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Wellness Reimbursements

If you're eligible for Trust Fund benefits, you can submit a valid receipt to be reimbursed for up to $240 per plan year for Grad Employees and $150 per plan year for Postdocs towards expenses for exercise, fitness,  mental health, and more.

 

Valid receipts are for activities which take place primarily within the plan year (Sept 1 - Aug 31 of each year), but receipts are due by June 30th annually. See receipt guidelines below.

Eligible Wellness Activities & Items

Eligible activities promote a healthy lifestyle and stress reduction, typically through physical exercise. Examples include:

  • gym memberships

  • yogadanceaerobics, pilates, and martial arts classes

  • fees & rental costs for golf, skiing, tennis, swimming & skating

  • marathon, road race and endurance course fees

  • intramural sport fees

  • state & national park passes, camping & fishing fees

  • equipment used for health & well-being* (see below)

  • weight loss programs

  • workout DVDs

  • personal training

  • fitness trackers (such as Apple watch, Fitbit and Garmin Vivosmart, but all brands are eligible excluding accessories; only 1 device per person per plan year)

  • fitness and personal training apps

  • mental health apps

  • eligible out-of-pocket mental health costs not already covered by insurance (see below)

  • out-of-pocket copayments for visits to a nutritionist or chiropractor not already covered by insurance (see below)

  • program fees for UMass Cojourn, a program where you can "practice new wellbeing skills, get support, and connect with your peers."

  • smoking cessation programs

  • financial planning, counseling & education with a certified professiona

  • therapeutic massage

  • durable medical equipment

  • gender affirming items not covered by insurance

  • sleep aids (sound machines, weighted blankets, orthopedic pillows)

  • office lighting to reduce eye strain or to assist with seasonal affective disorder

  • programs/classes that support new parents (prenatal yoga, Lamaze, parenting skills, breastfeeding classes, doula fees)

Yoga
Particulars

If you use UMass Recreation, we receive information directly from the gym about your memberships and you will not need to upload a receipt. When you apply for benefits, under the wellness section just select the option indicating that some portion of your costs will be from a"UMass Recreation Center membership." Then, go to UMass Recreation and purchase your membership.  UMass Recreation will inform us of your purchase and we will reimburse you according to the amount of membership fees UMass Rec reports you to have paid. UMass Rec doesn't report locker fees or personal training fees to us--please upload your receipt if you purchase those.

 

Gym membership fees: Fees associated with both on-campus and off-campus gyms are eligible. Yearly membership fees, monthly service fees, locker fees and on-site equipment rentals required for the activity are eligible; late fees are not. Your receipt can total more than the $240 maximum for grad employees and the $150 maximum for postdocs, but we will only reimburse up to the respective maximum.

 

Certain Equipment Purchases are eligible for reimbursement up to the existing plan year maximum of $240 for grad employees and $150 for postdocs. Equipment must have been purchased on or after the official start of the current plan year's first open enrollment (8/15) and be used to support health and well-being. Examples include weights and dumbbells, resistance bands, yoga mats and blocks, treadmills, ellipticals and rowing machines, bicycles and stationary bikes, sport equipment like balls and rackets, camping and backpacking equipment, skis and snowshoes, ergonomic desks, chairs and workstation components, face masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE), ear buds/headphones, and durable medical equipment such as mobility assistive equipment, blood sugar monitoring devices & test strips, etc. No health provider's note is required for any items described above.

 

This is not an exhaustive list--if you are thinking of purchasing an item, and you aren't sure if it's eligible, we recommend that you email us the item description with as much detail as possible and so that we can preapprove the item. Final approval of equipment purchases is per the decision of the Trustees. 

Eligible Out-of-Pocket Mental Health, Nutritionist, Chiropractic & Gender Affirming Equipment Costs: These categories are generally covered partially by insurance, but the out-of-pocket costs that aren't otherwise covered by insurance are eligible for reimbursement. The simplest way to document these costs in terms of a "receipt" may be to provide the Estimation of Benefits provided to you by Wellfleet or a dated receipt from your provider for the total amount paid out-of-pocket. Final approval is per the decision of the Trustees. 

Special Circumstances: Individuals who have special medical or disability needs not addressed above may request that certain adaptive items/programs be deemed eligible by submitting requests on a case by case basis. Documentation supporting the request must be provided but need not disclose personal information. A letter from a medical professional stating that the adaptive program or item would benefit you is all that is required. The letter should be dated within the current plan year and include signature and title of health provider. Please redact all other personal information. Final approval is per the decision of the Trustees. To request reimbursement, upload your receipt and health provider's note exactly as you would any other receipt at https://portal.hwtf.org/login

 

Family wellness costs: Eligible wellness costs for your family (spouse/partner/children) are now eligible toward your the $240 reimbursement for grad student employees and the $150 reimbursement for postdocs. Family members do not receive their own reimbursement, but rather can submit receipts toward your reimbursement maximum. Your spouse, partner or child must be enrolled on your Trust Fund benefit plans in order to be eligible. 

Items that ARE NOT ELIGIBLE include general medical & pharmacy costs (unless specifically named as eligible above), out-of-pocket dental and vision costs, spa treatments, cosmetic procedures, tips, facials, food, vitamins and supplements, clothing and shoes that are not specifically required to do an eligible sport or activity (i.e. rock climbing shoes or a ballet leotard would be eligible) and receipts from anyone other than a spouse or child actively enrolled on your benefit plans.

Eligible clothing or shoes (gear) specifically required to do an eligible activity include hiking boots, ice skates, rock climbing shoes and chalk bags, ballet shoes and leotards, cross trainers, cleats, martial arts clothing, etc. The general rule is that if you would wear the item for everyday use other than the eligible activity, it will not be considered eligible.

 

General sneakers, winter boots, coats, and rain coats, yoga pants and leggings, tshirts, shorts, socks and fashion bathing suits are not eligible. But if the item clearly states that it is techincal or outdoor gear for an eligible activity it is likely eligible for reimbursement. Check by emailing us before you buy if you are uncertain! Here are some examples of how to discern the difference:

Eligible Gear Examples                                                                          Ineligible clothing/shoe examples

eligible hiking backpack                                                                        ineligble backpack

eligible cross training trail running sneakers                                        ineligible sneakers

eligible horseback riding breeches​                                                       ineligble general leggings

​​

Receipt Guidelines

Valid receipts are:

  • dated within the plan year

  • include your name if applicable

  • clearly show the name of the group or store to which fees were paid and the name/description of the item purchased

Examples include a dated receipt from a gym with the total paid and membership dates, a copy of your bank statements with dates and identifiable charges to the gym, copies of dated cancelled checks, etc. Non-cancelled checks are not valid receipts. Please redact your account information if you submit bank statements or cancelled check copies.

Month to month memberships: Please try to goup your receipts together if you pay month to month. We can reimburse for monthly charges dated within the plan year starting as early as the 8/15 open enrollment date and we can also accept annual membership fees when the majority of the months represented on the receipt fall within the plan year.

 

Semester or yearly memberships: A majority of the months represented on the receipt must fall within the plan year to be eligible (i.e. though dated in Aug/Sept, UMass Fall 2024 gym receipts are eligible for plan year 2024-25; receipts for the previous summer 2024 are not).

Complicated receipts: If your receipt has multiple parts or you are submitting several receipts from different places or from stores where the itemization is not detailed, please help us by notating your receipt to make it easier to read. Here's an example of what we mean.

Reimbursement Alternatives

There are several alternatives to the Wellness Reimbursement.

Questions? Connect with us.
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