Last year, due to the settlement of a 2021 grievance, retired YUFA members saw significant improvements to health and dental benefits. This was after considerable obstruction from the employer.
One of these new benefits is an annual Health Spending Account (HSA). This is an individual account with a fixed dollar amount used by retirees and/or their eligible dependants for reimbursement of health and dental-related expenses not covered under provincial health insurance or the YUFA retiree plan.
Please see page 31 of the YUFA retiree benefits booklet for more details on the HSA and to see eligible expenses. The annual amount of the HSA was set at $150.
As part of the bargaining for the 2021-24 Collective Agreement, YUFA obtained an additional $456,000 to support retiree benefits. Again, the employer obstructed allocation of this money to retired members and YUFA had to take the matter to arbitration.
As a result of settling the grievance, the HSA annual amount has increased, effective January 1, 2024, from $150 to $675. This is a substantial increase that will help retired members with health care needs.
The money in the HSA cannot be cashed out and is lost if not used each year. Retired members are encouraged to take advantage of these funds, especially as the definition of eligible expenses is quite wide.