Sunday, January 6, 2008

To wrap up ... Canadian healthcare coverage vs mine.

Okay, so what I've been reading is in Canada, IVF/IUIs are generally ~not~ covered. Drugs can be covered through workplace, but the maximum w/ most is $5,000. All testing and procedures surrounding IF is covered.

Hrm. Sounds like my regular old insurance I've had for the last 10 years. No infertility ~treatment~ coverage, but all tests and procedures to diagnose it are covered 100%. I paid nothing for all my office visits, blood work, HSGs, HSSs, diagnostic ultrasounds when related to cysts and all my surgeries. My meds were covered and I generally spent $5-10 for my clomid, femara, novarel, progesterone, estrace and whatever else I've had to take over the last 16 months.

I also have my Health Care Reimbursement Account (HCRA) through my workplace, which takes out however much I wish to contribute, pre-tax. This is ~fabulous~ by the way - if your company offers it - DO IT. For anyone who doesn't know, here's a quick US tax lesson for medical expenses.

Medical and Dental expenses are tax deductible here in the US. I recently printed out the document from the IRS and was actually quite amazed in regards to how much IS actually deductible. Let me just run through a few of the them. Abortion (can you believe it?!), Acupuncture, Addiction services like rehab, Bandages, Birth control pills, braille books and magazines, Chiropractor, Crutches, "Fertility Enhancement" (IVF, tube reversals, etc), Insurance premiums (although most people have this paid for pre-tax), Lead paint removal, Lodging (ie: if you had to stay at a hotel during your IVF week), Medications ~including~ over the counter, Psychiatric care, Psychoanalysis, Stop smoking programs, TVs if you need it for the subtitles because you are hearing impaired, Therapy, Transportation to go to and from doctor appointments (yes, in 2006, 18 cents a mile in gas was allowed), Trips to another city if the trip is used primarily for medical services, Weight loss programs and even Wigs if hair loss was from a medical condition. The list for what isn't covered is longer than the list that is covered, but really, did the IRS actually have to document "Dancing Lessons" are not included?

This is all well and good - but there IS a catch. You can deduct only the amount of your medical/dental expenses that is ~more than~ 7.5% of your adjusted gross income. Which blows. Let me give an example:

Let's say you spent $3,500 in eligible medical expenses for the year. And let's say your adjusted gross income is $40,000. Well, 7.5% of your AGI is $3,000. This would mean that only $500 of the $3,500 you spent would be eligible for you to deduct. LAME!!!

And this is why HCRAs are so awesome. I save 15% right off the top from federal taxes and 5% from state on ALL my HCRA dollars. And if I worked it right, hopefully it will be all my eligible medical expenses for the year, no more, no less (HCRA is a "use it or lose it, so it's scary when you start putting in big bucks). I think I put in $4,000 this year, which is an immediate $800 saved. Beats losing that first 7.5% from your AGI. Although if I miscalculate and spend WAY more, I'm screwed.

Though this was about Canadian coverage vs my coverage. Seems that when I kept getting told how much better it was to have Canadian coverage, there didn't end up being any difference at all!


Chas said...

Dancing lessons, lol...someone was probably told they should take dancing lessons to lose weight for a medical condition and tried to count it. When I worked for Blue Cross someone called to ask if their policy would cover the cost of installing a swimming pool...seriously.

Morgan said...

This comment actually has nothing to do with this post, but rather another one but it was so far down I didn't know if you would get the comment. I have some assvice for people, when you get your BFP..yeah be happy and excited and tell everyone...But is it neccesary to write a whole biography telling the story to everyone and how miraculous it was yada yada? Or is it just me being a bitch right now?

Shayna said...

So acupuncture IS deductable, huh?

Sweet. Probably won't be all that much, but hey, something is better then nothing.

God, I hate the IRS.

chicklet said...

The CDN coverage ain't that great. We have advantages in that all our diagnosis stuff is covered (like you said), and a decent amount of drugs are covered, but yea, IUI's, IVF, ICSI - all of that is out of pocket to us. So for example, IVF is generally $5000, but then it's another $750 to freeze embryos (I should be so lucky), and it's another $1500 for ICSI - all my pocket.

Where we're very very VERY lucky though, is maternity leave. We get a year, unless we choose to return early of our own free will. In most situations that year isn't paid, so we get bumped down to an unemployment rate (that has a max regardless your salary), but we still get a year off, and we get a LITTLE money. We can also split that year with our husbands - ie. he could take a month and I could take 11 months, and his month could overlap mine, it just means I get less time off.

nancy said...

I used to be jealous of Canada's maternity leave - that is until I had my own maternity leave. Mine was ~only~ 12 weeks paid and I thought that was so very little. But I was practically scratching at my office door to get back in by the end. I think about splitting it with the hubby and it almost makes me chuckle out loud. My husband stay home with a BABY. heh. And my husband is an exception to "most" fathers I know - he does SO much. But be a stay at home dad, everyday, to a baby? hehehe.

But that's just me. I bet there are thousands upon thousands of women who are green with jealousy in regards to Canada's maternity leave policy. I just ain't one of em! :)

trisha said...

damn nancy, where were you when i needed this info last month