3 key questions to ask your insurance provider to maximize the use of your health insurance plan

It’s that time of year when the weather changes, we prepare for the joy of the holidays, and your group benefits run out!

Generally, private health plans provided by your employer renew January 1st which means if you didn’t use it you will lose it.

In Canada, every insurance provider covers naturopathic medicine, it just depends on what your employer has chosen to be part of your plan.

Here’s 3 key questions to ask your insurance provider to maximize the use of your health insurance plan:

  1. How much money is allocated each year for you to spend? Most plans cover $300-$1000 per year for naturopathic treatments.  Most plans will cover a percentage of each treatment. For example, if you use $100 and you are 80% covered you will receive $80 back and only pay $20 out of pocket for the service. Other plans have a dollar amount they provide per treatment. For example, you can receive a maximum of $25 per treatment, regardless if the treatment cost $50 or $100.
  2. How is my money allocated based on the type of service I use? Some plans offer $500 to use for EACH type of health care such as naturopath, chiropractor, registered massage therapist, physiotherapy, etc. This means you get to spend $500 for EACH service. Other plans offer $500 TOTAL for the year to be used as you wish. This means you could use $300 for the chiropractor, $150 for the naturopath, and $50 for the massage therapist and the TOTAL amount you can use for ANY service in ANY combination is $500.
  3. What date does my insurance plan renew? For example, the federal government and city of Ottawa plans renew January 1st and follow the calendar year. I have observed other plans that renew in May or August. It is important to know when your plan renews so you don’t miss out on using your health care benefits.

If you’d like to learn more about your group benefit plan, the best route is to contact your insurance provider with your plan number and they will be able to explain in detail what you and your family are covered for.

Another option is to speak to your human resources department.

If your employer is currently not offering a group benefits plan, please speak with your human resources department.  They can contact the different insurance providers to receive a quote on what would be best for your workplace based on the size and needs of the employees.

What if you are self-employed?

Often, you can be added to a spouse’s plan if they are insured. Or you have the option of purchasing your own group benefits plan through an insurance broker. This is a great idea in order to provide these services to you and your family, especially dental care! And it doubles as a business expense and tax write-off.

I hope you enjoyed these tips to maximize the use of your health insurance plan!