Physiotherapy provides many benefits to seniors. But covering the cost of physiotherapy can be difficult if you don’t have the resources to help you choose the best options for your needs.
The Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) offers benefits that help cover the cost of various health care services.
For seniors looking to obtain high-quality physiotherapy services, the following gives you everything you need to know to understand how OHIP can help.
The growing need for physiotherapy among seniors
Seniors represent a growing population with a unique set of needs related to health care and other personal services.
As individuals age, they experience health issues that must be addressed to prevent more serious conditions while improving their quality of life.
Local governments recognize the importance of physiotherapy and other health services to help seniors overcome problems related to chronic pain, mobility, injuries, surgery, and disease.
Many estimate that the number of Ontario residents over the age of 65 will double within the next 20 years, which will increase the prevalence of chronic health conditions.
Understanding OHIP coverage
The Ontario Health Insurance Plan provides coverage for health services including medical and emergency care. In some cases, OHIP may cover all of the costs while in others it may only cover a portion of the total cost.
OHIP is managed by the Ontario government to provide health insurance plans for residents. It’s funded through the payroll deduction tax as well as transfer payments made by the Government of Canada.
Businesses that are located in the Province of Ontario also contribute to the funding of OHIP, and all Ontario residents are entitled to ongoing and emergency care without any cost.
In 2004, residents were required to begin paying a health premium along with their income taxes to further support OHIP funding.
What OHIP Doesn’t Cover
Ontario residents must understand what services aren’t covered by OHIP such as dental services and prescription medication costs. But seniors can take advantage of the Ontario Drug Benefit Program and the Trillium Drug Program if needed.
Services that aren’t medically necessary are also not covered by OHIP. These include cosmetic and other elective surgeries.
In 2004, many eye exams and chiropractic services were removed from the list of covered services.
Initially, physiotherapy was also part of the services that were “delisted,” but it was only restricted to individuals over the age of 65 and under the age of 19 along with patients living in long-term care facilities.
Others, such as those who have been hospitalized and residents on the Ontario Disability Support Program, Ontario Works, and Family Benefits, could also qualify for physiotherapy coverage.
The provisions of OHIP continue to be updated over time. So it’s important that you stay up-to-date with the latest policies related to coverage.
There are health care services that are partially covered. These include services provided by doctors, osteopaths, and chiropractors. Costs related to travel required to receive services may also be partially covered by OHIP.
You may also be eligible to receive partial coverage for some dental and eye care services.
OHIP and physiotherapy services
In 2013, OHIP funding for physiotherapy treatments was expanded by the Ministry of Health. This allowed more residents to obtain the physiotherapy services they need to overcome chronic health issues.
This expansion of coverage focused on providing physiotherapy treatments for specific conditions as well as the implementation of home exercise programs, patient education, and services that are goal-oriented.
Some services such as group exercise and other classes aren’t covered, as well as equipment needed for home use and treatments that are already funded through a worker’s compensation, CCAD, or other programs.
Benefits for seniors
Focus physiotherapy helps seniors maintain a high quality of life while restoring movement, function, balance, and other aspects of health. It can aid in the recovery from surgery and injury.
The use of physiotherapy helps seniors maintain their independence so that they can live at home and minimize the need for private home care services or the use of a long-term care facility.
Physiotherapy allows you to meet the demands of your normal daily activities. It helps seniors maintain the ability to walk up and down stairs, care for themselves and their homes, and enjoy time with loved ones.
The following are other benefits that physiotherapy provides to seniors:
- Recovery from bone fractures
- Strength development
- Joint stability and mobility
- Pre- and post-surgery care
- Reducing or eliminating chronic pain symptoms
Your physiotherapist provides you with a customized treatment plan that gives you lasting results. Through the use of resistance exercises, stretches, mobilizations, and other modalities, Focus Physiotherapy helps you achieve optimal health and freedom from pain.
Manual therapy, occupational training, and the use of supportive devices can also be incorporated in your physiotherapy treatment.
Understanding OHIP and the coverage it provides for physiotherapy will help you obtain the services you need while reducing your out-of-pocket expenses.
Contact Focus Physiotherapy for more information on how physiotherapy can help you improve your health and vitality for years to come.