Taking full advantage of extended benefits


People and businesses everywhere are feeling the effects of inflation and rising costs. One way that you as an employee can stretch the value of a dollar is to check with your HR provider to see if your employer offers any discount programs for services that are not covered.

You should also be aware of and take advantage of what you have access to through your benefits. Your benefits can provide additional financial security beyond your salary.

Did you know that many Canadians have employee health benefits plans and most major insurers (seven out of ten) include dietitian services in their standard plan?

Many employers offer paramedical coverage as well as spending accounts, this coverage offers reimbursement for a variety of practitioners not usually covered under a provincial health plan.

For example, paramedical practitioners can include those from professions such as:

  • Massage therapy
  • Chiropractic services
  • Acupuncture
  • Physiotherapy
  • Dietitian
  • Naturopath
  • Podiatrist

Many products and services are not covered under any traditional group benefits plan and others would not even be covered under a non-taxable health spending account (HSA). An HSA covers substantially more healthcare related expenses than traditional group benefits plans, however even they have limitations and that is where the wellness spending account can fill the gap.

Spending Accounts (HSA/WSA)

Some businesses instead opt to offer coverage for paramedicine through a Health Spending Account (HSA). A Health Care Spending Account (HCSA) provides a non-taxable alternative or supplement to a traditional benefits plan. A Health Care Spending Account (HCSA) allows employers to set a specific dollar amount per employee to spend on eligible health and dental expenses, including paramedical costs.

A Wellness Spending Account (WSA), sometimes known as a Personal Spending Account (PSA), is a taxable benefit that provides additional health and wellbeing options beyond traditional benefits coverage. Employers decide what a WSA will and will not cover: the options for coverage are almost limitless! Examples include: Stress management, nutrition and weight loss coaching programs.

12 Weeks to Wellness have helped 1000s of clients make sustainable lifestyle changes, reduce their stress, build confidence around food and their body, and more through our telephonic and virtual coaching services.

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