# Friday, 20 May 2016
                 
All personal health insurance plans have coverage for durable medical equipment such as wheelchairs, walkers, mobility devices, diabetic supplies and more. But how much coverage exists, and from what individual health insurance plans? Read on to find out.
posted on Friday, 20 May 2016 19:33:32 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #   
# Tuesday, 22 September 2015
                 
Catastrophic benefits offer coverage for prescription drugs, durable medical equipment, home care and nursing services. Benefits commence only after the maximums for a given health insurance plan are reached, and coverage is designed to protect insured Canadians from a catastrophic financial situation due to illness or accident. Read on for more information.
posted on Tuesday, 22 September 2015 19:52:12 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #   
# Tuesday, 24 July 2012
                 
This blog article discusses diabetes: what it is; various ways to treat it; and purchasing a health insurance plan to cover the costs of testing kits, glucose monitoring equipment and other durable medical supplies.
posted on Tuesday, 24 July 2012 19:01:52 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #   
# Tuesday, 31 March 2009
                 
IPSOS-Reid has just released a survey that shows 7 out of 10 seniors in Canada have mobility and/or health issues that affects their physical limitations as well as increases their risk of falling. 46% of these seniors do not use an assistive device, i.e. scooter, cane, walker. 63% of seniors who reported having a fall in the past year do not use an assistive device, even though life expectancy for seniors is reduced as much as 25% due to falls, as well as costing the Canadian healthcare system $1 billion annually.

According to these results, there is a major discrepancy between seniors who need these devices when the warning signs appear, and the willingness to do so. The survey indicated that two thirds of Canadian seniors believe that using an assistive device is a threat to their security; making them visible targets for crime. However, studies have shown that 9.5% were victims of reported crime in 2004; 28% of reported crimes were committed against people aged 15-24 in the same time period. Being stigmatized as 'old, vulnerable, frail, loss of independence, etc' were largely the number one reasons cited for not using a device that would not only improve their mobility, but help prevent falls.

Although the psychological impact of a senior feeling that they are losing their independence, assistive devices are intended with exactly the opposite in mind. They range from products that allow a person to bathe alone, help prepare food, to devices that assist with mobility. Grab bars, bath seats and non-slip floor mats greatly reduce the risk of accidental falls that occur when bathing, and can allow a senior to bathe unattended, thereby in actuality allowing them to retain their independence. Food preparation devices such as side-opening oven doors, height-adjustable cupboards and counters also allow for greater independence, giving a senior the equipment they need to safely and comfortably use their kitchens. Items such as automatic card shufflers allow seniors to continue their hobbies and enjoyment of life.  

It is estimated that one out of every 3 Canadian seniors will experience a fall at least once a year. Hip fractures are the most common injury, and approximately 20% of injuries sustained in falls will contribute to death. Health issues that can increase the risk of fall in seniors are:

•    Poor balance;
•    Decreased muscle and/or bone strength;
•    Reduction in vision;
•    Reduction in hearing;
•    Home conditions.

Almost half of all falls experienced by seniors occur in and/or around the home. Go through the home in order to determine where the possible danger areas are. Some suggestions for making the home safe:


Bathroom:

•    Rubber non-slip bath mat for the tub and shower.
•    Grab bars by the toilet and the bath which will help for sitting and/or standing.
•    Bath seat in the shower.
•    Raised toilet seat (if needed).

Living Room/Bedroom:

•    Clean up any loose wires and/or cords that may trip someone.
•    Reduce clutter and establish wide, clear walking paths.
•    Make sure that lights are all working (you may want to use a higher wattage light bulb now).
•    Use a cordless phone, this not only eliminates cords lying around, but allows the senior to have the phone with them always.
•    Ensure that scatter mats are of the non-slip variety. Normal scatter rugs are a hazard for slip and falls.

Kitchens:

•    Make sure that items that used daily are within reach, i.e. not in cupboards that require a mini-ladder to access them.
•    Store all heavy items in lower cupboards.
•    If you must use a step stool to access items, make sure it is a stable step stool that has a safety rail.
•    If you use floor wax, ensure that it is a non-skid formula.
•    Ask for help for any tasks that you do not feel that you can safely accomplish on your own.

Stairways:

•    Ensure that stairway lighting is well lit (this could include using higher wattage light bulbs).
•    Make sure that the handrails are safe and can safely accommodate weight.
•    For those who wear reading glasses, make sure you remove them before attempting to go up and/or down the stairs.
•    Take your time! Rushing up and down stairs is a major factor in falls.

