Insurance Plans and Tax Deductions
Nova Scotia’s Medical Services Insurance (MSI) does not cover the services of psychologists in private practice. However, many people are pleased to learn that a portion of their fees may be covered through their health plans, such as Great West Life, Medavie Blue Cross, Manulife, Sunlife, etc. We recommend that you contact your insurance provider before booking an appointment to find out exactly what services are covered. A list of questions that you may wish to ask is given below. Please note direct billing is not available. We will give you a receipt to submit to your insurance company.
Fees not covered by health plans may be an income tax deduction as health care expenses. Be sure to save your receipts and keep them with your income tax forms.
Questions to Ask Your Insurance Company
Check your wallet card for your group policy number and personal identification number. Questions you may wish to ask include:
- Does my insurance plan cover psychological services provided by a registered psychologist?
- Do I need a referral from a physician to qualify for coverage?
- What percentage of the fee does the insurer cover? Note: the remainder may be eligible as a tax deductible, income tax expense.
- Have I already used up my coverage for this year? When does my coverage renew?
- Can I spread out the costs of psychological services over two years? For example, by having sessions in December of one year, and more sessions in the following January?
- Do I have hourly coverage or lump sum coverage? (for example, if I see the psychologist for a full day assessment will my plan cover the multiple hours spent with the psychologist [lump sum] or will my coverage only pay for one hour at a time with the psychologist even though there were 6 hours of service that day [hourly coverage]?) Does my insurance cover only one to one direct service, or are other psychological services such as report writing covered?
- Can I submit my receipts at a quick pay station for same day reimbursement, or online as a more convenient way to be reimbursed? Is there a limit to the amount reimbursed at a quick pay station or online?
Assessment Fee Reimbursement through Canada Student Grant
If you are a college or university student and are diagnosed with a learning disability (LD) by the psychologist, you may be able to get some of the assessment fee reimbursed through the Canada Student Grant. Please note that there is no guarantee that you will be given an LD diagnosis, or that you will be eligible for the grant. You must still pay the assessment fee up front in order to be reimbursed. For more information about the Canada Student Grant, check with the Disability Services office at your college or university.
Our fees for school-related assessments are comparable with other psychologists in the province. Fees cover the cost of:
- a full day of testing,
- scoring and interpretation of tests,
- a review of documents,
- consultation with other professionals as needed,
- preparation of the assessment report which includes recommendations,
- a feedback session, and
- a meeting with school personnel if desired.
Typically, 20 hours of work are involved in an educational assessment. Our fee for a psychoeducational assessment is $2800. The fee may be reduced if a case is less complex than expected. The hourly fee for psychologists in Nova Scotia is $210. Visit our School-related Assessment section for more information.
Fees for neuropsychological assessments are comparable with other psychologists in the province. Our fees are typically $4000 but may vary depending on the complexity of the case. This fee includes the cost of related interviewing, a full day of testing, scoring and interpretation of tests, a review of documents, consultation with other professionals as needed, preparation of the assessment report, and often a final consultation.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Assessments
Fees for ASD assessments are comparable with other psychologists in the province. Fees vary depending on the individual client, age and type of assessment required.
Coaching provided by a registered psychologist are offered at an hourly psychological coaching rate of $200/hr. All services provided by a BCBA, including direct therapy and program development/supervision, are offered at an hourly rate of $100/hr.
We prefer to have fees paid by debit or etransfer. Cheques are accepted. Payment may also be made by VISA/MasterCard. Fees are usually paid in two installments. The first payment is made at the first session and the second at the last session. Please discuss the best arrangement for payment with the psychologist.
Appointments for interviews can be rescheduled without charge. Appointments for assessments can be rescheduled without a fee if there is a storm or a sudden illness. Otherwise, we need a minimum of 72 hours notice if you have to cancel an assessment (*some exceptions apply) . This allows us to offer the assessment date to an individual on our waiting list. Inadequate notice of cancellation, or not showing up for an appointment, will result in a charge to your credit card of 10% of the assessment fee. This charge is to offset the cost of our reserving the appointment time for you, the preparation time of the psychologist, and administrative costs that are incurred. Please note that your invoice will state “missed appointment” and most insurance companies will not reimburse for this cost. Appointments for assessments and interviews can be cancelled or rescheduled by emailing or calling the direct line of the psychologist that you will be seeing. Please refer to the email you received confirming your appointment for direct contact information.