Financial Assistance: Medical Treatment
In the second instalment of our blog posts on financial assistance, we examine the options that injury victims have in paying for medical treatment.
The basics – emergency room visits, and follow-up appointments with family doctors and specialists – are covered under BC’s Medical Services Plan. Often, however, our clients need additional treatment from physiotherapists, kinesiologists, psychologists, and other health care professionals. The cost of these services can add up quickly.
For injured persons who are covered under an extended health plan – usually through their employer or their spouse’s employer – treatments would likely be paid for or reimbursed through this plan. Most post-secondary students will also be covered under an extended health plan through their college or university. These plans typically cover most or all of the cost of each treatment. Additionally, those who are covered under MSP’s Premium Assistance plan receive partial coverage: up to $23 per visit will be reimbursed, to a maximum of 10 visits per year.
For those without an extended health plan, or for whom these benefits do not provide sufficient coverage, there are several other options. Those who are injured in a motor vehicle accident are entitled to “Part 7” accident benefits. These benefits cover a portion of the cost of attending various treatments. For our clients who have suffered whiplash or other soft tissue injuries, we are often able to have ICBC pay the complete cost of an active rehabilitation program or chiropractic treatment.
Part 7 benefits do not always cover the entire cost of treatment, and this can create hardship for accident victims who have a lower income, or who are having financial difficulty as a result of the accident. Our firm can arrange for injured clients to attend treatments with no up-front cost under a “direction to pay”. Under this arrangement, the treating clinic will send us the bill, and direct us to pay it when the injury claim settles. When negotiating a settlement with ICBC, we will add the cost of the treatment to the client’s claim. In this way, an injured person can access the health care they need, without spending money out-of-pocket.
Our experienced ICBC lawyers in Vancouver, Surrey, and the Lower Mainland work together to ensure that our clients can afford to access the treatment they need. If you have been injured in an accident, call us for a free consultation to find out how we can help you.Go back to Blog