by Don Reid, RRPr, Collingwood, ON (edited)
Okay, I have some good news about insurance.
The RRCO (Reflexology Registration Council of Ontario) has been officially recognized by Green Shield Canada as an accepted organization for Extended Health Insurance Plan (EHIP) reimbursement. This means that current RRPr may sign up on-line to become a registered Health Service Provider. If you have a client that has a Green Shield, EHIP that includes Reflexology, you will qualify to have your treatments reimbursed.
You must sign up on-line to register with Green Shield. Once you have completed the application, you will receive a Service Provider number. You will then need to activate your account to complete the process.
You can assign payment directly to yourself or your bank account, or you can have the plan member pay you directly the applicable amount, and assign payment directly to the plan member. Both you and the plan member immediately receive confirmation of applicable coverage significantly reducing claims processing and mailing times.
Here is the process to register:
1.Visit greenshield.ca and select the Health Service Providers icon from the homepage.
2. In the Sign In drop-down menu select Health Service Providers, choose Forms , then choose Health Professional.
3. Complete the online form. On the Registration page, select Provider Type and choose Reflexologist. Enter your business or professional name. Use the name of the clinic as your business or professional name if payments are made directly to the clinic. If you have not received a statement, use your first initial and last name as your business or professional name. (For example L SMITH, DR L SMITH, SMITH OPTICAL).
4. Follow Next Steps until Finish and you will receive your password in the mail within 5 business days.
5. Once you receive your password, you must activate your account.
6. Repeat steps 1-2 but select Activation instead of Registration.
7. Follow the next steps to create a password and complete activation.
Background and some cold hard facts about EHIP (Extended Health Care Insurance Plans)
Insurance is the hot topic of the day. The announcement that Green Shield Canada recognizes the RRCO is very exciting. The RRCO is working with other insurance companies as well. Each company handles claims differently. The RRCO has been working hard to establish working relationships with these companies. These are pioneering days!
When I got involved with Reflexology in 1996 it was a rare occurrence to find a client with an EHIP that included Reflexology. As rare as it was, I still managed to have a few clients that did. It was a wonderful feeling to give my client a receipt, have them submit it to their insurance company and then see them receive payment.
Over the past several years while I was AD of RRCO, Head Office has seen a steady increase in enquiries from insurance companies that offer EHIP. These enquiries range from wanting more information about RRCO, to verification of a registrants’ status. Today the RRCO verifies with insurance companies on a regular basis whether a RRPr is a registrant in good standing.
The fundamental root of concern is: many EHIP will only reimburse claims for Reflexology if provided by a regulated health professional. Recently our Chair received an enquiry from a registrant when the insurance company would only reimburse a Reflexlology treatment if it was provided by an RMT. To be fair and clear to all, EHIP that include Reflexology may or may not reimburse services provided by a RMT, other regulated health professional or an RRPr.
A very common enquiry received at head office is “can you give me a list of insurance companies that reimburse reflexology treatments”? For the record, the RRCO does not release specific information regarding EHIP, their carriers, employers or employees. Each plan is customized for the employer by the insurance company. The employer then in turn provides the plan to the employee. The insurance company writes the policy to accommodate the wishes of the employer. The employer customizes the plan to suit the needs of the employee.
The key word to pay attention to is ‘customized’. Some plans include Reflexology, some do not. Some plans will only reimburse service provided by a RMT or other regulated health professional, some will not. Some plans will reimburse service provided by a RRPr, some will not. There is no such thing as a standard EHIP. The bottom line for an RRPr is you may have a client that has coverage through a EHIP that will include Reflexology and may reimburse you for it. There is also also the chance they will not reimburse you.
As I said earlier, these are pioneering days. In 1996 there were very few EHIP that included Reflexology. Today there are many more. The announcement that RRCO is recognized by Green Shield is a pioneering step forward. We should all be proud and look to the future for more successes like this one!