• Tim Kane

HSA vs. WSA

Health Spending Account and Wellness Spending Account. That’s it. We can combine them, dissect them, and define them but at the end of the day, these two plans are the core of our business.


myHSA is a Health Spending Account, as the name implies it is specifically for medical expense items. The eligible expense list is defined by the Canada Revenue Agency and includes things like prescription glasses, physiotherapy, orthodontics and much more.


myWSA is a Wellness Spending Account, a plan to cover items that fall outside of a traditional health plan. Given that the employer decides what is covered, not the CRA, it is taxable to the employee. Typical items include gym memberships, vitamins and supplements, sporting goods and so much more. This spending account can be as creative or as rigid as the employer wants to suit their business needs and values.


Depending on the needs of the client, the spending accounts can be offered individually or together. Here are the different ways the plans can be provided:


myHSA

myWSA

myHSA and myWSA dedicated balances

myFlexplan - myHSA myWSA Flex

myASO - Defined HSA and/or WSA


The myHSA and myWSA can be offered alongside one another, so the employer can provide both benefits but control the utilization:


An example of this would be:


$1,000 HSA

$250 WSA

The employer can also choose to use the Flex account. In this type of environment, the employer provides the limit allowed to the employee and how the employee gets the funds (monthly, yearly, semi-annually, quarterly). The difference between this and a dedicated structure is that the employee gets to choose at the beginning of the year, where they want to allocate the dollars based on personal needs or wants. This is usually just a combination of an HSA and a WSA but as the dollars can be allocated to many accounts. This does not have to be limited to the spending accounts. Many companies will add in things like RRSP, RESP, vacation funds, etc. because with the ease of our system we can make employee plan choices easy.


An example of a flex account could look like this:

A $2,500 flat amount is provided by the employer. Choices for the flex allocation could be HSA, WSA, and RRSP, of which the employee would decide at the beginning of the year how much to put in each option. These choices are then locked in for the year and must equal the total combined $2,500.

myASO: the “let’s get creative” structure.


myASO is not a true ASO plan as it is a spending account, however with this plan we have built in the ability to mimic the health, dental and vision aspects of an insured plan. We can add things in like dollar amount caps, lifetime maximums, different co-pays and more. We can essentially allow you to replace portions of, or a complete insured plan that may not be financially worth it to pay insurance premiums for. Again, this does not mean you should ditch your insured benefits plan, it just allows you to carve out transactional (known expense) portions such as dental, vision, paramedical, medicinal cannabis and self-insure it rather than pay an insurance company to facilitate it.


You can also include WSA inside of your myASO account with plan structure options similar to the HSA with dollar amount caps, lifetime maximums and different co-pays. It is not unusual to have complexity inside of an WSA, but that is up to you to decide with your client.


myASO can be added as a dedicated limits structure, or in a flex environment.

One other thing to remember inside of myASO, is you can also supplement separate and sole limits inside of this account alongside the limits of the core plan.

An example of a dedicated myASO structure is:

$2,500 HSA.

Inside the plan included $500 paramedical maximum, $250 Vision coverage with a 24-month lifetime maximum, with drugs covered at 80%.

$1,000 WSA, including gym memberships, at home childcare

An example of a flex myASO structure is:

$3,500 Flex to be allocated between HSA and WSA with a maximum allocation of $500 towards WSA.

HSA inside the plan included $500 paramedical maximum, $250 Vision coverage with a 24-month lifetime maximum, with drugs covered at 80%.

$1,000 WSA, including gym memberships, at home childcare


With two basic plans, the ability to offer flexibility and choice for employees for their health and wellness items is key. Whether as a stand-alone benefit, or as a supplement to a traditional insurance plan, there is a plan to suit any size of business.




Tim Kane

CEO & Founder

myHSA


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