Trade time for fitness

Employees and their dependents can receive up to $2,000 (gross) per payroll year in reimbursement for wellness-related expenses. Union employees should confirm the amount with their union.

How it works

  • Trade your sick leave or paid time off (PTO) hours to cover expenses and the amount is added to your paycheck.
  • Reimbursements are taxable income and will be reported on your Form W-2.
  • Trade time for fitness amounts are added to your regular paycheck as a separate line item and are taxed based on your W-4.
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Eligible expenses

Reimbursable expenses

We want you to be healthy. So to make it easier — and less expensive — Hennepin County allows a wide range of wellness-related expenses to be claimed in the trade time for fitness program, including:

  • Health club memberships (excludes reimbursements from health insurance providers)
  • Fitness and exercise classes
  • New and used equipment, and equipment maintenance, repair, parts and warranties
  • Weight loss (excludes food and items reimbursable from a health savings account)
  • Stress management classes and programs
  • Personal trainers
  • Fees related to exercise (e.g., sport league registration, court and rink rental, bike locker, equipment rental, etc.)
  • Sales taxes paid on reimbursable purchases
  • Purchases from private parties (requires bill of sale with: seller's name, address, phone number and signature; equipment purchased; payment information and date; and name of purchaser and signature)

Employees can be reimbursed for items purchased for the employee or dependents (spouse, children)

Non-reimbursable expenses

In general, the following expenses are not eligible:

  • Day care or fun club, camping, clubs of a primarily social nature (country club, golf, bowling, skiing)
  • Fishing or recreational equipment (e.g., tents, packs, coolers), tracing books or manuals
  • Clothing items (running shoes, hiking boots, jackets, shorts, uniforms, swimsuits)
  • Tips for services, gift cards
  • Fees: ski lift tickets, tanning, park permits
  • Weapons (e.g., paint ball guns and equipment, air rifles, hunting guns and archery equipment)
  • Medical expenses (e.g., lab tests, prescriptions, co-pays, medical equipment, medically prescribed massage)
  • Food and supplements, even if purchased in conjunction with a weight loss program


A more complete eligibility list will be posted — check back soon

Submitting a claim


Employees can submit claims anytime throughout the year. However, please note that there are two deadlines each year in order for reimbursements to fall within the payroll calendar.
  • March 1, 2016 (first Friday in March): deadline to submit a claim for a purchase made in 2015. Reimbursements count towards your 2016 $2,000 maximum.
  • December 2, 2016 (first Friday in December): deadline to submit a claim for reimbursement towards 2016 $2,000 maximum.
    • Claims submitted after December 2, 2016 will be processed, but the reimbursement will count towards your 2017 $2,000 maximum.

Step one: Gather proof of payment

You will need to electronically submit proof of payment into APEX.

  • If you already have electronic receipts and documents, save the information to your computer.
  • If you have cash register receipts and hard copies, scan the information and email it to yourself or save it to a file on your computer. The county's MFD printers have instructions on how to do this.

Step two: Complete trade time for fitness reimbursement request

On the APEX home page:

  • Click “My Pay and Benefits”
  • Click "Trade Time for Fitness"
  • Click "Trade Time for Fitness Request"
  • Click "Add a Reimbursement Request" (bottom left)

On the ‘Request for Reimbursement’ page, fill in the information:

  • Leave plan: Select either PTO or Sick Leave (you must have sufficient hours to cover the request) 
  • Select Employee or Dependent
  • Under Attached File:
    1. Click "Add," then browse to navigate to where you saved your proof of payment in step 1
    2. Click "Open" after you have selected the file
    3. Click "Upload"
    4. Click "View" to review your attached file and to ensure it is legible
    5. Use "+" to add documents (follow steps 1 to 4) or "–" to delete documents
  • Type of activity or equipment: in the drop down menu, select the category that corresponds to your claim
  • Amount requested: must be less than or equal to the amount displayed on your documentation(s)
  • Date paid: Type in the date or use the calendar to select a date
  • Use the date on the oldest item when combining multiple receipts/expenses into one claim
  • Comment: provide clarifications for all items claimed. Your claim may be denied if an item/purchase is unclear to Healthworks staff. 
  •  Click "Submit"

Checking a claim status

Healthworks will not notify employees of the status of their claims. You can, however, view the status in APEX.

  • Log in to APEX
  • Click on the "My Pay and Benefits" tab
  • Click on "Trade Time for Fitness Request" (right side of the screen) 

For reimbursements from another year, click the "View Another Year" tab next to the current year.

