Private Health Service Plans (PHSP) for Canadian Businesses


Weight Loss Program For Treatment of Obesity As a Medical Expense under a PHSP

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An amount paid by an individual in respect of a "medical service" provided by a licensed medical practitioner would qualify as a medical expense eligible for a PHSP where the amount is paid directly to the medical practitioner or to a corporation that employs the medical practitioner. A "medical service" is a service relating to the diagnosis, treatment or prevention of disease performed by a medical practitioner acting within the scope of his or her professional training.

Paragraph 118.2(2)(o) of the Act allows as an eligible medical expense amounts paid for diagnostic procedures or services prescribed for a patient by a medical practitioner or dentist. Under this provision, the diagnostic procedures or services must be for maintaining health, preventing disease or assisting in the diagnosis or treatment of any injury, illness or disability. The procedures or services must assist a medical practitioner in making a diagnosis and formulating a course of treatment.

Weight Loss Program

In the view of CRA, fees paid for a weight-loss program by an individual for the treatment of obesity would qualify for the METC where all the conditions of paragraph 118.2(2)(a) of the Act are met. Specifically, the program must be for therapeutic or rehabilitative purposes and must be provided by a medical practitioner who is so authorized to act as such in the province in which the services are rendered.

Similarly, fees paid for a weight loss program would not qualify as a medical expense under paragraph 118.2(2)(o) of the Act unless such fees are paid for a procedure or service of a diagnostic nature and the other conditions in the provision are met.

If expenses qualify for the medical expense tax credit (METC) then they also qualify under a PHSP.

PLEASE NOTE that the above blog post, although believed to be correct at the time of posting, may not represent the current position of the CRA. Further this blog is not intended to provide legal, accounting, or other professional advice. If legal, accounting, or other expert assistance is required, the service of a competent professional person should be sought.