List of HSA Eligible Expenses
HR Insights

HSAs, or Health Spending Accounts, are an increasingly common component of employee benefits plans.

In Canada, HSAs allow employers the set aside a fixed dollar amount for employees to spend on healthcare needs. Those expenses are tax exempt, meaning employees don’t pay tax, and employers can write them off as a 100% business expense.

But not all healthcare expenses count. HSAs in Canada are regulated by the CRA’s Income Tax Act, an important (and lengthy) document detailing medical expenses and the conditions required to claim them.

HSA Expenses Table

HSA approved expenses include many of the medical costs you may expect from a traditional group benefits plan, like dental care,  medical practitioners, prescription drugs, and hospital costs.

On top of those, HSAs go beyond traditional benefits with a wide range of covered health services, facilities, treatments, and devices. Not sure if your expenses are covered? Browse our table of approved HSA expenses to find out:

ExpenseCategoryEligiblePrescription Required
Air conditioner, filter, cleaner, or purifierAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentYes
Devices for treating a speech disorder or speech impairmentAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentYes
Ambulance serviceTransportation, Meals, and AccomodationNo
Artificial eye or limbAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentNo
Assisted breathing devicesAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentNo
Athletic or fitness club feesOtherN/A
Attendant care expenses (including nursing homes, group homes, care in a facility, and respite care)Attendant CareN/A
Audible signal devicesAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentYes
Baby breathing monitorAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentYes
Bathroom aidsAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentYes
Birth control devices (non-prescription)DrugsN/A
Blood coagulation monitorsAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentYes
Blood pressure monitorsAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentN/A
Bone conduction receiverAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentNo
Bone marrow transplantMedical ProceduresNo
Braces for a limb or spinal braceAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentNo
Braille devicesAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentYes
Breast prosthesisAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentYes
Cancer treatmentMedical ProceduresNo
Catheters, catheter trays, tubing or other productsAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentNo
Guided Chair (to be used in a stairway)Assistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentYes
Cochlear implantMedical ProceduresNo
Computer peripherals to aid a person who is blindAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentYes
Cosmetic surgery for medical or reconstructive purposesCosmetic ProceduresN/A
Deaf-blind intervening servicesAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentNo
Dental services, dentures, and dental implantsDental CareNo
Diapers or disposable briefsAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentNo
Moving Expenses and Driveway accessTransportation, Meals, and AccomodationNo
Drugs and medical devices bought under Health Canada’s Special Access ProgramDrugsNo
Elastic support hoseAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentYes
Electrolysis performed by a medical practitionerMedical PractionnersNo
Electronic bone healing devicesAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentYes
Electronic speech synthesizersAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentYes
Electrotherapy devicesAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentYes
Extremity pumpAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentYes
FurnaceAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentYes
Gluten-free products for persons with celiac disease (gluten intolerance)Transportation, Meals, and AccomodationYes
Health plan premiums paid by an employer and not included in your incomeOtherN/A
Hearing aidsAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentNo
Heart monitoring devicesAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentYes
Hospital bedAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentYes
Hospital servicesHospitals and FacilitiesNo
Ileostomy and colostomy padsAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentNo
In vitro fertility programMedical ProceduresNo
Infusion pumpAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentYes
Injection pen (such as an insulin pen)Assistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentYes
Insulin or substitutesDrugsYes
Kidney machineAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentNo
Laboratory procedures or servicesMedical ProceduresYes
Large print-on-screen devices and Page-turner devicesAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentYes
Laryngeal speaking aidsAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentNo
Laser eye surgeryVision CareNo
Lift or transportation equipment (power-operated)Transportation, Meals, and AccomodationYes
Liver extract injectionsDrugsYes
