# Thursday, February 28, 2019
                 
Have you ever wondered what sort of coverage is actually offered via private health insurance plans in Canada? In this article we take a look at the types of coverage that private health and dental insurance plans offer, as well as how these coverages relate to public Canadian healthcare plans. There are also links to more detailed articles about specific types of coverage for those people who really want to dive into the realm of private Canadian health insurance!
posted on Thursday, February 28, 2019 4:11:58 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #   
# Monday, January 14, 2019
                 
Durable medical equipment such as wheelchairs, crutches and canes oftentimes plays a critical role when recovering from an accident or debilitating illness. However, these medical devices can be very expensive to buy or even rent, and many Canadians (mistakenly) believe that their public healthcare plan will cover these costs. This is where private health insurance such as employee benefits and individual health insurance comes into play! Read on to find out more.
posted on Monday, January 14, 2019 2:53:08 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #   
# Thursday, August 23, 2018
                 
Physiotherapy often plays a crucial role when recovering from a debilitating accident or illness. And in many cases, physiotherapy costs are not covered by your provincial healthcare plan. Read on to find out how much coverage for physiotherapy can be obtained via Canadian health insurance plans (employee benefits and individual health and dental).
posted on Thursday, August 23, 2018 3:57:11 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #   
# Thursday, May 31, 2018
                 
Massage therapy is one of the most popular extended health insurance benefits. Not surprising, really, seeing how a massage feels great and is so relaxing. But what sort of massage therapy coverage is available via Canadian healthcare and private health insurance plans such as employee benefits and individual health insurance? Read on to find out more!
posted on Thursday, May 31, 2018 6:24:14 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #   
# Monday, August 8, 2016
                 
There is a special type of health insurance called "conversion health insurance" that is designed for people who have just lost their employee benefits coverage. There are no medical questions and acceptance is guaranteed, even if you have pre-existing health conditions that need to be covered. If you are retiring or have lost your job you might want to consider one of the these conversion plans!
posted on Monday, August 8, 2016 9:24:12 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #   
# Friday, January 9, 2015
                 
Chiropractic has come a long ways since it was first practiced over 100 years ago. Chiropractors can often treat the cause of a physical ailment, as opposed to just treating that condition's symptoms. And more good news: Canadian health insurance plans provide chiropractic coverage! Read on for more information.
posted on Friday, January 9, 2015 8:40:28 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #   
# Thursday, January 31, 2013
                 
Companies (especially small to medium size business, or SMBs) should consider personal health insurance plans as a cost-effective alternative to traditional employee benefits when it comes to offering workers health and dental benefits.
posted on Thursday, January 31, 2013 7:51:34 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #   
# Monday, March 2, 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, March 2, 2009 12:51:26 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #   
# Saturday, March 1, 2008
                 

Living With Chronic Pain

Every year, millions of Canadians suffer from chronic pain. More than half of these Canadians do not receive adequate treatment to alleviate this devastating pain. A recent study actually showed that in one large Canadian medical centre the majority of patients who were in moderate to severe pain were not even asked by medical staff if they were in pain. Statistics Canada has recently released a study which showed that over 25% of Canadian seniors who live at home, and nearly 40% who reside in a institution are living with chronic pain, severe enough that it interferes with daily life.

While pain is a natural part of everyone's life, chronic pain has distinct characteristics. There are 2 basic types of pain, acute and chronic, which are very different from each other.

Acute Pain: Results usually from disease, inflammation or injury to tissues. It generally comes on quickly, i.e. after surgery or trauma. It may be accompanied by emotional distress and/or high anxiety levels. The cause of acute pain can usually be quickly diagnosed and treated. As well, the pain is usually confined to a given period of time as well as severity. Only in rare cases does acute pain become chronic.

Chronic Pain: Lasts for a much longer duration than acute pain and is more resistant to medical treatment. Chronic pain is widely believed to represent disease itself, and can be made much worse by environmental as well as psychological factors. Chronic pain can be a result of an initial accident such as sprained back, infection, or can be the result of an ongoing condition such as cancer, arthritis. Chronic pain can also occur without any previous injuries and/or evidence of body damage. Severe and frequent migraines can also fit into this category.

There is no test that tells a physician just how much pain a person is in, or how intense their pain is. The physician can ask questions about whether the pain is dull or sharp, location, burning or aching, etc, but these are only general indicators. Physicians can however, use technology to find the source of the pain. The most common are:

Electrodiagnostic Procedures: Electromyography (EMG), nerve conduction studies, and evoked potential (EP) studies can help physicians tell precisely which nerves and/or muscles are affected by pain and/or weakness. EMG consists of thin needles being inserted into the muscles so the physician can see or listen to the electrical signals displayed. Nerve conduction studies involve the use of two sets of electrodes that are placed on the skin over the muscles. The first set sends a mild shock that stimulates the nerve that runs to the muscle. The second set makes a recording of the nerve's electrical signals, from which the physician is able to detect nerve damage. EP test follow the same theory, but with the second set of electrodes set on the patient's scalp in order to determine the speed of nerve transmission to the brain.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging: A MRI provides the physician with pictures of the body's tissues and structures, which can help determine where and why pain is occurring.

Neurological Exams and X-Rays: The physician will test movement, reflexes, balance, sensation as well as coordination. X-rays will show if any bones or joints are the cause of the chronic pain.

