9 Points to Using Your Naturopathic Health Coverage Benefits
It’s nearly the end of 2014, and many people are thinking about their extended health care plans. While naturopathic medicine is not covered by OHIP, it may be part of your benefits package through your employer. Dr. Mai Heath shares some points to consider about making the most of your benefits package to improve your health!
1. You may have extended health coverage and not know it.
Many extended health care plans in North America cover naturopathic medical treatment. Contact your employer & insurance company to find out what your particular benefits are.
2. Not all coverage plans are created equal.
Extended health care benefits may cover a variety of services from naturopathic medicine, physiotherapy, osteopathy, massage therapy, doula care, chiropractics, and more. Packages vary in the configuration of services that are provided coverage.
3. Don’t waste them. They are part of your salary.
Having an extended health plan is a valuable asset. It is your right to use your benefits, not a privilege. You work and make sacrifices for your health coverage. Do not let them go to waste. Covered health services are a part of your compensation for the service you provide the company you work with. Therefore, they are a part of your salary.
4. Naturopathic Medicine can help you improve your job performance.
Studies show that workers & employers alike benefit from naturopathic medicine. Natural therapies are associated with improved quality of life and less time away from work. It is also found to be more cost-effective than many conventional treatments and pain medication.
5. If you don’t use it, you loose it.
Most insurance plans renew at the start of the calendar year. Very much like paid leave, benefits do not tend to carry over to the next calendar year. Therefore, should you fail to use health benefits before the end of the year they will expire and you will not be able to use these benefits. That’s like paying several hundreds to thousands of dollars in overdraft fees to your bank. That’s one heck of a penalty!
6. Family & loved ones in need can benefit (through you).
Contact your employer & insurance company to find out the particulars of your coverage. You may be pleasantly surprised to find you have coverage for family, children, spouse, common law spouse, partners, and/or dependents. Don’t rob your loved ones of this opportunity for care.
7. But I don’t have insurance coverage! What about me?
While many North Americans have extended healthcare benefits, not all do. Many of my patients don’t have coverage for naturopathic treatments. These patients pay fee for service and generally find that the improvement to their quality of life trumps the expense of the self investment. If you feel you are not in a financial position to get the care you need, make good use of the free consult offered by most Naturopathic Doctors (NDs). This is a good way to inquire about how they make their services accessible to everyone in their community. Some NDs offer varying price points for those in need, others take a specified number of compassionate cases on a regular basis, etc.
Also, request a health coverage plan that includes naturopathic services from your employer and your insurance provider. Encourage your co-workers & colleagues to do the same. You just might be a catalyst for change in your work community.
8. Just because you don’t have coverage, doesn’t mean you can’t get it.
If you do not have coverage for naturopathic medicine you may be able to request it. It is in your best interest and the best interest of your employer for them to expand your coverage to include natural therapies. Naturopathic medicine is safe & effective.
Naturopathic medicine offers cost-effective alternatives to conventional treatment. This provides incentive for more insurance companies to investigate expanding coverage to include natural therapies.
9. I’m serious, DON’T WASTE THEM!
While most employers offering extended benefits include coverage for naturopathic medicine, not all do. Therefore if you have benefits for natural therapies, use them to the full extent of your rights. Make sure your loved ones benefit from them as well if they are covered under your plan. Make the most of your salary by not throwing your hard earned benefits away.
Dr. Mai Heath
ND, BA, Birth Doula
Medical Studies Tutor
Dr. Mai Heath received her medical training from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. Mai believes the therapeutic relationship is where the healing occurs. Educating patients on how to steer their own health outcomes is a conviction she’s developed after many years of work in education. Mai focuses her energies on total patient care through the mental, emotional, social, physical, and spiritual healing process. Eagerly guiding people on their wellness journey through individualized care and education leads to empowered and inspired communities. Mai has a special interest in perinatal care, family care, and lifestyle counselling. You can email Mai here.
Resources & references: