Some of you have private health insurance through work, a retirement plan, or other means, and may therefore have better financial access to physiotherapy. Numerous plans cover all or a significant portion of the cost so be sure to ask your provider and click here to see if your plan qualifies for direct billing. However, many others do not have private coverage which is why a recent poll has found that Canadians are pleading to Health Canada to make physiotherapy a part of federal/provincial coverage. But until that happens (fingers crossed) you need to decide if a small investment in physiotherapy is worthwhile. It is, and here’s why.
5 Reasons Why You Should See a Physiotherapist Even When Your Health Insurance Provider Doesn’t Cover It
1. You’re Spending Money on Less Effective and Possibly Dangerous Painkillers
If you’re considering physiotherapy then you are probably experiencing pain from an acute or chronic injury. That means there’s a very good chance that you’re taking painkillers to get by. Whether off-the-shelf, over-the-counter (OTC), or obtained through a prescription there is a direct cost to purchasing the medication. Remember, this medication is nothing more than a temporary fix, providing relief for short periods of time before you need to pop another pill. Over time, your tolerance builds up and you need more to get the same pain relief. Not only is this dangerous to your health (more on this below) your costs increase. A bottle of Advil here, a bottle of T3s there, and so forth. By month’s end, you will likely have spent near or more than you would have on one session with a physiotherapist. And that session would have a direct impact on your ability to heal and abate pain symptoms. This is because not only will a physiotherapist work with you in the clinic, they will also provide you with a regime to be performed at home or in the gym so that you can take educated steps towards removing pain from your life. With painkillers, you are only masking the pain. That gets VERY expensive.
Of course, there is also a great danger to painkiller dependency, especially if you are taking prescription meds such as opioids. Opioids may not only put you in financial ruin, they may very well ruin your life and even result in death.
2. You’re Spending More on Wasteful Things
It’s not hard to find the money for a physiotherapy session when you don’t have insurance. The “for the price of one cup of coffee per day” expression is totally true, no matter how cliche. All you need to so is look around to see where you can cut some simple corners. Ask yourself, what is the cost of sacrificing one or a few activities or purchases when doing so can make the pain you’re living with go away for good? When you look at it this way, it’s not hard to see how you can make the money appear. Need some examples? By cutting out one of the following spending habits (some of which are not that healthy) you may become pain free and improve your physical function through physiotherapy:
- Buying one large cup of coffee per day (through the month)
- Going out for dinner as a couple/family (just once!)
- Going to the movies as a couple/family (just once!)
- Buying that one shirt or dress you probably didn’t need
- Going through one bottle of wine (or 4-pack of craft beer) each week
- Wasting money on cigarettes and/or vaping
- Accruing data overages on your smartphone
- Paying for TV channels you don’t even watch
- Other (you know you)
3. You’re Spending More on Less Effective Health Products and Services
You may be doing other things to correct your pain and/or physical dysfunction. Perhaps you’re seeing your gym’s fitness trainer a couple of times a month or spending a lot of disposable income to fill the cupboards with the latest health supplements. While these may absolutely be worthwhile, they don’t compare to what a professional physiotherapist can do to repair your muscles, joints, and ligaments. Look at fitness trainers and trending health supplements (outside of natural foods and a good multivitamin) as icing on the cake with physiotherapy being the primary line of offense/defense against injury and pain. If you only have enough in your budget for one – you know where to go.
4. The Financial Cost of Not Doing It Is Often Much Greater
Missed days of work, lower workplace performance, lost business opportunities due to physical absence and mental/emotional stress has a direct impact on your ability to bring in income. By investing in physiotherapy, you can directly increase productivity and therefore earning potential, may extend your income earning years (should you desire), and open up unexpected income opportunities. Learn more about why physiotherapy is a smart financial investment that delivers a powerful ROI.
There’s another savvy way physiotherapy plays into your financial plan, so keep reading.
5. You May Be Able to Write It Off at the End of the Year
When claiming combined family medical expenses at the end of the fiscal year, be sure to include all of your medical costs for you, your spouse, and your children under 18 and claim the total on either spouse’s return – these medical costs may include physiotherapy along with a note from your physician making the recommendation to see a physiotherapist. The CRA’s 3% rule excludes a certain amount of expenses, so depending on your income level, medical expenses (physiotherapy included) may not have an effect on your bottom line BUT it certainly doesn’t hurt to add it in there. Given that you don’t have private coverage, you probably don’t cross the barrier into “excessive” income so your shot at getting back a portion of physiotherapy is reasonable. On that note, if an injury is keeping you from reaching your full income potential, and you undertake physiotherapy to correct this, there’s a very reasonable chance that you can claim a portion of it in your taxes, especially if you run your own business. Talk to your accountant today to find out.
If you reside in Burnaby or anywhere in Greater Vancouver BC please contact Absolute Physiotherapy to discuss options that will work within your budget. We will find a course of action that works for your unique needs – so don’t be shy.