Current year claims will appear listed based on their status:

  • Approved: claim has been approved but has not been paid.
  • Denied: claim has been denied. Please refer to the “Approver comments” session in Apex for additional information
  • Paid: claim has been processed and paid. 
  • Submitted: claim was entered in Apex, but has not been processed.

Frequently asked questions

Employees can claim up to $2,000 gross per payroll year in reimbursement for wellness expenses for themselves or for dependents.

Deadlines/processing time

Q: Are there specific deadlines each pay period?

  • A: The deadline for submission is 4:30 p.m. on timecard Friday to be reimbursed on the subsequent paycheck.

Q: Can I apply a purchase to last year’s balance?

  • A: No, not after the December deadline, even if you did not use the entire $2,000.
  • Please note that reimbursement counts toward the year the reimbursement is paid to the employee, not when the purchase was made.

Q: Can I apply a purchase made this year to next year’s balance?

  • A: Yes. Please submit your claim between January and March of the following year.

Q: For previous year purchases, what is the deadline to submit a reimbursement request?

  • A: The deadline is March of the following year to claim all remaining expenses from the previous year. For the exact deadline date, see the submitting a claim section above.
  • Please note that reimbursement counts toward the year the reimbursement is paid to the employee, not when the purchase was made.

Q: How long does it take to process a claim?

  • A: Please allow five business days for most claims. In March and December it may take longer because of the volume of claims, please plan accordingly.

Q: Can you hold my claim?

  • A: No. Most claims will be processed in the order they are received. Please wait to submit your claim if you would like it paid at a specific time. 

Documentation and attachments

Q: What needs to be included in the documentation?

  • A: Trade time for fitness is a reimbursement program. Therefore:
    • Documentation must clearly show the item purchased
    • It must also clearly demonstrate that the amount claimed was paid

Q: What is allowable documentation?

  • A: To be allowable, documentation must clearly list the purchased item. Circle the payment on your statement. Allowable documentation includes:
    • "Paid" or cash register receipt
    • Online purchase confirmation
    • Bank statement (monthly dues only)
    • Credit card statement (monthly dues only)
    • Bill of sale with: seller's name, address, phone number and signature; equipment purchased; payment information and date; and name of purchaser and signature
  • Insufficient documentation must be accompanied by a receipt clearly listing the item/service purchased:
    • Canceled check
    • Account statement showing the payment credit

Q: How do I attach the documentation to the claim?

  • A: You can only alter claims while their status is “submitted” or “denied”.
    • Click on the pencil to the right of the claim in Apex
    • Follow the same steps to attach a file (step 2 under submitting a claim)

Request for reimbursement

Q: Can I round up the amount requested?

  • A: No. The requested amount must be less than or equal to the total displayed on the receipt.

Q: May I combine the amounts for multiple claims?

  • A: Yes, you may submit one claim for multiple receipts. Please enter the date of the oldest purchase.

Q: How many hours do I need to cover my reimbursement?

  • A: It depends on your hourly rate. 

Q: How do I know what my year-to-date (YTD) balance is (how much of the $2,000 is left)?

  • A: Year-to-date balance is based on date of reimbursement, not on the date of submission or purchase. Your year-to-date balance is available in Apex:
  • On your most recent pay stub
  • On your TTF submitted claims page

Q: Do I have to complete the Comment field?

  • A: No, but it helps explain your receipt, particularly if multiple dates/purchases are combined.

Q: What date do I enter for multiple purchases?

  • A: Enter the date of the oldest purchase.

Q: How do I edit a previously submitted claim? (You cannot edit a claim once it has been approved or paid)

  • A: If the claim has already been approved, you cannot edit it.
  • A: If the claim has not yet been approved, log-in to apex and:
    • Locate the claim you would like to edit
    • Click on the pencil icon next to the claim
    • Make your changes and click submit

Q: What if the claim is for my family?

  • A: In APEX:
    • Select ‘Employee (self)’
    • Expenditure details: Activity/Equipment: Select the category that corresponds to your purchase

Q: Which leave should I select?

  • A: You may select either Sick or PTO. You must have enough leave balance to cover the reimbursement.

Expenses and eligibility

Q: Who’s expenses are eligible

A: Employee and covered dependents (spouse, and children)

Q: What expenses are eligible?

  • A: See Eligible expenses drawer above. If your expense is not listed on the eligible or ineligible expenses lists contact HealthWorks about eligibility. A more complete eligibility list will be posted – check back soon.

Employees on leave and special categories

Q: What if I do not have access to Apex? (Must be on an approved leave or an elected official)

  • A: Please contact Healthworks

Q: What if I am leaving the county?

  • A: Submit any outstanding trade time for fitness program expenses prior to resignation
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