It is important for those who suffer from chronic pain to communicate effectively with their physician in order to receive the appropriate treatment and relief. Many different people in the medical field may be helpful in pain management, includes nurse, physiotherapists, psychologists, and occupational therapists, as well as your physician. If needed, your family doctor can refer you to a pain specialist if the pain is not self-resolving. To help your physician give you the proper care, be prepared for your appointments. By keeping a daily pain diary, and recording the amount of pain, the time it occurred and what you did to alleviate this pain get be a great assistance to your doctor. Make sure to use descriptive words such as throbbing, stabbing, burning, aching, tingling, dull, sharp, deep, pressing etc as well as rating it from 1 to 10. As well, keep a list of any and all medications that you take or have taken for pain control. It can also be helpful to list any activities you participated in either just before or at the onset of the pain.

Chronic pain can be managed in different ways, depending on the individual. This can be achieved usually through the proper pain medications, as well as such therapies as acupuncture, massage and chiropractic treatment. Some of the most common ways drugs that physicians use to treat chronic pain are:

Analgesics: The class of drugs that includes most painkillers such as aspirin, acetaminophen and ibuprofen. It is used in most nonprescription medications for mild to moderate pain.

Anticonvulsants: Usually used for seizure disorders, but can be effective for pain that is associated with neuropathic origins.

Antidepressants: Depression is now being associated with chronic pain, especially back pain. Some antidepressants in the psychotropic drug class can be used for treating both conditions. Some anti-anxiety drugs also contain muscle relaxants, and can be effective as well.

Antimigraine Medications: These medications are only for people who suffer from serious and/or frequent migraine headaches. The are only available by prescription, and should only be used under a physician's care, as some do have serious side effects.

COX-2 inhibitors: Used for the treatment of arthritis pain. These drugs are relatively new to the market, and have not yet been tested for long-term side effects. They do, however, seem to lessen some of the negative side effects commonly associated with older anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS).

Nonsteriodal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS): These drugs are effective for relieving pain by reducing the inflammation in the affected tissues. These can however, cause some people to suffer from upset stomachs.

Opoids: The oldest class of drugs known to mankind; they derive from the poppy plant. Codeine is a very mild form of opoid; morphine is one of the strongest forms of this drug. Opiates are a narcotic, and can induce sedation as well as pain relief. Opiates are physically addictive, and should only be taken with a physician's supervision and monitoring. Opiates do have such side effects as nausea (including vomiting in some cases) and constipation.

Methods other than medication can also be an effective measure to combat chronic pain. These may be used alone, or in conjunction with pain medication, depending on the individual.

Acupuncture: Is a traditional Oriental method of healing which involves applying needles to precise parts of the body. Although some consider this method controversial, it has been a popular method to help various conditions.

Biofeedback: Used mostly for headaches and back pain. A special electronic machine is used to train the patient to become aware of and ultimately control certain body functions. By learning to control things such muscle tension, heart rate and skin temperature, the patient will be able to effect a change in their response to pain by using techniques such as relaxation exercises.

Chiropractic: This can be very effective for those with acute lower back pain and other back disorders. This involves a licensed chiropractor manually manipulating the spine.

Counseling/Therapy: Psychological help and support can help patients by giving them much need coping skills to deal with chronic pain. Support groups can be helpful for those going through multiple surgical procedures as well as diseases such as cancer.

Physical Therapy/Rehabilitation: Exercise, massage, and/or manipulation can help not only alleviate pain, but help to speed up recovery from certain injuries.

It's important to let your physician know if you are experiencing pain that doesn’t seem to go away, or appears for no particular reason, as it may be symptomatic of a serious condition. There is no one specific cure for chronic pain; one of the above methods, as well as a combination of methods may be the right choice for you.

Many individual health insurance plans, as well as employee benefits packages offer coverage for not only the prescription costs, but for non-medicinal treatments. If you do not currently have coverage for such items as chiropractic visits, you can always enquire about adding these features to your current coverage.

 

posted on Saturday, March 1, 2008 2:14:36 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #   
# Tuesday, September 26, 2006
                 

Paramedicals and Health Plans

Today, people have a wide array of health care choices. With new technological and research advances, there are a wider variety of prescription drugs and treatments available for most health problems. Unlike some previous healthcare choices , new drug therapy can be very effective with fewer side effects. This, combined with other forms of therapy, can be highly effective for people suffering from pain caused by back and foot problems. 

For many health problems relating to back and foot pain, your doctor may recommend that you seek treatment from a chiropractor, chiropodist, massage therapist, podiatrist, acupuncturist, or naturopath (depending on the nature of your injury). These treatments, combined with drug therapy, can help promote healing and drastically reduce healing time. There are many effective prescription drugs that can help reduce the swelling and the pain, while treatment from a relevant health care practitioner can help resolve the underlying health issue. 

Check to see if your current health insurance plan covers these forms of treatments. For those who want to create their own unique health care coverage, we offer a "Stand-Alone" option, which is available via the Flexcare Core Plan. The Flexcare Basic Plan allows the consumer to choose coverage for such treatment options such as:

  • Chiropractor
  • Chiropodist
  • Osteopath
  • Naturopath
  • Podiatrist
  • Registered Massage Therapist
  • Acupuncturist

A medical questionnaire is required, and there is a 20 visit maximum per discipline per year limit. For those consumers who wish to purchase more comprehensive add-on coverage, Flexcare Enhanced Plan is also available.

Talk to your family physician about the new courses of treatment available, and whether they would be beneficial to you. Your doctor can usually recommend a specialist. For those who are seeking a physician see the College Of Physicians And Surgeons web site.

posted on Tuesday, September 26, 2006 4:10:53 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #   
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