PHSP and Travel Expense Claims
What follows are two real life customer stories. Names will not be used to protect the privacy of the people involved.
A PHSP customer of Olympia Benefits runs a small farm in rural Alberta (note: for the purpose of saving tax dollars this could be any rural area). There is not much in the way of medical services, vision care, or therapeutic care, such as physiotherapy, available in this small town. Consequently, most treatment modalities require travelling to a center that has the appropriate medical facilities. The closest center is 44 kilometers from their home.
On a recent, trip they had chiropractic services performed and managed to visit the dentist for a check-up and teeth cleaning. These services are eligible medical services under the income tax act. They promptly made a claim for reimbursement for the medical expenses with Olympia when they returned home. In addition, they were eligible to be reimbursed for the cost of the travel between their home and where the services took place.
In Alberta, that amounts to 53 cents a kilometer – so they were also able to claim $46.64 for travel expenses. An alternative is to submit gas receipts for the dates of travel service.
On occasion, the same Olympia customer required a medical service that was only available on a timely basis in a major medical facility in the USA. This service was available in Canada but the wait time was over six months and the inconvenience to our customer as a result of their condition necessitated a faster remedy. They chose the US destination for the service.
As the travel distance now exceeded 80 Kilometers, in addition to the travel costs (economy class air fare), our customer can claim reimbursement for meals, accommodations, parking as well as the costs associated with a companion travelling with the patient if deemed necessary. An eligible travel expense claim of this magnitude represents a significant savings. Too bad telephone charges, movie charges and room service can’t be claimed as well.