Finding Budget Money: Medical Expenses

Finding Budget Money: Medical Expenses

I won the lottery today! Well, not really.  I got to park at the hospital for free and for me, free parking is like winning the lottery.

I’ve been going to a lot of appointments and tests lately and I have found these medical expenses are really adding up. The cost of parking at most Windsor Hospitals is running around $5-$7 per day. Of course I always forget to bring cash with me so I am withdrawing cash from ATM’s that have service fees attached. This can add another $3 to that parking fee. Don’t even think about not paying for parking! The going rate for a parking ticket in Windsor is $25, unfortunately I know this too well (Shout out to Sherry at the Parking Enforcement Office!).

Tests and Exams can be expensive as well, not all tests and exams are covered by OHIP or drug plans. Did you know if you wanted to get your Vitamin D levels tested you would have to pay for that test? Most drug plans have an extended health plan but it may not cover everything. If for example you wanted to see a counsellor regarding stress, you may be required to pay out of pocket, or your benefit plan will require you to go to a Master of Social Work.

Sometimes you need to go out of town to get special tests or procedures. It’s important to think of your out of town expenses. Hotels, parking and meals can add up for you and your support person.

These are some things you can do to try and reduce your costs.

  1. Check with your benefit provider. See what services and tests are covered before you schedule them.
  2. Start savings your spare change for parking. Use a change purse and slip loonies and twonies in there when you break a bill.
  3. Ask your doctor for free samples. Sometimes a particular brand of medication may not be covered. Your doctor may provide you with some free samples.
  4. Check out the Trillium Drug Plan. It helps people with high prescriptions drug costs, and is based on an income index.
  5. Keep those receipts! See if any of your medical expenses are eligible to be claimed on your taxes. Check out the Canada Revenue Agency for more information.

~ Nicole Olsen

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