UPDATE, SEPTEMBER 11, 2018: As of September 1, 2018, our Unit 2 Health Care Spending Account has changed to a 70% co-pay model.
Members of CUPE 3906 Unit 2 (Sessional Faculty and Hourly Rated Sessional Music Faculty working at McMaster University) may submit up to $500 in eligible expenses, but will receive a reimbursement of only 70% of the cost (to a maximum of $350 per academic year).
So, if you submit a claim for $500 in eligible costs, you will receive $350 total for the academic year. If you submit a claim for $10 in eligible costs, you will receive $7 reimbursement, up to $350 per academic year.
Please click here for a full list of HSA eligible expenses that will be 70% covered up to the total yearly limit ($350). [This list is determined by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)]. (You can also visit the CRA’s list of authorized eligible practitioners according to province, available here.)
To submit a claim, please fill out the claim form, available here: Unit 2 HCSA form.
If you are employed as a CUPE Unit 2 Sessional Faculty and/or Hourly Rated Sessional Music Faculty between September 1, 2018 and August 31, 2019, you may submit claims to this benefit. Eligible expenses incurred between September 1, 2018 and August 31, 2019 will be reimbursed according to the guidelines above.
NOTE: Claims must be submitted within 60 days of incurring the expense.
** Please note that prescription eye glasses are on the eligibility list–they are just listed as: “Vision devices – including eyeglasses and contact lenses to correct eyesight – prescription required.” If you are only getting the frames, you just need proof from that the optometrist that they inserted prescription lenses into the frames. (They should be able to indicate this on the receipt.)
Why has the reimbursement amount been reduced?
We were able to offer the $500 per academic year reimbursement on a trial basis only. Unfortunately, after gathering years of claims data, it became clear that this amount was no longer sustainable.
I only work as a CUPE 3906 Unit 2 member in the fall term. Can I submit my expenses in the winter and/or spring/summer term(s)?
Yes! As long as you are working or have worked as a Unit 2 member at some point in the current academic year (Sept 1-Aug 31), you can submit claims in the current academic year (Sept 1-Aug 31).
I have alternate health insurance. Can I use both my CUPE HCSA and my alternate insurance for the same health-related expenses? Yes, you can use both benefits. Where possible, submit the claim to your alternate insurer first. If your alternate insurance does not cover the entire cost of the claim, you can then make a CUPE 3906 Unit 2 HCSA claim for the remainder of the cost (to a maximum of $350 per academic year paid at 70%). Instead of the receipt, you should attach the explanation of benefits you received from the other insurer in the mail. (If no claim was paid out from your other insurer, you will still an explanation of benefits stating that the claim was denied.) Again, that functions as a receipt when you make the CUPE 3906 claim. If you are unable to use your alternate insurance first you can reverse the procedure described above and make a vision care claim first. However, since explanations of benefits are not standard issue with this type of benefit, you must email firstname.lastname@example.org to request that one be produced when you make your claim.
Does the HCSA cover my family/dependents? Yes, it can. Each member is allocated a maximum of $350 total reimbursement per year, with eligible expenses paid at 70%. That entitlement can be applied to your dependents, but each dependent is not entitled to $350. In other words, each member can receive up to $350 per academic year (with claims paid at 70%) to allocate within their family according to members’ discretion. The reality is we have a finite amount of money secured through collective bargaining for this fund, and we cannot afford to provide each family member $350, but we are happy to allow family members to be covered by the $350 per member (claims paid at 70%) entitlement.