HCSA & LSA Starting January 1, 2021

Health Care Spending Account

A Health Care Spending Account (HCSA) is an additional benefit for plan members that can be used to pay for health and dental costs when the claims exceed the maximums in the module selected.

Eligible Expenses for your HCSA

The HCSA provides plan members with flexibility in how to use their benefits.

The HCSA can be used to cover:

  • your portion of the co-insurance
  • benefit costs in excess of the maximum under the plan (eg. glasses, additional visits to the chiropractor, etc.)
  • eligible health expenses that are not covered in the ELCIC Group Benefits Plan.

Eligible expenses are generally those that can be claimed as medical expenses on your person tax return as per the Income Tax Act. A list can be found on the Canada Revenue Agency website.

Allocation of HCSA Funds

Each January 1st, the full amount for the year will be allocated and available for use.

Any unused HSCA dollars at the end of the year will be added to next year’s HCSA balance and may be carried over for one year.

Partialyear enrollment   

Situation  HCSA amount 
new plan member starting mid-year  annual amount x # months remaining / 12 
move between congregations during the year with no gap in employment  annual amount continues with no interruption 
a call ends mid-year; there is a gap, and a new call begin later that year  annual amount x (# months remaining in year + months previous worked in year) / 12 less HCSA claims made 

Making a HCSA Claim

Always try to submit your claims as soon as possible during the same year in which you paid the expense. You will have 90 days after the calendar year-end to make an HCSA claim for the previous year. For example, you will have until March 31, 2022 to make an HCSA claim that was incurred in 2021.

The fastest and simplest way is to use the Manulife app, which can be downloaded to a smartphone. Another option is to use the Manulife website. Follow the steps to make a claim, and it will provide the option to use the HSCA.

All reimbursements will be made by direct deposit to your financial institution. Members need to create a user account and provide banking information.

The professional providing the health benefit, such as the pharmacy or dental office, will continue to submit expenses directly to Manulife. If you also have coverage under a spouse’s plan, any unpaid portion must then be submitted to that plan. If there is a balance owing, you will pay that amount and then claim reimbursement from the HCSA.

If the maximum is exhausted on a previous claim, or the medical expense is not covered by the ELCIC Group Benefits Plan but is eligible as a medical expense, the member will pay the medical expense and then claim reimbursement from the HCSA.

Lifestyle Spending Account

A Lifestyle Spending Account (LSA) is an additional benefit for plan members that can be used to for expenses related to wellness.

Note that amounts claimed under the LSA are a taxable benefit and a statement will be sent to the respective Treasurer for inclusion in the year-end T4.

Eligible Expenses for your LSA

The LSA provides additional funds that can be used for health and wellness, such as fitness memberships. Manulife has provided a list of eligible expense.

Lifestyle Account Eligible Expenses

Allocation of LSA Funds

Each January 1st, the full amount for the year will be allocated and available for use.

Any unused LSA dollars at the end of the year will be added to next year’s HCSA balance and may be carried over for one year.

Partialyear enrollment   

Situation  LSA amount 
new plan member starting mid-year  annual amount x # months remaining / 12 
move between congregations during the year with no gap in employment  annual amount continues with no interruption 
a call ends mid-year; there is a gap, and a new call begin later that year  annual amount x (# months remaining in year + months previous worked in year) / 12 less LSA claims made 

Making a LSA Claim

After you have a LSA eligible expense, submit your claim online by visiting www.manulife.ca/planmember. Login using the Plan Contract Number and Plan Member Certificate Number found on your benefits card, along with your password.

The reimbursement you receive is based on the funds available in your LSA and will be explained on the accompanying claim statement from Manulife. This statement will indicate what was paid and your remaining balance. You can also find out your balance at any time by visiting the plan member site or by contacting Manulife Customer Service Centre at 1-800-268-6195.

Always try to submit your claims as soon as possible during the same year in which you paid the expense. You will have 90 days after the calendar year-end to make a LSA claim for the previous year. For example, you will have until March 31, 2022 to make a claim that was incurred in 2021.