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Wellness Reimbursements

If you're a Graduate Employee eligible for Trust Fund benefits, you can submit a valid receipt to be reimbursed for up to $225 per plan year towards expenses for exercise, fitness, or mental health.


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.

Unfortunately, Postdocs are not eligible for wellness reimbursements at this time, but may access other wellness benefits. See 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

  • golf and ski fees

  • marathon, road race and endurance course fees

  • swim fees

  • intramural sport fees

  • court fees and ice rental fees for related sport

  • state & national park passes and camping 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."


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, just select "UMass Recreation Center membership accepted." 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. 


*Equipment Purchases will be eligible for reimbursement up to the existing plan year maximum of $225. 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 and chairs, face masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) for yourself, and headphones. Final approval of equipment purchases is per the decision of the Trustees. 

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 $225 maximum but we will only reimburse up to the $225 maximum.

Eligible Out-of-Pocket Mental Health, Nutritionist, and Chiropractic Costs: Out-of-pocket mental health, nutritionist, and chiropractic costs that aren't otherwise covered by insurance are eligible for reimbursement. The simplest way to document this is to provide the Estimation of Benefits provided to you by Wellfleet for your visits 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 and have requests that certain adaptive programs be deemed eligible may submit 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, log in to your dashboard at and click on "Graduate Employee Wellness Reimbursement" and check the box indicating your receipts are for special circumstances. 


Family wellness costs: Eligible wellness costs for your family (spouse/partner/children) are now eligible toward your $225 reimbursement. Family members do not receive their own $225 reimbursement. Your spouse, partner or child must be enrolled on your Trust Fund benefit plans in order to be eligible. 

Activities that aren't eligible include massage, health costs, spa treatments, facials, clothing and shoes. Receipts for other non-related individuals are not eligible.

Receipt Guidelines

Valid receipts are:

  • dated

  • clearly show the name of the institution to which fees were paid or the name of the item purchased

  • and show the period of the activity paid for.

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 gym payments: Only charges dated after 9/1/23 are eligible. Please plan accordingly as we only accept two submissions per year--you can group receipts together and submit them in two batches, making sure to submit your final batch as close to the deadline as possible to maximize your reimbursed charges.


Semester or yearly plans: 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 2023 gym receipts are eligible for plan year 2023-24; receipts for the previous summer 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.

Wellness Benefits for Postdocs

The Trust Fund doesn't administer an in-house wellness reimbursement for Postdocs.


Instead, Postdocs can apply for a fitness reimbursement available through their health plan with Blue Cross Blue Shield.

In addition, Postdocs can apply for one of three, free prepaid programs offers in coordination with Central Rock Gym, The Healing Zone, and Cadence Yoga. These are limited in number and available on a first come/first served basis by request on your dashboard.

Questions? Connect with us.
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