Health and wellness spending account wisdom

What is a Wellness Spending Account (WSA)?

Let employees decide what to spend their money on.

How Does a Wellness Spending Account (WSA) Work?

When setting up a WSA, an employer will set the dollar amount available to each employee to use for eligible expenses (as determined by the employer).

For example, let’s consider a $500 WSA:

Employee signs up for yoga zoom classes for $375

They choose to use their Aya Prepaid Mastercard (WSA) to pay for the membership and process claim for $375

The employer pays out the claim, leaving $125 left for other eligble expenses.

In this example, the employee has a remaining $125.00 to spend for the year on other expenses deemed eligible by the employer.
Employers can choose to make the $500 dollars available to employees annually, or offer it in allotments given on a monthly or quarterly basis.

Is a Wellness Spending Account (WSA) a Taxable Benefit?

Yes, a WSA is a taxable benefit and is considered part of an employee’s total compensation package. WSA contributions will need to be included on an employee’s T4 statement!

Common WSA eligible expenses:

  • Personal training and consultation
  • Gym, fitness centre, and annual memberships
  • Child and elder care
  • Hobby and general interest classes
  • Education fees, tuition, and books
  • Smoking Cessation Programs
  • Safety equipment
  • Alternative transportation
  • Legal services

There is no set list of eligible expenses under a WSA because employers can ultimately choose to cover as little or as many things as they want.

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