August 26, 2022
Joel Gomes

Can Health Spending Accounts Ease Our Healthcare Crisis?

August 26, 2022
Joel Gomes

With health workers across Canada burned out, diagnostic and treatment backlogs rampant and many cities forced to shutdown some of their emergency rooms, Canada’s healthcare system is near crisis.

While physicians and politicians continue to point fingers at where the fault lies, Canadians are left with primary care shortages, overrun emergency rooms and historic wait times for surgery.

However, there are private healthcare alternatives for more timely services. Companies like Maple Medical, Medcan, Cleveland Clinic, ExecHealth and Appletree Medical Group offer quick access to medical and diagnostic services. And even though privatized MRI services are not available in much of Canada, clinics south of the border are happy to fill the void with offers of discounted fees and even Canadian staff doctors at their private clinics.

Some might think private healthcare is out of their budget, however many employee group benefit plans offer individual and family Health Spending Accounts (HSA) as part of their employee group benefits package. These funds can be used to offset costs of the health services or treatments they need.

Cost Plus or Private Health Spending Accounts (PHSA) are another tool in the benefits toolbox for more costly procedures or treatments not covered under your existing plan. Cost Plus plans are a cost-effective way for employers to pay for individuals’ claims not covered under your group benefits. It’s a worthwhile option for business owners and their executives, and carries the added advantages of:

- Benefits paid to an individual are non-taxable.

- 100% tax deductible business expense.

- No monthly premium payments required.

- Covers a more extensive range of services and expenses than a group benefit plan.

For a complete list of eligible medical expenses, you can visit Revenue Canada's web site or call 1-800-959-2221.

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