Saskatchewan removes Chiropractic coverage – April 1, 2010
On March 24, 2010, the Government of Saskatchewan announced that effective April 1, 2010, it will no longer cover Chiropractic services for most Saskatchewan residents.
This communication applies to you if you have members residing in Saskatchewan.
Effective April 1, 2010, the Government of Saskatchewan eliminated Chiropractic coverage for most residents. Two groups will continue to be eligible for Chiropractic coverage up to a maximum of 12 treatments a year:
- Low-income individuals receiving Supplementary or Family Health Benefits, and
- Residents on the Senior’s Income Plan.
Currently the province covers a portion of the cost of a Chiropractic visit. Generally, your plan reimburses expenses in excess of the amount paid by the Saskatchewan government starting with the first visit.
With this change Saskatchewan joins virtually all other Canadian provinces in limiting coverage for Chiropractic services. Manitoba is the only province that provides universal coverage for Chiropractic services.
Impact to Plans covering Saskatchewan members with EHC coverage
Your plan previously reimbursed Chiropractic expenses in excess of the amount paid by the Saskatchewan medicare plan starting with the first visit. As a result of this change to provincial funding, the expected increase in costs to the Extended Health Care (EHC) rates for Saskatchewan members is on average 3.0% over a benefit year. This change in rates will be effective at your next renewal.
Cost Savings Options
To reduce or avoid the cost increase, you may decide to amend the Chiropractic provisions of your plan. Two suggested amendment options available to plan sponsors with typical Chiropractic coverage (no per visit limit or unusual benefit limitations) are as follows:
- You can apply a $25 per visit maximum to your Chiropractic benefit. Applying this visit maximum will offset the proposed rate increase.
- You can remove the chiropractor benefit from your EHC plan
If you would like to consider either option or discuss other alternatives, please contact your Group Insurance Advisor to make an amendment to your plan. Please note: any changes to your plan will be effective on the later of the effective date of your request or the 1st of the month following the date you make the request.
Impact on Members
Sun Life Financial now receives and adjudicates all expenses for Chiropractic services from Saskatchewan residents. Because we pay for the portion of the cost previously paid by the government, members may reach their chiropractor benefit maximum earlier.
If you have any questions regarding the changes to the Saskatchewan Health Budget and how they impact your group benefits plan, please contact your Group Insurance Advisor.
For additional information, please visit the Saskatchewan government Web site at www.health.gov.sk.ca/