Medical and Dental

Medical and Dental

A Huge Mistake Made by Most Medical and Dental Websites

Posted on August 22, 2018 in Uncategorized

Multiple marketing studies have found that 87% of people never read an entire web page. They skim and scan and generally only read the bullet points. For this reason, the initial pages that a visitor sees on a website should consist only of bullet points and easy to identify navigation links.

People don’t want to read a lot of information while hunting. They switch from hunting to gathering and are ready to read only when they feel they are at the right place on your website. If they are interested in what you have to say, they are willing to navigate 3-4 pages deep to get the information.

Let’s put these statistics into perspective with a medical or dental website. In a recent study by Google, they found that when a patient conducts a search for a medical practice or dental practice, 84% of the time they only want one of two things:

1. They want the practices phone number and/or
2. They want directions to the practice.

If 87% of the general population only skims the page and reads the bullet points, and 84% of your visitors only want your phone number or directions to your office; why is it that medical and dental websites make it difficult for the visitor to find the information they are seeking? They make a visitor muddle through large blocks of text to uncover the information that they seek. This is a huge mistake that is made by most medical and dental websites.

How to Get Affordable Medical and Dental Insurance Plans

Posted on August 21, 2018 in Uncategorized

Finding affordable medical and dental insurance plans can be as difficult as it is important.

Your family’s overall health depends on everyone getting regular checkups so that problems can be treated while they’re small and manageable. But where can you find cheap health coverage for yourself and your family?

Consider Your Options

If your employer offers health insurance benefits, participating in that policy is usually your cheapest option. However, you may work part-time or for a small company that doesn’t offer benefits.

Alternatively, you may be self-employed or unemployed. Does that mean you have to give up on having inexpensive health coverage? Fortunately, the answer is no. You still have some options available to you.

One option is to find a group that you can buy insurance through, such as a professional organization or a credit union. Like businesses, groups benefit from lower costs because the risk is spread over more people.

Another option is to buy your own individual or family plan. While this option can be pricey, you can lower your costs in several ways.

Lowering Your Costs

One way to lower your costs is to choose and HMO or PPO plan. With one of these types of plans, you pay lower premiums in exchange for choosing a health care provider from a specified list.

Another way to lower your costs is to search for a policy from an insurance comparison website. On one of these websites, you fill out a simple online form with information about yourself and your insurance needs. Once you submit the form, you’ll receive quotes from multiple companies.

Using a comparison website, you can quickly and easily compare quotes from several companies and be able to choose the least expensive quote that meets your needs.

On the best comparison websites, you can also talk with an insurance professional and get answers to your questions, plus get advice on how to lower your premium.

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2010 Tax Credits for Canadians – Meals and Travel Deductions for Medical and Moving Expenses

Posted on August 20, 2018 in Uncategorized

Did you know you can write off the cost of travel, including meals, gas, and auto maintenance, to seek medical treatment if it is not available within 40km of your home?

Did you know you can write off the cost of moving, including meals, gas, and auto maintenance, to a new home in many cases?

Did you know that your private (not public provincial plans like MSP) medical and dental plan premiums are an eligible medical expense? So are eyeglasses and dental work and gluten-free food for people with Celiac disease, just to name a few.

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has released its Travel and Meal Expense Rates for 2010. For meals, you can either keep your receipts and submit for full claim, or you can choose to use the simplified method and claim a flat $17 per meal, to a maximum of $51/per day, per person. For auto expenses, you can keep detailed receipts for insurance, gas, repairs, total km driven in a year, and then calculate the cost per km driven in a year. You would then apply that rate to the kms you drove solely for the moving expense or medical travel expense. Or, once again, the CRA offers a simplified method where you use a straight per-km rate for your province, and multiply it by the actual kms traveled for the medical or moving expense. In BC the rate is $0.52 per km; the highest is $0.605 for the Yukon Territories. For all provinces, visit the CRA website under Meal and Vehicle Rates Used to Calculate Travel Expenses.

A lot of people don’t realize that they can claim a tax credit for many different and common medical expenses. If you have an “extended” or private health and dental plan through work, you can claim the premiums you paid (not if your employer paid them on your behalf; not any public provincial-sponsored plan; and not any life insurance portion) for the year. So check your last paystub from December – you may have paid over $1000 just in premiums this year! Other allowable expenses are eyeglasses, dental work, hearing aids, prescription drugs, and chiropractor visits – just remember, it’s only the portion of the expense that you have not been reimbursed for. There is an easy-to-read list of allowable medical expenses on the CRA website – it’s worth a quick browse through to see if you are eligible to claim any of them.

Now that I’ve got you all excited, a few things to note: You can claim expenses for you, your spouse/common-law, and your dependent children 18 or younger. The claim must be 3% of your net income, or $2024, whichever is lower. Either spouse can claim, you just need to do the math to see who it benefits more. You can claim your expenses for any 12-month period ending in 2010, that were not claimed in 2009. So, if you had a bunch of medical expenses in 2009 that you never realized you could claim, you can claim them in 2010, as long as you only claim for a twelve-month period. Your other option is to write CRA and ask for a re-assessment for prior years, submitting the necessary documentation. I did this about 4 years ago, after I found out a year later I could claim all the travel and meal expenses for my daughter’s numerous Ophthalmology exams. It was an easy process, and within 6 months I had just under $300 refunded to me by Mr.Revenue Canada. A small, but sweet justice for all those long kilometres spent stuck in traffic….

For a complete explanation on claiming medical expenses on line 330 of your return, visit the CRA website and look at their 2010 General Income Tax and Benefit Guide – start at page 43. Please note there are extra benefits available to low-income earners, as well as for other dependents, such as adult children and other family members. Check the guide for more info.

For moving expenses, CRA allows you to claim expenses if you moved 40km or more closer to attend post-secondary school full-time, to carry on a business, or to be employed. Some of the expenses you can claim are storage and transportation costs, travel expenses including meals and accommodations, temporary accommodations, legal and realty fees if you had to sell your home, vacancy costs if your home doesn’t sell, utility hook-up and disconnection fees, and the cost to change your address and driver’s license. Again, look at CRA’s website under Line 219 – Moving Expenses for a complete understanding.

Take a few minutes to look back at 2010 and see if you had any medical expenses or moving expenses that you think you can claim. Ask your tax professional for advice. Go back up to ten years and see if you have any claims you didn’t make, but were eligible for, and ask for the re-assessment. But my favourite saying is “claim everything reasonable and honest, and let the CRA tell you what you can’t deduct!” The worst they can do is say no, and you won’t get a deduction. The best you can do is get more of your hard-earned money back in your wallet.

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