Your employees’ health and wellness needs and wants are as vastly diverse as your employee base is. And, traditional solutions for health have made way for many of your team in favour of holistic health, also known as holistic healing. As an employer, you want to be able to attract and retain excellent employees – including those that define health and wellness differently. By offering health spending accounts (HSAs) and wellness spending accounts (WSAs), you provide your diverse team the flexible solutions that they value.
Below, we cover several ways your employees can use a WSA/HSA combination to meet their health and wellness goals.
What is Holistic Health?
Before we do a deep dive of how your team can use their HSA and WSA benefits for their holistic health needs, we should take a step back and briefly cover what holistic health or holistic healing is. (brief list of holistic category expenses listed below. (Go here for a more robust definition of HSA Expenses and WSA Expenses).
It is often defined as a form of healing that looks at the whole person – body, mind, and spirit. Holistic healing often involves multiple interrelated medicines and alternative healthcare practices that can overlap with more modern-day western medicine solutions. Some alternative healthcare practices that often are found within the realm of holistic health (some of which overlap with traditional medicine) include:
- traditional western medicine / prescriptions
- chiropractic / massage / physical therapy services
- herbalism / nutrition / supplements
- yoga / meditation
- acupuncture / acupressure / reiki
- personal training
When all of these complementary therapies come together for holistic healing, a person is much more likely to experience wellness on a deeper level. This holistic health approach allows for a more all-encompassing and joyful way of living.
Five Aspects that Make up Holistic Health
When it comes to holistic health, it is the act of looking beyond the physical body and addressing health in five aspects:
What most people think about when they think of health. Physical activity and fitness, diet, sleep, etc.
Just as important as our physical health — particularly because our emotional health can affect our physical health. Mindfulness, moods, therapy, meditation, and more.
Connections with family, community and deep feeling of acceptance impacts our overall health. Religion, memberships and associations, family rituals, community involvement and volunteering, etc.
Although often confused with religion – and that may overlap – spiritual health focuses on how you are connecting with your inner soul, and the greater world around you. Nature, religion, meditation, reflection, etc.
Also thought of as mental health which has overlaps with both our emotional and physical health. While emotional health refers mostly to our daily mood, intellectual health refers to our cognitive abilities that affect how our brain functions. Lifelong learning, brain-friendly nutrients, avoidance of addictive activities / vices, and more.
All of these aspects of holistic health are what enables a person to truly live each day in the healthiest, happiest way possible. Although not always the case, quite often when one aspect from above is compromised, other areas usually are impacted as well.
Why is this Approach so Important?
Add the factor people today are coping with unprecedented levels of stress and fatigue to the fact they are also living longer, you get a recipe for long-lasting health concerns – mentally and physically. People are also consuming nutrient depleted foods, and are exposed daily to hundreds of potentially harmful chemicals through our air, water, cleaning, and personal care products.
To say that holistic health is important would be an understatement. For many living with untreated pain, chronic disease or undiagnosed symptoms, the traditional modern-day healthcare industry can fail them.
By viewing our bodies and mind more holistically – we can take into account the many external and environmental factors which impact our overall health and wellness. It is important that we have a systematic way of addressing society’s health in the future.
Health and Wellness Expenses / Purchases that Could be Classified as ‘Holistic Health’
The below lists are not exhaustive nor fully vetted for your individual HSA/WSA plan or Group Benefits plan. It is used for example purposes to assist you in how to leverage your HSA/WSA allotment to help you pay for a more holistic approach to your health. In addition, employers can look at the lists below to frame what they wish to create in a benefits plan for their employees.
Below lists are taken from Canada Revenue Agency website. If there is discrepancy between below lists and that which CRA communicates, the CRA information will be deemed to be correct.
Also, per the above definition of physical health, HSA Easy Pay did not include all the obvious modern-day health categories such as medical, dental, prescriptions, etc.
|Non-Taxable CRA-approved Benefit Expenses your company’s HSA expense categories:||Taxable Benefit Expenses that could potentially be added to your company’s WSA approved expense categories:|
• Vitamin B12
• Smoking cessation programs
• Weight Loss Program
• Vitamins and Supplements
• Massage units
• Personal training
• Gym membership
• Fitness equipment
• Yoga, Pilates, Barre
• Fitness trackers
• Holistic (alternative) medicine or practitioner
• Meditation classes
• Personal development course
• Life Coach
Your Health and Wellness Insights
Typically, an employer does not make the HSAs vs traditional benefits platform decision in isolation. Generally, they poll their staff and determine what is best for as many parties as possible. HSAs provide the
Health can be measured in many ways. While modern-day western medicine has brought many revolutionary life saving advancements, it is only one piece of the overall holistic health puzzle. Unfortunately, it also often becomes siloed and laser focused on one symptom or one situation. By taking a broader approach to health, we can strive to achieve optimal wellness in the physical, mental, emotional, intellectual and spiritual sense.
Does your employee benefits plan include the flexibility of holistic health? Not sure? Contact the team at HSA Easy Pay Ltd. for a free consultation. We can also provide a demo of how our “no out of pocket” solution can ease the stresses of your entire team – including you!. Visit HSA Easy Pay today!
Healthcare is stressful enough. Paying for it shouldn’t be.