When clients first consult us following a motor vehicle accident, many ask how they will be able to afford the treatment they need to recover.
Some forms of treatment, such as visits with your family doctor, are funded by OHIP. However, services provided by most healthcare professionals, including physiotherapists, occupational therapists and social workers, are usually not funded by OHIP and must be paid for through other means.
There are several options available to fund treatment costs:
Extended healthcare benefits
Extended healthcare benefits are most often available through your employer. Extended healthcare benefits provide funds up to a specified maximum for some medical services and products not covered by OHIP. The amount available varies by plan, but generally ranges from $500.00-$1,000.00 per calendar year for each type of provider.
Accident benefits, also known as no-fault benefits, are available through your automobile insurer. The amount that is available for treatment varies depending on the severity of your injuries and whether optional benefits were purchased. If your injuries are considered “minor”, you will have access to $3,500.00 for treatment. If your insurer accepts that your injuries are not “minor”, then you will have access to up to $65,000.00 in funding for treatment (unless optional benefits were purchased). If your injuries are deemed to be catastrophic, you will have up to $1,000,000.00 in funding for treatment.
If another driver is at least partially responsible for the accident, you may be able to commence a lawsuit. Lawsuits can take a long time to settle and are unlikely to be a good source of funds for treatment in the short term. However, if your lawsuit is ultimately successful, you may receive compensation that is intended to cover your future treatment costs as well as any treatment expenses that were not covered by your accident benefits carrier.
If you have an ongoing lawsuit, treatment providers are sometimes willing to defer payment for their services until your case settles. Once your case settles, payment for the services you received as well as any interest incurred comes out of settlement funds. The availability of this option will depend on your specific case.
Finally, if you have an ongoing lawsuit, you may be able to take out a litigation loan. A litigation loan is a special form of loan where funds for treatment are advanced by a litigation lender and are paid back when your case settles. Litigation loans bear a high rate of interest.
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident and have questions about how to access or pay for treatment, please reach out to Siskinds’ Personal Injury Group to discuss your options.