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Tag Archive for: Insurance


Help Make OT Services More Affordable For All

The profession of Occupational Therapy is holistic, comprehensive, and addresses the many challenges children, adults and seniors face throughout the lifespan.  Through direct therapy, education, devices, and consultation, Occupational Therapy helps people to manage better physically, emotionally, cognitively and behaviorally while completing tasks at home, work, school, or in the community.  So, if OT is so helpful, why is it not included on most benefit plans?  It is time to help people to have access to this impactful profession!

You can help by signing and sharing the petition by clicking on the link below. By signing you are asking for insurance companies, major unions and large employers to recognize OT as a valuable service and include OT services in Extended Health Benefits.

Together we can create change!  Include Occupational Therapy on Extended Health Benefit Plans


Auto Insurance: How Much Have you Overpaid?

A recent study conducted by the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association shows that between 2001 and 2013 Ontarians have overpaid an estimated $3 to $4 billion in auto insurance premiums.  The recent Ontario budget calls for a reduction to these premiums, but at a huge cost in accident benefits.  Find out more about the study and help by signing the petition to stop the reduction to benefits for accident victims.

CBC:  Ontario drivers overpaid $840M for auto insurance a year, study says

Petition:  Stop Reducing Ontario Accident Benefits


“Auto” Mobiles: Cars that Drive Themselves

Julie Entwistle, MBA, BHSc (OT), BSc (Health / Gerontology)

It was years ago that I saw a picture of a new prototype Mercedes.  No steering wheel, no gas, brake or clutch – just a joystick that did it all.  My instant thought was of how many of my clients would be able to drive a car like that – it would just take one working upper limb.  No more bulky hand controls, complicated steering apparatus, or wires and cords connecting it all.

More recently I read an article on “cars that drive themselves”.  Amazing.  Imagine that.  Assuming the technology works, these would eliminate accidents, injuries, and the human problems of driving distracted, tired, while texting, eating, putting on mascara, being under the influence, or even getting lost.  It would be like having a driver or a limo every day.  No more tragedies of injury and death at the hands of neglect or mistake.  This has huge potential to help make transportation time both safer and more productive. 

What struck me, however, was that the article I read was written from the perspectives of Ontario insurance companies and body shops. They were expressing concern that “cars that drive themselves” will result in fewer accidents which will lower insurance rates (less insurance profit) and will reduce auto-body repairs.  Sorry, what?  REDUCING accidents is a problem?  I don’t see any health care professionals writing articles or blogs on how devastating it would be to have a reduction in clients who were severely or catastrophically injured in a car accident.  Clearly a health professional would look like a schmuck if they voiced that opinion, as do these deep-pocket and greedy insurers and the body shops they are in bed with.

It just goes to reinforce the problem in Ontario.  Insurance companies cry fraud, losses and keep suffocating benefits without reducing rates.  The government adds restrictions and fees for billing insurance companies and starts to “license” providers.  They blame lawyers, providers, tow-truck drivers, and claimants without looking in house at how they are running their “business”.  Then they show up with an opinion that expresses concern over lost revenue if people stop getting hurt.  Wow.  Disappointing.

I have said it before and will say it again – I would be happy to be out of work if it meant people would stop getting injured in car accidents.  If insurers truly cared about the people they insured they should be all for it.  But then again the incidence of car accidents and resulting injuries have been decreasing for years and our rates have not.  Enough said.


The Government Gets it Wrong – Again!

Sorry people of Ontario, but I feel that the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) is an embarrassment.  In short, FSCO is a FIASCO. 

FIASCO is responsible for regulating and governing our provincial auto insurance product.  And what a mess it is.  If you read up on articles about auto insurance, benefits and changes, the comments are hilarious.  Ontarians seem to have a strong dislike for both FIASCO and Insurance Companies.

Working in this field since 2000, I have witnessed many changes.  Some good, most bad.  I have studied this product and written academic papers on the evolution of this since the SABS was introduced in 1996.  Well, more bad news.

Let me describe it this way:  we are all required to purchase car insurance – it is “mandatory” if we want to drive legally.  Insurance companies are “for profit” and compete with each other to sell this product.  The cheap insurance is typically run by crappy companies that have a culture of “deny first” and these will generally treat you poorly at the time of claim.  Like a family member of mine that was ignored by one such company for 2 years after a serious accident to finally receive a cheque to “go away”, you will get what you pay for.

So here is what is happening now.  In 2010 your benefits, or the product you were paying for at the time of renewal was reduced by 97% for “minor injuries” and by 50% for “severe injuries”.  I wrote about this previously and used the analogy that if you were buying a computer (as a comparison) instead of getting the entire computer, you would now just get the monitor for the same price.  Well recently they came out with the next round of executions.  They are suggesting that the benefits for catastrophic injury (the most severely injured that suffer long term and devastating losses) will also be cut in half.  The seriously injured again get hit with another 15% reduction (a total of 65% in 5 years).  No change to minor injury because the only way to honestly reduce that further would be to axe it altogether.  Here is the direct link to the information about what is happening:

But to drive this home I tried to think of another analogy.  I think it would be like you getting and paying your property tax bill (at its usual rates) to then go and pave your driveway to be told “sorry you don’t own that part of your property anymore – we cut that from your property line last year”.  Or, as taxpayers who pay into OHIP one day we go to the hospital in an emergency and are told “sorry, OHIP doesn’t cover emergencies anymore”.  If the stories were comparable, the government would have told you about these changes in some “fine print” but perhaps you would not have noticed.  In fact, they hope you don’t.  After all, if you truly understood what they were doing before they did it, you would join the fight to make a change.

So what can we do?  My peers, colleagues and clients are going to the MPP’s.  They hope that our elected officials can talk some sense into FIASCO.  However, we have done that before with little resolve.  Sorry government officials, you repeatedly let the people of Ontario down when you don’t help us fight for our basic rights on a mandatory product.  As FIASCO says these changes are for “consumer protection” then we can assume that the result will be drastic reductions to our premiums, right?  If you are cutting my coverage by 97% and 65% I expect an equal reduction in my premiums.  My usual $1000 bill for car insurance on my Caravan will now be $30.00, right?  I am sure my refund is in the mail. 

Please join us in the fight against changes to this product by contacting your local elected MPP.  You can find your local MPP here: