Our children get sick more often than we do because their immune systems are not as developed. At back-to-school time, you may worry about things like your child’s academic performance but its also important to keep an eye of your child’s health. There are many health issues your child can face as they get back to the classroom.
Under the Canada Health Act, all Canadian residents, including children, have access to medically necessary treatment through their province or territory’s health insurance plan. In certain provinces and territories, some children may enjoy more comprehensive benefits than adults. Because of this additional coverage, you may think you don’t need to purchase an individual insurance plan for your family—but that kind of thinking could end up costing you a lot of money.
There may be many products and services that are not covered under your provincial plan that your child may need, leaving your family vulnerable to the financial impact of an unexpected illness or injury. Consider these health concerns your school-age child may face.
Your child has vision issues
The Canadian Association of Optometrists recommend that children should have at least one eye exam before they start school every year to ensure optimal vision and development. Its important to test for
- color perception
- lazy eye
- crossed eyes
- eye coordination
- depth perception
- your child’s ability to focus.
Squinting, tilting the head and holding handheld devices too closely are just some of the signs your child may have a vision problem.
As much as 80% of learning is visual, so ensuring children can see properly will help them reach their full potential in the classroom. The cost of eye exams for children up to 18 years of age is covered by your Provincial Health Care.
While most provinces cover the cost of eye exams for children, the cost of prescription glasses or lenses is not covered. Health insurance can help families with eyewear costs.
You suspect your child has a hearing or speech problem
If you suspect your child may have a hearing or speech problem, check with your doctor for a referral to an audiologist and/or speech specialist for screening. An undetected problem could interfere with your child’s learning. Speech therapy may be needed.
Speech therapy is also a common type of treatment for non-typical ADHD symptoms. As a child develops, he or she may have trouble pronouncing words or speaking clearly, well after they should be able to do so. A speech therapist can help your child sound out words and catch up with their speech skills.
Some of these therapies may be covered by your health insurance plan. If you aren’t sure, refer to your benefit booklet or talk to an insurance broker and they will be able to tell you exactly what your child is covered for. Some services will require a physician’s note, so be sure to include that with the first claim.
Check for back issues
It’s important to monitor your child for scoliosis, a sideways curvature of the spine that most often is diagnosed in adolescents. Most cases of scoliosis are mild, but some curves worsen as children grow. Mild curves can develop without you or your child knowing it because they appear gradually and usually don’t cause pain. Occasionally, teachers, friends and sports teammates are the first to notice a child’s scoliosis.
If untreated for a prolonged period scoliosis can lead to chronic back pain in adulthood. Watch your child for:
- Uneven shoulders
- One shoulder blade that appears more prominent than the other
- Uneven waist
- One hip higher than the other
- One side of the rib cage jutting forward
- A prominence on one side of the back when bending forward.
Treatment for severe issues may involve surgery or medical equipment like braces. Most often alternative and complementary therapy can benefit some children like massage, physiotherapy, or chiropractic care. Over the years, these treatments can amount to thousands of dollars. Health insurance helps cover the costs, to protect you from these out-of-pocket expenses.
Your health insurance will help protect you against healthcare expenses
Getting back to school can be fun and being prepared for a healthy school year is important. Learning that your child has a health issue can be challenging and stressful, and health insurance is a big help to ensure you don’t have to struggle to pay out of pocket for unexpected healthcare costs for you and your family’s medical care like
- basic and major dental care (such as orthodontics), and dental repair for tooth fractures, dislodged teeth, and loosened teeth
- medical equipment like wheelchairs and braces and crutches
- prescription medications
- physiotherapy or chiropractic visits
- vision care with glasses and contact lenses
- hearing aids
- registered specialists and therapists including chiropodists, naturopaths, registered massage therapists, acupuncturists or speech and audio therapists
- registered psychologist or psychotherapists to deal with anxiety.
Together, the comprehensive range of benefits makes individual health and dental insurance a strong foundation for managing your family healthcare expenses.
SBIS can help you choose a health insurance plan that’s right for your family
If you do decide that obtaining an individual health insurance plan is the right decision for you and your family, you’ll want to make sure you choose one that meets your needs. Just as coverage varies by province, it also varies by insurance plan. It is important to find out what products and services are covered, as well as what is excluded. If your child has a pre-existing condition, you need to know whether or not treatment associated with it will be covered. Don’t forget to consider all the costs of the plan you purchase, including premiums and co-payments.
With so many things to think about, choosing the right plan may seem overwhelming, but a knowledgeable insurance professional at SBIS can assess your individual situation and help you review the options available, so you can make an informed decision about a plan that is right for you and your family. If you prefer this personal touch, simply give us a call Monday to Friday 8:45 a.m. – 4:45 p.m. Eastern Time at 1-800-667-0429 or 416-601-0429, message us on our online chat or get in touch using our online contact us form 24/7.
If you are ready to make your health plan choice, you can get health insurance quotes, results, applications, and all things associated with your health insurance questions served up quickly and online at SBIS.