At one of my recent Client Year-End Reviews, I was asked the question, “Why aren’t Nutritionist claims reimbursed?”. The client…a husband and wife team…had set up a Health Care Spending Account (HCSA) a few years ago and each year has made changes to their HCSA to suit their needs.
In the first year, they had set it up so that themselves and their high-school aged child were covered. They are very much in tune with “healing without drugs” and didn’t want to pay for prescription drug coverage and also be limited by the typical Medical Practitioner maximums in a Traditional Group Insurance program.
In fact, all they really wanted was to tax-effectively offset the costs of the monthly Chiropractor visits for all 3 of them. The solution for this was a Health Care Spending Account that would be funded so that they would be reimbursed for those Chiropractor visits plus a little “just in case” money…after all, if you don’t use all of what you deposit into the HCSA, then you roll the balance into the next year.
So, that was good for them for the first and second year. After the second year, they wanted to lower their monthly HCSA funding because now their high-school aged child was off to University where medical coverage was part of the tuition. No sense in continuing to fund for an amount that will definitely not get used.
Now, after the third year, they have discovered the value that a Nutritionist brings to their lives and want to use the services of a local Registered Nutritionist. Unfortunately, while a Registered Nutritionist is recognized by the Canada Revenue Agency, medical practitioners fall under the jurisdiction of Provincial Governments. A Registered Nutritionist is only eligible in Alberta, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Quebec…and, most important to my Clients…not in their province of residence, Ontario.
Since they have transitioned to using the Nutritionist more than the Chiropractor, they have decided to also lower their HCSA funding contributions. As simple as that.
An HCSA has definitely worked for these SmallBiz owners who are comfortable with not having the “what if” peace of mind that a Traditional Group Insurance program brings to the table. They would rather have the flexibility that an HCSA offers.
Located in Cambridge, ON Sharkey Group Insurance provides independent Employee Benefits advice & counsel for Small Businesses across Ontario.