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Health Care Spending Account

May 2015


Your Group Benefits Program

New Health Care Spending Account (HCSA) for active employees



Following ratification of the recent collective agreement between CN and the United Steelworkers, Local 2004, a new HCSA has been added to provide you with more flexibility in your benefits plan.


Effective June 1, 2015, you may submit a claim from your HCSA, for the reimbursement of eligible medical and dental expenses (eligible expenses are as defined under the Income Tax Act), for each month in which you were eligible between February 1st and May 31st, 2015.


An amount of $25 was deposited in your account, for each of February, March, April, and May of 2015. For each month going forward for which you continue to be eligible, a deposit of $25 will be made at the beginning of the following month.


Here is some useful information on the HCSA:


Amount of the Health Care Spending Account (HCSA)


The HCSA provides you with a monthly fixed amount of $25.00 that began on February 1, 2015 if you were eligible on that date and will end on December 31, 2018.


The monthly fixed amount will be allocated to you if you have at least 11 days of compensated service (CCS) during a calendar month and will be deposited at the beginning of the following month.


For employees who became eligible after February 1, 2015, their eligibility will start on the first of the month following, and the monthly fixed amount will begin to be allocated at the beginning of the following month following their eligibility.


All benefits under the health care spending account will cease immediately upon your death, retirement, termination, suspension, strike or lock-out or unauthorized absence.


Your HCSA is non-taxable under the federal Income Tax Act, provided it covers only allowable services and specified eligible expenses. The money allocated to you under the HCSA is a taxable benefit under provincial tax regulations for employees residing in Quebec.


Eligible Medical and Dental Expenses


The lists of eligible expenses are defined under the Income Tax Act. Those medical and dental expenses for you and your eligible dependents could be reimbursed under your HCSA.


Your HCSA money is non-taxable under the federal Income Tax Act, provided it is used to cover specified eligible expenses.


Here is a partial list of eligible expenses:

  • Medical and dental expenses, or portion of expenses, not reimbursed due to the application of a deductible under your group plan.

  • The portion of eligible medical and dental expenses that you must pay due to a reimbursement percentage other than 100%, or a maximum reimbursement amount under your group plan.

  • Eye exams, eyeglasses or contact lenses.

  • Full-time services of medical attendants.

  • Acquisition of special equipment for a visually impaired person.


Please refer to the income tax return guides for a more complete list of the medical and dental expenses that you can claim under your HCSA. You can also visit the Canada Revenue Agency and the Ministère du Revenu du Québec Web sites.


Carry-forward rule


Unused amounts in the account at the end of a calendar year are carried-forward to the following calendar year. But any amounts allocated in a calendar year must be used by the end of the next calendar year or they will be forfeited.


The fixed monthly amounts will be made from February 1, 2015 and shall continue until December 31, 2018. Unused amounts allocated in 2018 may be carried forward into 2019.  If you have amounts left in your HCSA at the time of your retirement, they will be forfeited.




How to make a claim through your HCSA


You can use the HCSA claim form attached or the Green Shield general claim form from CN’s ePortal and send it to the address indicated at the bottom of the form.


If you want to coordinate your Extended Health Care (EHC) expenses with your HCSA, please indicate your intention by checking the box under the fifth question in Section 2 of the general claim form.


If you want to use your HCSA to be reimbursed for all other types of expenses (including dental), please complete the HCSA form


Note that your account balance may also be obtained at any time on Green Shield’s website once you have registered yourself on-line.


For additional claim forms you may call Green Shield free of charge at 1-888-711-1119.

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