We are very lucky in Canada to have many of our health care costs covered by our provincial medical insurance plans. However, there are quite a few services that are not covered, many of which could be considered preventative health care to maintain good health. Extended Health Care Benefits are designed to supplement exisiting health care by providing coverage for services that are not covered by the Medical Services Plan (MSP), and most people acquire this coverage through their emlpoyment or buy into a group benefit plan.
Every plan is different and coverage varies.
There are many Health insurance companies in Canada and each one of those has different coverages, rules, and deductibles for each plan. It is important to know the details of your own benefits in order to get the most out of them. As a health care provider, we at Shift are not able to see the details of your plan, only the response from your insurer based on the specific claim submitted for your visit. Most insurance companies have online member sites where you can view all the specific details of your plan. Check out the bottom of this post for a link to your insurer's member site. I highly recommend figuring out what your policy's coverage is in order to plan to use it throughout the year. Benefits expire at the end of each year and do not roll over.
If you don't use them, you lose 'em!
It is amazing how many people don't use their benefits at all or leave it to the end of the year to use up their benefits. The last 2 months of the year are typically our busiest for this very reason!
Some plans have deductibles, a one time payment each year payable at the first time you use your plan for the year. Some plans require a Doctor's referral for specific services and some do not. Also, the coverage amounts can vary greatly. Some are a percentage, some are a flat dollar amount per visit and some even change as you use your plan throughout the year. For example, your coverage could be 80% until $1000 has been claimed and then the coverage goes up to 100% - Cha-ching! With a little planning and understanding of your benefits you can make the most of them.
We can direct bill your insurance plan making it super easy to use your benefits.
At Shift we aim to make accessing health care as easy as possible so you can focus on getting better. We direct bill for most insurance companies, including ICBC and MSP. Most of the time this means you only have to pay the uninsured amount up front, or in some cases the full amount and then your insurer will reimburse you directly (but we submit the claim for you).
Extended Health Care Benefits really are a great way to maintain good health or get you back to feeling great with minimal out of pocket cost. If you are lucky enough to have benefits then I suggest you use them to keep yourself feeling great and to also support our local health care practitioners. Let us take care of you for a while.
Stay Healthy Squamish!
INSURERS WE CAN DIRECT BILL
*Click on your insurer to be taken to the online member portal*
Desjardins - we can submit for you, but you have to pay upfront as they do not allow assignment of payment
Empire Life - currently can direct bill for Chiropractor or Massage Therapist only
MSP - Supplementary Benefits - $23/visit for 10 visits/year