Making the Most of Your Extended Health Coverage

Every year, millions of dollars of unused extended health coverage goes to waste. You’ve worked hard to earn your coverage and it’s there to help you, so why not use it?

2022 is just around the corner and many people have only a short few months to make the most of a year’s worth of extended health benefits. Prevention is key when it comes to health and most coverage can be used when you’re pain-free with the intention of keeping you that way!

5 Steps for making the most of this year’s benefits before the new year:

1) Get to know your coverage:

What paramedical services are covered?

People know they have dental and vision coverage but most plans also include paramedical services such as massage, physiotherapy, chiropractic, kinesiology, acupuncture, and naturopathic services. Most of these services can be utilized as preventative or wellness services in the absence of injuries or pain.

How much coverage do you have?

Extended health plans come in all shapes and sizes. Knowing how much coverage you have for each type of profession or combined professions can help you put together a plan that serves you best.

Does your plan include a Health Spending Account?

A Health Spending Account will sometimes cover services or expenses not included in your paramedical coverage. Gym memberships, yoga classes, and personal training sessions are examples of health-related expenses that may be covered. Your Health Spending Account can also be put towards paramedical services that have been maxed out should you wish to continue care after running out of coverage.

Does your plan cover spouse and children?

You may have mastered the art of extended health care use but has the rest of your family? There are numerous preventative and wellness services that children can benefit from including massage, functional athletic screenings from physiotherapists or kinesiologists, postural assessment and corrective exercise prescription from a chiropractor and basic nutritional and sleep hygiene guidelines from a naturopathic physician.

Do you have additional coverage through your spouse’s plan?

Many families don’t make the most of both partners’ extended health plans. Redundancies in coverage mean you could be getting twice as many services or expand your coverage to other professionals you didn’t think were included. Compare each other’s plans and combine them to make the most of your coverage!

2) Make a game plan

Picking and choosing which therapies will best serve your needs can be tricky business and the process can deter people from using their benefits altogether

Here are a few tips to streamline the process:

Start with what you know and love and go from there. If you’ve had a great experience with a massage therapist start with them and ask for their recommendations on which professional to see next.

If you don’t know where to start, find a clinic that offers multiple services utilizing an interdisciplinary team approach and see one of their primary clinicians (anyone who can use the title “Doctor” such as chiropractors, TCM’s, and physicians).

Your primary clinician has the skills to assess and diagnose current or potential future issues and will work with you to structure a treatment plan and refer you to the professionals that will best meet your goals.

3) Submit your claim right away with e-claim or find a clinic that offers direct billing(pssst… that’s us!):

Many people avoid using their extended health coverage because of the hassle of submitting their claims and waiting for weeks at a time to get reimbursed. These days, many plans allow you to submit electronically for quick and easy processing and reimbursement. Some even allow qualified clinics to register for direct billing which means claims are processed immediately and you only have to pay the non-covered portion at your appointment. Look into your plan’s claim options and you may be surprised how easy it can be!

4) Earn points by using your credit card:

While some clinics offer direct billing options, it may be in your interest to pay for the services yourself and then be reimbursed later. Most credits cards have a points plan that rewards the carrier with travel or cash-back options. By using your credit card on your health services, you can earn valuable points on purchases that will be reimbursed by your extended health plan. With most plans covering around $500 for each service, by the end of the year, you could put your points towards a vacation or continue investing in your health with a gym membership!

5) Invest in yourself

Millions of extended health care dollars go unused each year because people feel they have no reason to utilize the services. But you don’t need an injury to make the most of your coverage! There are countless benefits to using paramedical services outside of pain or illness.

  • Exercise Programs –  Whether your goal is to build muscle, lose weight, maximize athletic performance or just improve general fitness, a personalized exercise program designed by experienced professionals can be covered by your extended health. Physiotherapy, chiropractic and kinesiology coverage can be put towards your exercise program so you don’t have unused coverage wasted at the end of the year! All of our practitioners have significant experience working as exercise professionals and can handle everything from high level athletes to those embarking on their very first exercise routine!
  • Baseline and Functional Testing – FMS, SFMA, TPI and concussion testing protocols can all be used to give you an objective measure of musculoskeletal, functional and cognitive health and sport specific performance levels. Having a baseline measure can help set goals and also streamline recovery when an injury does happen. Identifying characteristics that may lead to problems down the road will also ensure longevity and healthy aging.
  • Athletic Performance – Physiotherapists, chiropractors and kinesiologists can make sure your body is moving properly and improve performance in sports and athletics. Professional athletes and weekend warriors alike can optimize performance with biomechanical assessments and a corrective exercise program specifically designed for them. For summer sports, the off season can be a great time to work on your game. Combine a functional movement screen with a personalized excise program and you’ll be in top shape for next season! Want to improve your golf game? Titleist Performance Institute Medical Professionals can help you fine tune your swing and prepare your body for your best season yet.
  • General Wellness Checkup and Maintenance Care – Similar to your annual or biannual routines with your dentist and family physician, a regularly scheduled checkup is a valuable way to apply your extended health coverage. While most take advantage of their dental coverage by reporting to their dentist for checkups on the health of their teeth and gums, many don’t pay the same care to the rest of their body that can also accumulate wear and tear throughout the year. Seeing a chiropractor, physiotherapist or massage therapist for a regular musculoskeletal checkup can help track changes in your body over the years and also spot problem areas that may become more series pathologies down the road.
  • Dietitian Services – A Registered Dietitian can be an amazing resource for help with nutrition and meal plans. Whether your a parent on the go or a senior looking for longevity, a few tips about nutrition and diet can be worth their weight in gold. A registered dietitian can help you navigate the world of healthy eating without getting distracted by fad diets and expensive supplements.
  • Ergonomic Assessments with Personalized Interventions – Office workers and students are notorious for poor posture and an ergonomic assessment for home, office or school with a few personalized positional cue now could save you pain and agony in the future. No two bodies are the same and no two work stations should be either. Unfortunately, there’s no perfect setup that work for everyone so it’s important to assess your history and your body’s strengths and weaknesses to determine a personalized setup that suites you best!
  • Services for Children – You’re never too young to start taking care of your body. As much as we seem to bounce back from injuries and handle life’s strains well when we are young, injuries and patterns engrained while we’re kids can comeback to haunt us later in life. Postural issues from long hours at school or playing video games, over use injuries from sports and even tension headaches from the stress of being a kid these days can all be treated by chiropractors, RMT’s, physiotherapists or kinesiologists.
  • Preventative Therapies – Regular massage, chiropractic and physical therapy services can help keep the body performing well and prevent injuries by ensuring optimal movement patterns. Muscle tone, joint mobility and nerve function can all be enhanced with regular care. Don’t wait for something to go wrong, identifying issues before they become painful can save time and money in the long run.

Ready to put those underused extended health dollars to use? Book online or call us today!