Home Exterior:

•    Make sure that all walkways and outside steps are free of debris; especially in winter, make sure that all snow and ice are removed.
•    Keep the front entrance well lit.
•    Put all lawn and garden maintenance tools away in order to prevent accidentally falling over them.

If you are a senior who requires an assistive device that will improve your quality of life, check your health insurance coverage to see if these are included in your benefit package. Talk to your primary health provider about any issues you are currently dealing with; your physician can be very helpful in discussing products and devices that are suited for your needs. The Red Cross also has a ‘loan’ program for some assistive devices; consult with your local chapter.

posted on Tuesday, 31 March 2009 16:28:02 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #   
# Monday, 02 March 2009
                 

Most times, when Canadians think about insurance, they think only of the standard health and life insurance policies. For some, this may be enough; however, especially for self-employed people, as well as those who do not have the savings to maintain their lifestyle for a period of time, disability insurance may be a wise choice.

Personal Accident Disability Plans provide monthly payments that can fund expenses, and/or replace your income in case you become disabled due to an accident. Sickness Disability is also offered, providing you meet the qualification standards for this particular plan. These plans are guaranteed to be renewed to age 65, 70, or 90; the age limit will depend on the particular plan you select; as long as premiums are paid on time, your plan cannot be canceled.

This insurance is quite easy to apply for, with automatic acceptance and/or acceptance within 5 days of the application (the coverage starts on the day the application was signed), up to 90 days. Very few questions will need to be answered, so the application process is very easy for most.

The 24 Hour Compensation Plan includes features such as:

Accident Total Disability Benefits: This entitles the policyholder to payments of $2,000 a month which is paid each month on the first day of the disability if you become totally disabled due to an injury sustained in an accident. This amount is paid while the total disability continues for up to 2 years. This benefit does reduce to $1,000 at age 70. Totally disabled means that you were employed (minimum 30 hours a week) prior to the accident, and that you are unable to perform your occupation and are not working elsewhere. Otherwise, this means that you are unable to perform most of your routine daily activities.

Accident Partial Disability Benefits: If you become partially disabled due to injury, this plan will pay a partial disability benefit of $1,000 (50% of your Total Disability Benefit) for up to 6 months. If employed prior to the accident, partially disabled means that you cannot perform one or more of your important duties and cannot work full time. Otherwise this means that you are unable to perform a significant amount of your routine daily activities.

Accident Total Disability Benefit Adjustment: If your annual income decreases after you have applied for coverage, your Total Disability benefit, as well as claim payment and premiums may be reduced based on your new annual income.

Integration With Other Sources:  If your Total Disability claim is more than $2,000 per month, your claim payment may be reduced by the amount of disability benefits you receive from other plans.

The Accident Excess Medical Rider provides you with a reimbursement of the following expenses that you may have incurred as a result of an accident:

• Paramedical services of a licensed physiotherapist, osteopath, massage therapist, and/or chiropractor, up to $800 per accident;
• Semi-private or private hospital room expenses, up to $100 per day for up one year;
• T.V., radio and/or telephone rental expenses while hospitalized, up to $15 per day;
• Prescription drug expenses of up to $500 per accident, maximum 30 day supply of medication per prescription for all Canadian residents except those who reside in Quebec;
• Medical equipment expenses, i.e. hospital beds, oxygen equipment, wheelchairs, crutches, canes, walkers, etc. of up to $7,500 per accident;
• Medical supplies and prosthesis expenses of up to $7,500 per accident. This includes such expenses as artificial limbs or eyes, surgical stockings, orthopedic appliances (not including teeth), braces, collars, splints, casts, trusses, pressure garments, burn garments, medical dressings, etc.
• Prescription vision care expenses. This covers the full cost of 1 pair of prescription eyeglasses or 1 year supply of contact lenses, provided that these were not previously required or worn. Up to $250 per accident for the repair or replacement of existing prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses.
• Dental care expenses for the services of a dentist or dental surgeon, for up to $3,500 per accident for the repair of natural teeth or treatment of a fractured jaw.

