In 2015, an incorporated small business owner from Vancouver, BC discovered that his five-year-old son was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome.
In a quest to assist his son gain the best medical care for his condition, he embarked on a journey to identify and pay for the most effective treatments.
This is his story.
Hello, my name is Gary and I would like to tell you about my experience in dealing with private healthcare coverage for my son, who was determined to have Asperger's Syndrome in 2015.
The provincial health care system provided my son's initial diagnosis; however, there was not much else they could do. They strongly recommended that I look into specialized private initiatives to best assist my son.
From my research, as a first step, I was able to find a specialized Asperger's/Autism camp for children that came highly recommended by other parents of Autistic kids.
My son was having difficulty communicating, speaking and socializing and this camp experience provided hope to significantly assist him in this regard.
The problem, of course, was price: camp fees along with travel costs was approximately $12,000.
As a small business owner, I was paying a hefty monthly premium for private health insurance for my family, but in no shape or form did it offer coverage for this type of medical cost.
And I couldn't afford to self-insure by paying $12,000 out-of-pocket using post-tax dollars. That would mean that I would need to earn about $20,000 through my business to pay myself the $12,000. I simply couldn't do it in a relatively short time frame.
That's when a friend of mine told me about a Health Spending Account or "HSA".
For a flat fee of $499 for 12-months of use, I signed up online and had my business pay the $12,000 for the travel and registration fees using pre-tax dollars. This I could do. By saving approximately $8,000, I was able to make it happen.
Any expense related to medical treatment, including travel, was eligible under an HSA.
My son and I attended the camp for 3 weeks. The results have been remarkable. To say we both learned a lot would be an understatement. I also made invaluable connections with other parents and we now communicate and network to discuss how our kids are doing and exchange ideas and findings.
It's now been 16 months since completing the camp and my son is doing very well. We're planning on going again later this year and I will be again using the HSA to pay for it.
Traditional health insurance let me down and I have since cancelled it.
A Health Spending Account made all the difference for my child.
Would you like to learn more about a Health Spending Account? If you own a small business or are an incorporated professional, take a look at Olympia's Beginner's Guide to Health Spending Accounts.