Lifestyle Spending Account (LSA) - Human Resources at Ohio State

Lifestyle Spending Account

Ohio State helps you thrive with a robust approach to well-being benefit offerings. One of those innovative and customized benefits is a Lifestyle Spending Account (LSA).

The Ohio State Lifestyle Spending Account (LSA) is here to help you improve overall well-being while maximizing personal choice. Eligible employees can submit personal expenses related to health, fitness, family, emotional and social wellness for reimbursement.

This personalized benefit reimburses you up to $500 for eligible well-being purchases in four key categories. That means you get to spend the money on whatever helps you feel well and whole, and Ohio State will pay you back.

Example Expense Categories

Health & Fitness

  • Gym Memberships
  • Weight loss programs
  • Fitness Equipment
  • Healthy Meal Delivery
  • Fitness Trackers

Home, Work & Family

  • Child & Pet Care
  • Financial Planning
  • Professional Development
  • Emergency Car Repair
  • Transportation to Work

Emotional Wellness

  • Mindfulness App
  • Massage Therapy
  • Sleep Support
  • Self-Improvement Books
  • Stress Management Course

Social & Personal

  • Zoo Membership
  • Gardening Supplies
  • Art & Cooking Classes
  • Social Club Dues
  • Fishing license

LSA Details

Your LSA reimbursement claim must be for a service or expense under this list. Eligible expenses must be incurred during the calendar quarter for which you are being reimbursed and submitted within 15 days following the end of the quarter.

  • Adaptive Sports (i.e., equipment, program/league fees)
  • App Membership, Emotional Wellbeing (i.e., Calm, Happify, Talkspace)
  • App Membership, Health/Fitness (i.e., Beachbody, Flo, Nike Training Club, Peloton)
  • Art & Hobby Classes and Equipment/Materials (i.e., paint brushes, sewing, woodworking)
  • Athletic Apparel and Shoes (i.e., running, dance, hiking)
  • Automobile/Car Repair, Emergency (tires, brakes, etc.)
    • excludes fuel & routine maintenance (i.e., oil change)
  • Back-Up Child Care/Elder Caregiving*
    • excludes pre-tax DCFSA eligible expenses
  • Board Games & Puzzles
  • Books (including eBooks & audio books)
  • Botanical Garden/Museum/Zoo (i.e., membership, entry fees)
  • Budget-Tracking Software and Apps (i.e., EveryDollar, Mint)
  • Bicycle Sharing Programs (i.e., CoGo)
  • Child Jogging Stroller, Bike Seat, Bike Trailer, Baby Backpack Hiking Carrier
  • Social, Professional, Club Membership & Dues (i.e., Faculty Club)
  • Cooking Classes
  • Produce Buy Club/CSA (i.e., Bushel & a Peck, Green Bean, New Century)
  • CPR, AED, First Aid Certifications & CERT
  • Credit Counseling
  • Cultural Events (i.e., lectures, exhibit/performance tickets)
  • Dance Classes
  • Education/Class Related Fees: Course, Program & Learning Technology (employee only)
    • excludes fees covered under Faculty & Staff Tuition Assistance Plan, late payment & non-tuition related fees
  • Energy & Alternative Therapy (i.e., Float, Reiki, Healing Touch, Cryo)
  • Exercise/Sport Equipment & League Fees (i.e., yoga, golf, soccer, tennis, softball, pickleball)
  • Experiential and Sporting Events (i.e., escape rooms, fishing trips, hiking guides)
  • Financial Advisor/Planning Services/Classes
  • Fitness Center, Club, Gym or Studio Membership
  • Fitness Games for Game Consoles
  • Fitness Trackers (i.e., Fitbit, Apple Watch)
    • excludes accessories such as extra bands/straps & chargers
  • Gardening Tools
    • excludes riding lawn mowers, tractors & machinery
  • Home Air Purifier/Humidifier/Water Filter
  • Home Fresh Food Meal Delivery Services (i.e., Freshly, HelloFresh, Purple Carrot)
  • Home Utilities, Delinquency or Shut-off Avoidance Payment (electric, gas, water)
  • Identity Theft Services
  • Indoor/Outdoor Exercise Machines (i.e., elliptical, bike, treadmill, rower)
  • Martial Arts & Self-Defense Classes (i.e., kickboxing, karate, krav maga, self-defense)
  • Massage Services/Therapy (without a prescription)
  • Meditation or Mindfulness Classes/Courses
  • Music – Streaming Music App/Memberships, CDs, etc.
  • Music Classes and Instruments (i.e., guitars, drum sticks, sheet music, lessons)
  • National/State Park Entrance & Camping Fees
  • Office Equipment & Supplies, Ergonomic (i.e., chair, standing desk, keyboard)
  • Outdoor Sporting-Related Expenses (i.e., license/equipment for fishing, skiing, kayaking)
  • Parking at Work – Hourly Parking & Daily or Monthly Permit/Pass (not payroll deducted)
    • excludes parking citations/tickets & permits paid through monthly payroll deduction*
  • Personal Growth Coaching or Classes
  • Pet Adoption, Sitting and Walking Expenses
  • Photography/Videography Lessons and Equipment (i.e., camera, camera lens, drone)
  • Physical Fitness Classes/Training or Sports Lessons (i.e., yoga, spinning, CrossFit, tennis)
  • Race Registration Fees (i.e., marathon, triathlon)
  • Scales for Food & Body Weight
  • Sleep Products (i.e., blackout curtains, lumbar pillows, white noise)
  • Stress Management Classes
  • Tax Preparation/Software Fees
  • Transportation to/from Work (i.e., bus pass*, rideshare, taxi)
    • excludes COTA Bus Pass Program through payroll deduction
  • Tutoring (employee only)
  • Weight Management/Nutritional Programs & Apps (without prescription) (i.e., Noom, WW)
    • excludes food purchases & nutritional products

