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Private Health Insurance Plans


In Canada, the term, private health services plan, ordinarily applies to some or all of the following:

  1. extended medical insurance, such as prescription drugs and semi-private hospital rooms

  2. dental benefits 

  3. vision or eye care benefits

In order to be considered a benefit the plan must:

A. cover either medical or hospital expenses such as:  

  1. payments to a medical practitioner, nurse, dentist, public or private hospital for medical or dental services

  2. remuneration for attendant care or the cost of full-time care in a nursing home or other institution

  3. transportation of patients to or from hospitals, by ambulance

  4. a patient, and if required an attendant, has to travel to obtain medical services not available locally

  • fares paid for trips in excess of 40 kilometres

  • reasonable costs where no such transport was available, for trips of 40 to 79 kilometres

  • reasonable costs for trips of 80 kilometres or more

5. medical aids such as artificial limbs or eyes, wheel chairs, crutches, braces, trusses, speaking or hearing aids, iron lungs or oxygen tents or artificial kidney machines

6. products, such as diapers, required because of incontinence caused by illness or injury

7. prescription eye glasses or contact lenses

8.seeing eye dogs for blind, deaf or impaired persons, including maintenance and training,  

9. reasonable expenses for bone marrow or organ transplants, including a person to accompany the patient and costs to arrange the transplant,  

10 reasonable renovation costs related to access to or mobility within the home of a patient who lacks normal physical development or who has a severe or prolonged mobility impairment,  

11.reasonable expenses for the rehabilitation of a person suffering hearing or speech loss, including lip reading or sign language training,  

12. a wide variety of medicines, equipment, aids, devices prescribed by a medical practitioner and related to physical impairments, conditions or syndromes (see Federal Income Tax Regulation Section 5700 for a full list),  

13. laboratory tests, radiography or other diagnostic procedures as prescribed by a medical practitioner, and  

14. payments to a dental mechanic.  

B. It must be a formal plan.  

C. There must be an element of risk.  

Under federal jurisdiction employer contributions to private health care plans are not taxable. Neither are benefits received by the employee from the plan.
In Quebec, the employer contribution to private health plans is taxable.

Last updated: 03-04

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