Effective July 1, 2012, Alberta seniors will receive coverage for chiropractic services as part of the Coverage for Seniors health benefit plan, sponsored by Alberta Health and administered by Alberta Blue Cross. Seniors enrolled in the plan will receive coverage up to a limit of $25 per visit, to a maximum of $200 per benefit year (July 1 – June 30).
“This is a definite win for Albertans,” says Dr. Clark Mills, president of the Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors (ACAC). “All Albertans, including those with limited or no extended health care coverage, deserve a choice of accessible and effective health care options.”
Improved access to chiropractic care supports seniors in their desire to lead healthy and independent lives. “One of the issues that impacts seniors the most is decreased mobility,” says Dr. Mills, who practices in Stony Plain. “Chiropractic has been proven to be very effective in improving mobility.”
The discontinuation of chiropractic funding in 2009 had a particularly hard-hitting effect on seniors, many of whom have minimal if any extended health care coverage. The ACAC strongly felt it was important for government to support seniors in their health care needs and we have continued to lobby for chiropractic coverage for this population.
The reinstatement of chiropractic coverage for seniors is a fulfillment of a promise made by Alison Redford during her run for PC party leadership and subsequently announced in the 2012/13 provincial budget. The government estimates this new benefit will positively impact more than 450,000 Alberta seniors.
“On behalf of our patients, we appreciate the government’s commitment to choice for Albertans in their efforts to achieve a healthy lifestyle,” says Dr. Mills.