*These items may also be covered under other Ohio State benefits (i.e., Dependent Care FSA). Expenses that are fully covered by another Ohio State benefit may not be submitted for double reimbursement from the LSA. Expenses that are eligible for coverage under a medical/prescription drug plan are not eligible for reimbursement from the LSA.

Ineligible Expenses (such as, but not limited to):

  • Any expenses not explicitly listed
  • Weapons, weapon components or ammunition
  • Items illegal for procurement, use or consumption in Ohio
  • Sports betting/lottery/gambling apps & games
  • Restaurants and alcohol

No enrollment is needed to participate in the LSA. Eligible Ohio State employees include full-time and part-time (at least 50% FTE) in a regular or term position (excludes pediatric faculty who also hold an appointment with Nationwide Children’s Hospital, COTC, OSU Physicians and Faculty Club employees).

Eligible employees will receive up to a total of $500 a year. A quarterly contribution of $125 will be allocated on January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1 to be used during that quarter. You will need to be employed in an eligible position on those dates to receive the contribution for that quarter. Those hired or who become eligible after the first day of a calendar quarter will receive the LSA benefit beginning with the next quarter that they are eligible.

An LSA works differently than other benefit spending accounts, such as Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) and Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRA). Key points to know about an LSA:

  • The type of expenses that may be reimbursed from an LSA do not qualify as exempt from taxes by the IRS. Payments made to you from your LSA are considered taxable income at the time of reimbursement. You will not pay taxes on LSA funds that you do not use. Ohio State will receive a record of reimbursements and process the taxes in your pay shortly after reimbursement.
  • Expenses eligible for reimbursement under your FSA or HRA are not eligible to be reimbursed with your LSA funds. LSAs also cannot be used to reimburse your employee benefit contributions.
  • To be reimbursed from your LSA, you will need to submit a claim to HealthEquity|WageWorks. Documentation of the eligible expense, such as receipts, will also be required.
  • Any unused LSA funds remaining at the end of each calendar quarter do not carry over to the following quarter.
  • You have 15 days from the end of each calendar quarter to submit a reimbursement request for eligible expenses incurred in that quarter. For example, you have until April 15, 2023, to submit reimbursement claims for purchases made January 1 – March 31, 2023.
  • Employees who terminate employment prior the end of a calendar quarter have 15 days from their termination date to submit a reimbursement request for eligible expense incurred from the start of given quarter through termination date.

You may submit multiple claims each quarter, but you will only be reimbursed up to the benefit maximum of $125 each quarter.

If you incur an eligible LSA expense, you may be reimbursed from your LSA by:

  • Filling out a LSA Reimbursement Form and faxing it to HealthEquity|WageWorks at 1-877-353-9236 or mail it to Claims Administrator, P.O. Box 14053, Lexington, KY, 40512 with copies of appropriate receipts.
  • Filing a claim online: Log on to Workday, click on the My FSA/HRA/LSA (HealthEquity) link under Benefits. Scan and upload appropriate receipts.
  • Filing a claim using the EZ Receipts mobile app: Use your mobile device to take a photo of appropriate receipts.

You have 15 days from the end of each calendar quarter to submit a reimbursement request for eligible expenses incurred in that quarter. For example, you have until April 15, 2023, to submit reimbursement claims for purchases made January 1 – March 31, 2023. Unused LSA funds at the end of each calendar quarter do not carry over to the following quarter. 

Employees who terminate employment prior to the end of a calendar quarter have 15 days from their termination date to submit a reimbursement request for an eligible expense incurred from the start of a given calendar quarter through the termination date.

The money reimbursed from the LSA will be paid directly to you via check or direct deposit.

The type of expenses that may be reimbursed from an LSA do not qualify as exempt from taxes by the IRS. Payments made to you from your LSA are considered taxable income at the time of reimbursement. You will not pay taxes on LSA funds that you do not use. Ohio State will receive a record of reimbursements and process the taxes in your pay shortly after reimbursement.

Frequently Asked Questions

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University contributions will be allocated each quarter on January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1. Eligible expenses must be incurred during the calendar quarter.  You will have 15 calendar days following the end of the calendar quarter to submit eligible LSA expenses for reimbursement. Any funds not claimed by the quarterly deadline are forfeited.

