Trying to cram in last minute appointments isn't always the best choice.
Many Torontonians enjoy healthcare benefits via their employers which may cover chiropractic, physiotherapy, massage therapy, and psychotherapy appointments (in part or entirely). But many folks make the mistake of neglecting their benefits until the end of the year rolls around and then hope to max out their plans in a short time frame. Unfortunately, this isn't always doable.
Healthcare Benefits: What you Shouldn't Do
The truth is, December is arguably the busiest month of the year for most clinics. Part of the reason is all of the people clamouring to use the benefits they forget about all year. As a result, there is a high chance you will not be able to schedule enough visits at the end of the year to "use up" your allotted benefits.
Massages in particular can be extremely difficult to schedule in December as many people are buying massage therapy gift certificates for loved ones as gifts.
By trying to schedule dozens of visits in December, many people achieve the opposite of what they're trying to do. The schedule is too busy to accommodate them, and they let their benefits for the year go to waste.
Healthcare Benefits: What you Should Do
Most companies allot a specific amount of money for each type of healthcare practice. You have access to this all year long. Now, while you may think getting a massage or an adjustment at times is unnecessary --- if you have the coverage, you should use it!
Pain management services aren't just for acute situations; a relaxing massage or even an acupuncture session can be part of your regular self-care routine. You don't need a serious concern to visit the clinic, and if your employer is providing you with this perk, you should spread it out throughout the year.
Tips for Making the Most of Your Healthcare Benefits
Follow these strategies to guarantee you get your money's worth of appointments and treatments:
Spread your benefits throughout the entire year to secure available appointments. Most plans "reset" at the end of December or the beginning of January.
Triple-check your plan's documents and fine print. Call your insurance company to discuss details like your maximums for each service and how much is allowed per appointment.
Understand that insurance companies will develop their own "reasonable and customary" service prices, which may be slightly less than a treatment cost.
Ask a receptionist if they can see if you've reached your maximum coverage for the year. When submitting a claim, they can see when you run out.
Remember that most plans will subtract a deductible when your plan resets.
Find yourself a practitioner you can trust. Whether it's a massage therapist or a physiotherapist, regularly seeing one person ensures higher quality care vs "shopping around," and helps you build a relationship.