Posts Tagged ‘health insurance’

Acupuncture and ICBC Car Insurance

Monday, November 19th, 2018

Car Traffic Light 300x199 Acupuncture and ICBC Car Insurance

The Province of British Columbia has recently released new regulations regarding changes to auto insurance coverage and compensation provided by ICBC.

These changes, which will take effect on April 1st, 2019, are an attempt to reduce legal costs while improving access to healthcare treatments and saving customers out of pocket expenses on their road to recovery.

Acupuncture is one of the treatment modalities which will be directly covered by ICBC and will include 12 pre-authorized visits within the first 12 weeks following a claimant’s motor vehicle accident, with additional acupuncture treatments being covered on a case by case basis.

More details are available on the ICBC website.

Acupuncture and MSP

Sunday, March 5th, 2017

Accounting 300x199 Acupuncture and MSP

As of January 1st, 2017, the British Columbia Medical Services Plan (MSP) has undergone changes to the fee structure of premium payments.

For those lower income households who are under MSP Premium Assistance, MSP may cover $23 per acupuncture treatment, up to a limit of 10 visits per year (with the 10 visit limit being shared by acupuncture, massage therapy, naturopathy, chiropractic, physical therapy, and non-surgical podiatry).

The main change that affects acupuncture treatment is that more people may qualify for the MSP Premium Assistance plan. The new annual family income limit has been raised to $42,000 (up from $30,000). Rates are calculated on the previous tax year, so if you think you may now qualify, more info on MSP Premium Assistance can be found here.

Paying For Your Healthcare Expenses

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

The following is a guest blog article by Ferdinand Milan CFP, CGA, FMA, FCSI, Certified Financial Planner

In British Columbia, our BC provincial Medical Service Plan (MSP) provides a great foundation for healthcare coverage, but we generally underestimate the high cost of health and dental expenses.

If you own your own business (incorporated or sole proprietor) there are 3 ways to pay your healthcare expenses.

banknotes and coin1 Paying For Your Healthcare Expenses

The first way is through traditional extended health insurance plans. You and/or your employer pay a monthly premium which covers a defined list of medical and dental expenses for you and your family. The coverage is limited, and you probably will pay for items like braces for the children, eyeglasses, or acupuncture treatments. If you claim far less than the premiums you pay, it’s your loss and the plan is designed in favour of the insurance company.

The second and simplest way is to pay with cash, but it is also an expensive way to pay for your health expenses. It will actually cost you up to 77.6% more than you think! You need to earn the money and pay tax on it before you pay the bill and the highest marginal tax rate in this province is 43.7%. To pay $1,000 in medical or dental expenses, you will need to earn up to $1,776. Ouch!

An excellent third way is the use of a Private Health Services Plan (PHSP).

In 1988, CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) stated that if your medical and dental benefits are administered through an independent administrator, they can be 100% tax deductible to your company without being a taxable benefit to you or employees of the company.

How does it work you say?

1. You pay your health or dental expenses directly.

2. Your company sends the PHSP provider a claim form with the receipts and a cheque to cover the expenses plus an administrative fee (usually around 10%).

3. The PHSP provider provides you with a tax-free reimbursement of the expense.

4. The company gets a tax-deductible receipt for the full expense and the administrative fee.

What’s covered? Any product, procedure or service you may receive from a health care professional who is authorized to practice in the province and certified to the practitioners’ governing body. The list of covered expenses is extensive (including acupuncture) and you only pay for what you use.

The downside. . . catastrophic medical events are not covered in a PHSP. You need to make sure that you have “stop-loss” insurance that covers long-term disability, critical illness, and out of province medical expenses.

A PHSP is worth looking into if you’re self-employed. They require a bit of planning and you should consult with a financial advisor experienced in setting these up.

The opinions expressed above are those of Ferdinand Milan CFP, CGA, FMA, FCSI, a Certified Financial Planner in Richmond, BC.