Taxable spending account

Taxable spending account

Taxable spending account

Because simple and effective is a great benefit

A taxable spending account (TSA) is a simple and effective solution that enhances a group benefits plan by functioning as a personal health and wellness account for plan members. A TSA helps organizations be innovative and flexible, attracting and retaining valued staff.

An Equitable Life TSA, by design, is a responsive, flexible, simple solution:

Responsive: Part of the Equitable Life health and wellness solutions that matter suite of benefits solutions, a TSA allows plan sponsors to encourage health and wellness by covering the costs of services* that can help plan members lead healthier, more balanced lives.

Flexible: A TSA provides greater choice in employee benefits, reimbursing eligible expenses that are not covered through traditional group benefits plans.

Simple: A TSA is a simple addition to any Equitable Life group benefits plan and does not require any plan design changes.

*Equitable Life's standard TSA is designed to meet the needs of the majority of our clients.

Why is an Equitable Life TSA simple?

Because all plan sponsors need to do is choose:

  • Who will be eligible? A TSA can provide reimbursement for eligible expenses for dependents and plan members or for plan members only.

  • How much will be allocated to the TSA on an annual basis? The amount allocated for each plan member is a defined amount selected by the plan sponsor thus providing cost stability to the group benefits plan.

  • What type of TSA allocation? Plan sponsors can choose a balance carry forward or a use-it-or-lose-it TSA design.
    • A balance carry forward TSA design allows plan members to accumulate a balance over a set period of time (for example over two benefit periods). Under this option, Plan members can save up their TSA credits for an eligible expense that may be greater in cost than the credits allocated and available in a single benefit period.
    • A use-it-or-lose-it TSA design requires plan members to forfeit any unused TSA credits at the end of the benefit period with no tax implications for the tax year for unused credits.

Health and wellness solutions that matter

Because an Equitable Life standard TSA reimburses (on a taxable basis to the employee) expenses related to healthy living and well-being choices it effectively supports and promotes health and wellness. A TSA is part of Equitable Life's suite of health and wellness solutions that support individual and workplace health and wellness efforts.

All Equitable Life plan members gain access to reliable health and wellness resources through the Equitable HealthConnector® at®. These health and wellness solutions that matter can lead to healthier, more balanced lives. is also home to the plan member Innovations® web service site which allows plan members to manage their benefits and sign up for eSolutions such as electronic explanation of benefits and direct deposit payment of claims.

Why is an Equitable Life TSA effective?

Because an Equitable Life TSA allows plan members to choose from a broad choice of eligible expenses to an annual maximum amount, it provides the opportunity to clearly define and better predict benefit costs. Also, because an Equitable Life TSA features simple and effective administration, highlighted by:

  • TSA information (balances/what is eligible/benefit periods) being easily available to plan members through®.
  • Reports on TSA utilization available to plan sponsors through the plan administrator web service site at reports can be easily used for taxation and accounting purposes, utilization trends and costs as well as provide comprehensive information on available balances and potential forfeitures (dates and amounts).
  • A simple TSA claim form provided to plan sponsors to make available to plan members with an easy-to-understand itemized list of all eligible expenses.
  • Straightforward monthly billing in arrears will be sent to the plan sponsor electronically.
  • Easy to track for tax reporting as each plan sponsor is responsible for tax reporting; a TSA is assigned a unique and separate policy number to make this process easy.

What is covered under a standard Equitable Life TSA?*

Health related services
  • Weight management programs;
  • Smoking cessation programs;
  • Nutrition programs and counselling;
  • Maternity services (prenatal classes, midwifery services);
  • Alternative health practitioners;
  • Sleep assessments; and
  • Stress management programs
Fitness related services
  • Fitness club memberships and classes;
  • Sports team costs;
  • Sports club fees (golf memberships, greens fees; ski passes…);
  • Personal training fees; and
  • Fitness and sports equipment
Work/life balance related services
  • Elder care costs;and
  • Day care costs
Personal insurance premiums
  • Critical illness (CI);
  • Life insurance;
  • Long term care; and
  • Long term disability (LTD)
Professional development
  • Courses and seminars;
  • Conference and classes;
  • Text books and reference materials;
  • Professional exam fees; and
  • Travel costs associated with eligible professional development
  • Computers;
  • Other electronic devices (smartphones; tablets); and
  • Software

Because a TSA is a flexible solution by design, Equitable Life can customize any TSA to meet the unique needs of specific work place demographics or preferences and requests. Please speak to your Equitable Life Group Account Executive for more information about how an Equitable Life TSA can be a great benefit or to find out more about health and wellness solutions that matter.