Medical marijuanaDrugsNo
Medical services provided by qualified medical practitionersMedical PractitionerNo
Medical services provided outside CanadaMedical ProceduresNo
Needles and syringesDrugsYes
Note-taking servicesAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentCertificate required
NurseMedical PractitionersNo
Optical scannersVision CareYes
Organ transplantMedical ProceduresNo
Organic foodTransportation, Meals, and AccommodationN/A
Orthodontic workDental CareNo
Orthopedic shoes, boots, and insertsAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentYes
Osteogenesis stimulator (inductive coupling)Assistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentYes
Over-the-counter medicationsDrugsN/A
Oxygen and oxygen tentAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentYes
Oxygen concentratorAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentNo
PacemakersAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentYes
Personal response systems such as Lifeline an Health Line ServicesOtherN/A
Personalized therapy planMedical PractitionersYes
Phototherapy equipmentAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentNo
Pre-natal and post-natal treatmentsMedical ProceduresNo
Premiums paid to private health services plansMedical PractitionersNo
Prescription drugs and medicationsDrugsYes
Pressure pulse therapy devicesAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentYes
Provincial and territorial plansOtherN/A
Reading services or talking textbooksAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentCertificate required
Real-time captioningAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentNo
Rehabilitative therapyMedical PractitionnersNo
Renovation or construction expensesOtherNo
School for persons with an impairment in physical or mental functionsOtherCertificate required
ScooterTransportation, Meals, and AccomodationNo
Service AnimalsOtherNo
Sign-language interpretation servicesAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentNo
Standing devicesAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentYes
Supplements and vitaminsDrugsN/A
TeletypewritersAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentYes
Television closed caption decodersAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentYes
Medical tests (i.e. electrocardiographs, electrocardiograms, x-ray services)Medical ProceduresYes
TherapyMedical TreatmentYes
Travel expenses for medical services (at least 40 km)Transportation, Meals, and AccomodationNo
Treatment centreHospitals and FacilitiesCertificate required
Truss for herniaAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentNo
Tutoring servicesOtherCertificate required
Vehicle modificationTransportation, Meals, and AccomodationYes
Vision devices, including eyeclasses and contant lensesVision CareYes
Visual or vibratory signaling deviceAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentYes
Vitamin B12DrugsYes
Voice recognition softwareAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentCertificate required
Volume control feature (additional)Assistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentYes
Walking aidsAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentYes
Water filter, cleaner, or purifierAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentYes
Crutches, Wheelchairs and wheelchair carriersAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentNo
Whirlpool bath treatmentsMedical PractitionersNo
WigsAssistive Devices, Supplies, and EquipmentYes
ChiropractorMedical PractitionersYes
AcupunctureMedical PractitionersYes
Massage TherapyMedical PractitionersYes
Psychiatric CareMedical PractitionersYes
Psychologist/Social WorkerMedical PractitionersYes
OsteopathMedical PractitionersYes
NaturopathMedical PractitionersYes
Occupational TherapistMedical PractitionersYes
DieticianMedical PractitionersYes
PhysiotherapistMedical PractitionersYes
PsychotherapistMedical PractitionersYes

What else is covered?

In addition to the items above, Health Spending Accounts can also cover the portion of expenses not covered by a pre-existing health or dental benefits plan. This includes

  • deductibles
  • coinsurance
  • amounts that are over your maximums
  • expenses not covered under your spouse’s plan.

What is not covered by an HSA?

One way to think about HSA coverage is that it includes everyday medical and health care needs beyond what provincial health plans will provide; however, HSAs do not cover critical care, lifestyle, or cosmetic expenses.

Some items not covered by an HSA are

  • cosmetic procedures
  • gym memberships
  • disability benefits
  • life insurance
  • vitamins
  • weight loss programs or smoking cessation programs

What to do now

If you already offer an HSA as part of your business’ benefits package, you can save this list and use it as a quick reference for you and your employees.

Not sure if an HSA or other employee spending account is right for your organization? Check out our comparison of HSA vs. FSA vs. WSA plans.

These lists are not exhaustive, and are subject to any changes made to the Income Tax Act in Canada. For complete information on eligible HSA expenses, consult the CRA, your benefits broker, or your insurance provider.