Fee for service care
It’s true. We are not used to paying for healthcare in Canada. Many of us are not even aware of the costs associated with this vital service. I feel very fortunate to live in a country where we have a public health care system.
Because Naturopathic medicine is focused on health promotion and disease prevention we can save the healthcare system money. Studies have shown that naturopathic care decreases visits to the emergency room, and helps take the burden off of our public healthcare system. We can also decrease long-term medication costs for companies and for individuals.
Naturopathic Medicine is covered by most extended health plans. Check with your provider for details. Alternatively, naturopathic services can be claimed as a medical expense on your tax return.
Financial accessibility is very important to us at Valley Naturopath
I would hope that cost would never prevent someone from being able to see a naturopathic doctor
The following is adapted from Masina Wright ND’s Website
Financial accessibility to health care is very important to me as a health professional. I offer a sliding scale to accommodate those who cannot afford to pay out-of-pocket for my services. I believe it’s important for everyone to feel empowered to prioritize health and wellness at a cost they can afford. I provide this service because I believe health and wellness are basic human rights.
I am always open to discuss financial need. I can offer shorter initial visits that are more affordable. Working with the comprehensive 90 minute initial visit allows us to take a complete medical history, physical exam, order lab tests, and to create a comprehensive treatment plan faster. The 45 minute half-initial visit is approximately half the cost, and allows patients to spread the financial cost and time commitment of health care over several weeks or months if needed. It may take longer to address every health concern; however, in 45 minutes we are still able to get a solid start on addressing the cause of your health concerns.
For patients who are truly low income, I will offer care at a low cost. For my own insurance purposes, I will need a form signed declaring that you are unable to afford full payment due to personal poverty. I also accept partial or full barter for service as a means of exchange. (eg. graphic design, gym membership, flowers, gluten-free baking.)
Factors to consider when asking for sliding scale fees can include
- Social status
- Assets (eg. car, house)
- Family support
- Regular paycheck
- Rent or own home?
- Is home paid off?
- Savings account
- Retirement plan
- Professional status
- Future income potential
- Want vs. need
- Choices about how to make money
- Ability / Disability
- Means of transportation
- Access to credit
- Inheritance/ trust fund
- Extended health coverage
What is good medicine worth to you in comparison to material goods?
Do you feel too broke to pay for a visit because you just bought $100 shoes or because you just spent a bunch of money on your truck or snowmobile? Are you cash-poor this week because you are paying for a larger expense, but own a home and have a regular paycheck? Perhaps you are richer in privilege and resources than you thought.
Health care is for everyone and my hope is that I will always be accessible for anyone in need. All you need to do is ask. In no way do I want to challenge my patients to pay more than they can afford. I also need to ensure that my time, education and services are valued.
I understand that money can be a delicate but important subject to discuss. It can be difficult to bring up, but you can feel safe doing so. Once you have done your own homework of looking honestly at your own factors to consider when asking for a sliding scale, I will consider my own factors of time and resources, and we can work out a financial arrangement together.
Dr. Katrina Traikov ND