Consult with your insurance broker to see if this type of coverage is best suited for your needs. You can also visit us at http://www.healthquotes.ca/Disability/ for more information regarding these types of plans.

posted on Monday, 02 March 2009 12:51:26 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #   
# Tuesday, 01 August 2006
                 

Severe Illness and Insurance

Critical Illness insurance is designed to alleviate financial stress when a person becomes severely ill and unable to continue working. Recuperating from a critical illness is stressful enough, without having to worry about paying the bills.

Canadian citizens should be cognizant of the fact that government health plans and employee benefit plans are limited. These plans only cover medical and hospital care. Disability insurance, while also an important plan, only pays a monthly benefit when a person is unable to work. Critical Illness insurance differs in that it pays out a lump sum even if you are able to go back to work. For most critical illness benefits, you must survive your illness for a set period of time (usually 30 days) in order to receive benefits.

Your critical illness benefits are flexible in what you choose to spend the money on. During your time of need, you will receive a lump sum of money in order to spend as you see fit. With critical illness benefits, you no longer have to worry about paying the mortgage, credit cards, and monthly household expenses. You can budget for how long you will be unable to work, and spend your money accordingly.

Critical Illness insurance often covers the following conditions (this depends on the carrier and plan):

  • Cancer.
  • Heart Attack.
  • Stroke.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.
  • Kidney Failure.
  • Major Organ Transplant.
  • Dismemberment.
  • Blindness.
  • Deafness.
  • Loss Of Speech.
  • Major Burns.
  • HIV.
  • Alzheimer’s Disease.
  • Parkinson’s Disease.

However, there are two important points to note about "traditional" Critical Illness insurance:

  1. It is only available to healthy Canadians, who do not have a family history of any of the listed illnesses. For a "virtual" guaranteed issue product see below.
     
  2. CI insurance can have high premiums (for an affordable alternative you might consider Manulife Financial's Flexcare plan that has a Catastrophic option, described below).

As an alternative for people who need guaranteed issue critical illness insurance we offer Ontario citizens the Ontario Blue Cross Critical Illness Assistance benefit, which is part of the Blue Vision Express Plan. This benefit has the following features:

  • Amount of coverage varies, from $5,000 to $15,000.
  • Covers adaptation costs to your vehicles, principal residences, etc.
  • Covers travel expenses incurred when receiving care or follow-up.
  • Costs for household help and/or childcare.

As an affordable alternative there is the Manulife Flexcare plan has a Catastrophic option, which is offered as an Add-On or as a Stand-Alone product. This coverage provides the following benefits:

  • Unlimited, complete coverage for name brand and generic prescription drugs.
  • Additional coverage for Homecare, Durable Medical Equipment (wheelchairs, syringes for diabetics, etc.) as well as Prosthetic Appliances. 
  • There is a maximum of $100,000 (lifetime).
  • Unlimited Chiropractor/Physiotherapist coverage for one year following an accident that required a hospital stay of a minimum of 24 hours.

Note that the Flexcare Catastrophic option does require a medical questionnaire be filled out.
  

posted on Tuesday, 01 August 2006 17:59:59 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #   
# Thursday, 30 March 2006
                 

People who are diabetic usually require the following supplies:
  • Insulin cases and kits (e.g. syringes, pumps, etc.).
  • Monitoring supplies for glucose levels.*
  • Testing supplies (e.g. test strips, etc.).
  • Diabetic shoes (diabetics have a high risk of serious foot problems).

Personal health insurance covers diabetic medical supplies under Durable Medical Equipment, but most plans require a medical examination.

Health plans with no medical examination that supply diabetic medical supplies are:

1. FlexCare from Manulife Financial. There are two available plan types:

a) ComboPlus Starter Plan

  • Comes with core dental, prescription drug and health coverage.
  • HomeCare and Nursing, Prosthetic Appliances, Durable Medical Equipment: maximum per anniversary year for each of these 3 categories of benefits separately, is according to the following table:
     
    Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5
    $1,000 $1,300 $1,500 $1,700 $3,000

b) DentalPlus Basic and Enhanced Plans:

  • Comes with core dental and health coverage (no drugs).
  • HomeCare and Nursing, Prosthetic Appliances, Durable Medical Equipment is the same coverage as the Start Plan mentioned above.

2. Blue Vision Express Plan from Ontario Blue Cross.

   Guaranteed acceptance coverage available to Ontario citizens.

  • Ontario Blue Cross is a non-profit organization.
  • Comes with core health coverage.
  • 80% coverage.
  • Maximum of $2,500 per year.
posted on Thursday, 30 March 2006 20:53:35 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #   
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