Dates and Deadlines
Claim Incur Start Date Claim Incur End Date Claim Filing Deadline
January 1 March 31 April 15
April 1 June 30 July 15
July 1 September 30 October 15
October 1 December 31 January 15 (following year)

In the event your claim is denied, you will receive an email or mailed notice from HealthEquity providing an explanation of the denial.

No, unused funds will not be taxed.

For example, if I purchase a $500 home fitness machine in January and submit a reimbursement claim, will I automatically receive the $125 each quarter thereafter?  Is it an option to receive $500 all at once?

In this example, you will receive $125 for this fitness machine purchase if this is your only claim submitted in the first quarter. You can not receive additional funds for this in future quarters. You are welcome to submit other expenses for the other three calendar quarters to receive the full $125 per quarter.

Claim reimbursements are based on the service (purchase) date, and you are only eligible to receive up to $125 for the quarter in which the item was purchased or the service provided. You will not be able to receive all $500 at once and you may only submit a claim for the purchased item or service once.

Reimbursements are paid via check or direct deposit. It may take up to seven (7) business days to verify direct deposit information. If a reimbursement is submitted prior to this verification, a check will be mailed to the home address on file.

Yes. You may submit as many claims as you wish; however, you will only receive reimbursement up to the benefit maximum of $125 per calendar quarter.

New, or newly benefits-eligible employees are eligible to participate at the beginning of the next calendar quarter.

Nothe LSA benefit is offered to eligible OSU employees to support overall health and wellness. Family members (i.e., your spouse, domestic partner, children, etc.) are not eligible for this benefit. 

Yes. Family memberships are eligible for reimbursement as long as you are covered by the family membership.

Documentation will be required when the reimbursement is requested. Documentation must contain:

  • Date of purchase or service period
  • Service provider/Merchant name
  • Amount that was paid
  • The employee’s full name
  • Description of the eligible well-being product or service

If the receipt does not include the description or employee full name, they can be handwritten on the receipt but all other elements must be printed from the merchant.

All claims reimbursed under the LSA are taxable. Ohio State will receive a record of paid claims and process the taxes in your pay shortly after reimbursement. 

No enrollment is required for this benefit program. Eligible employees are automatically enrolled.

You don’t have to be enrolled in a medical plan in order to be eligible to participate in the LSA?

Employees who terminate employment prior to the end of a calendar quarter have 15 calendar days from their termination date to submit an LSA reimbursement request for purchases made from the start of the quarter through their termination date.

No, There is a 15-day grace period for claim submissions per calendar quarter, and all claims must be submitted no later than April 15. Employees who terminate employment during the calendar quarter have 15 days from their termination date to submit LSA expenses incurred while eligible.

No. Expenses must be incurred during the applicable calendar quarter and submitted by the claim filing deadline

There is a 15-day grace period for claim submissions at the end of each calendar quarter. Unused/unclaimed funds after this grace period will no longer be accessible.

For many online retailers, you can print or download your invoice when your order is completed/delivered. Documentation must contain all required elements, and an email confirmation may not contain all the essential information needed.

You can only use LSA funds for tutoring for yourself, not your dependents.

Please ask the vendor or service provider for a receipt. Remember, acceptable documentation must contain all required information.

The LSA is not prorated. You are eligible to participate at the beginning of the calendar quarter following your hire date into an eligible position.

Ohio State employees who are full-time and part-time (at least 50% FTE) in a regular, term or seasonal appointment. Excludes pediatric faculty who also hold an appointment with Nationwide Children’s Hospital and those employed by affiliated groups.

Employees must meet above eligibility requirements at the start of each calendar quarter (January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1). Employees who become eligible after the first day of a calendar quarter will be eligible to participate in the LSA benefit beginning the following quarter.

Yes.  If you are both employees, in eligible positions, you will each be able to access your own LSA accounts.  You will need to submit documentation with your individual names listed.  You both may not submit the same purchase or receipt for double reimbursement.  e.g.  If you purchased a peloton bike together, only one of you can submit a $125 claim towards that one purchase.

Therapies will be considered for reimbursement under the LSA if they are not services already covered under the medical plan, or medically prescribed therapy. Remember, your Ohio State medical plans cover visits to mental health professionals. Be sure to take advantage of the five free counseling sessions through EAP and anything your medical plan covers before using the LSA funds.

No.  A Purchase and its supporting documentation (receipt) may only be submitted one time.  You may not submit claims for duplicate reimbursement.

No, the LSA cannot be used on medical expenses or anything that has been prescribed by a healthcare provider.

Prior to purchasing your well-being items or services, there may be ways to save money and stretch your dollars further.

  • Visit the YP4H Discounts website to find wellness discounts offered exclusively to Ohio State employees (gyms, clubs, massage, wellness and more!)
  • Visit Buckeye Nation Rewards for home and lifestyle discounts offered to Ohio State employees (make sure to use your employee login to view)
  • Visit the Virgin Pulse store, located in your YP4H portal, to browse discounted fitness trackers, equipment, and other health related items.

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LSA Expense Ideas for Next Year

What if I want to spend my money on something that isn’t currently on the eligible expense list? Submit your ideas for future consideration.