On March 4, 2010, the Canadian government introduced their federal budget.
This budget contains amendments to the rules for the Medical Expense Tax Credit, which in turn affect the eligible conditions covered by the MEDdirect Private Health Services Plan.
In summary: the law will no longer permit purely cosmetic procedures to be covered by a private health services plan. However, those procedures may continue to be covered under certain circumstances.
Following is an excerpt from the budget:
Personal income tax measures
Medical Expense Tax Credit – Purely Cosmetic Procedures
An expense is generally eligible to be claimed under the Medical Expense Tax Credit if it is directly related to a disability or a medical condition. An expense is not generally intended to be eligible if it is ordinarily incurred by persons without a disability or a medical condition or has a substantial element of personal consumption and choice.
To ensure consistency with the intent of the Medical Expense Tax Credit, Budget 2010 proposes that expenses incurred for purely cosmetic procedures (including related services and other expenses such as travel) be ineligible to be claimed under the Medical Expenses Tax Credit. This generally includes surgical and non-surgical procedures purely aimed at enhancing one's appearance such as liposuction, hair replacement procedures, botulinum toxin (BoTox) injections, and teeth whitening.
A cosmetic procedure, including those identified above, will continue to qualify for the Medical Expense Tax Credit if it is required for medical or reconstructive purposes, such as surgery to ameliorate a deformity arising from, or directly related to, a congenital abnormality, a personal injury resulting from an accident or trauma, or a disfiguring disease.
(Source: Canada's Economic Action Plan, Year 2, Budget 2010)
Please see the revised list of covered conditions. And of course please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns.