How to make the most out of your 2017 extended health benefits!

With a new year just around the corner, that also means new extended health benefits for the majority of employees. If you have them, why not use them?! Here are our tips to help you make the most of your upcoming benefit allotment:

  1. Find out exactly what you have!
    • In Canada, most employers have some sort of benefits package, which gives you extended health benefits. Extended health benefits provide extra medical care not covered by your provincial medical services plan (MSP). Typically, these benefits include chiropractic, naturopathic, massage therapy, acupuncture, etc. Of course, each service has its dollar limit, often averaging $500 per service/year, which will vary by plan and provider.
  2. Decide how you want to schedule it.
    • Now that you are aware of what services and amount totals your extended health covers, the next step is to figure out how you want to schedule it. If you have a new health goal, it’s probably best to see the practitioner(s) of choice and decide a proper treatment plan from there. If you are under regular ‘maintenance care’ it’s easiest to schedule visits every 2-4-6 weeks, staggering treatments if you are using multiple services (for example: massage 1x/month, chiropractic every 2 weeks and acupuncture 1x/month which would give you ~ 1 treatment per week if planned appropriately).
  3. Be organized – and don’t forget to submit your receipts in a timely manner!
    • Whether you’re a ‘claim it all at once’ type person, or you like to submit your claim(s) on the day of the appointment, be sure to keep your receipts organized. Submitting your claims has become easier each year. Most e-claims just require a description of the service you received along with the practitioner’s license number, and after submitting a time or two, the reimbursement amount is usually deposited to your personal banking account within 24-48 hrs. Of course, there are sporadic checks from your insurance provider (requiring proof or payment) which are usually requested at least a few times throughout the year. Because your plan may not cover 100% of your health care costs, remember to keep good records for your income taxes as you may be able to claim any additional expenses against your income.

When you are given the resources to be on top of your health, why not take advantage of them?  Not only are you supporting the economy of self-employed health practitioners, you are also taking care of yourself, which keeps you healthier, happier and more productive in your own day to day life.