claim or modify your policy, log into the Canada Life Secure Site - You will then need the following information:
- Your contract number, which is 177714
- 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)