Fees, Insurance and Income Tax

In the province of New Brunswick, the fees for consulting a psychologist in private practice are not covered by Medicare.

However, there are options to ease this expense including employee medical health insurance benefits and the income tax deductions (including travel expenses to and from) for the cost of your appointments.

The fee for a one hour therapy session with Mylène is $170.


Medical Health Insurance Benefits

Many employers include health insurance as part of the benefit package they offer their employees. Most of these insurance plans cover part or all of the costs for a visit with a psychologist. Some examples of these plans are Blue Cross, Great West, Sunlife or Manulife.

All health insurance plans are different. There are different plans within the same insurance company and even different plans within the same employer. Your Blue Cross plan might be different than your neighbour’s. It might not even be the same as your coworker’s.

Some plans cover 100% of the cost while most will reimburse 80% of the cost of your therapy session. Some insurance benefits have a limit on the amount you can claim each year (varying between $500 and $1500 per year per person in the family) and some are unlimited.

Let’s assume your plan will reimburse your expenses at 80% up to $750 per year. This means that a session costing $170 will cost you $34 and your health insurance plan $136. You will be able to attend 5 therapy sessions for which  80% will be reimbursed.  Let’s see how this works..

 Therapy Sessions

 Total Cost

Reimbursed by Plan

 Your Cost

 1st Therapy Session

$170

$136

$34

 2nd Therapy Session

$170

$136

$34

 3rd Therapy Session

$170

$136

$34

 4th Therapy Session

$170

$136

$34

5th Therapy Session

$170

$56

$114

 Total Costs

$850

$600

$250

You might have noticed that your plan only paid up to $600 and not the “up to $750” as advertised.

This is a common misconception.

Any sessions after these five will not be eligible until the next calendar year. All plans operate on a calendar year regardless of when you started your job or health insurance plan.

Call your plan administrator today to find out what they cover and what they don’t.

Another consideration is how many family members will be involved in therapy?

  • If you and your child come to therapy together, your total insurance benefit will be doubled.
  • If you, your child and your spouse/partner go together your coverage maximum will be tripled.
  • If you are an adult, will your spouse be attending some of the sessions?  If yes, this will give more sessions covered by the plan.

Employee Health Insurance Benefits Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do I need a prescription or referral from my doctor to see a psychologist?

While you do not need a prescription or referral from your doctor to begin therapy with a psychologist, you may need one to obtain reimbursement from your health insurance policy. Many insurance plans do not require a referral from your doctor but some do.

It is always best to contact your human resources department or the health insurance company first.

 2. Does Mylène offer direct billing with Blue Cross, Great West etc.?

At this time none of the health insurance companies allow direct billing for consultation with a psychologist. You might have noticed that many dentists, physiotherapists, massage therapists etc. can direct bill, but psychologists cannot at this time. The only option right now is to pay for your therapy session in full and submit the invoice to your insurance company for reimbursement.

3. If I use my employee health benefits for therapy will my employer know?

Mylène will not report any information to anyone, not your employer nor any health insurance company. Your health insurance company will send a report to your employer’s human resources department outlining how much their employees have used of the health insurance plan. There are no specifics but employers need to know how much of the plan is being used in order to make changes or budget for the next year.

4. Can I choose the psychologist I want to consult?

Most, if not all, health insurance companies do not dictate which psychologist you receive services from. Some may have limitations on how much the psychologist can charge (or the maximum the insurance company will reimburse) but allow you the freedom in choosing the best psychologist for you. As policies can change at any time it is always best to contact your insurance company first


Income Tax Deductions for Psychologist Expenses

All fees incurred from a consultation or therapy session with a psychologist are a legitimate medical expense that can be deducted from your taxable income. There are three ways you can reduce your taxable income:

  1. The actual cost of your therapy session.
  2. Transportation expenses (at least 40km)
  3. Meal expenses (at least 80km).

Psychologist Medical Expense Deduction

Psychologists are approved medical practitioners in the province of New Brunswick.

Simply keep your psychologist’s invoices and add them up at the end of the year for completing your income tax return.

Psychologist Travel Expense Deduction (40km or more)

You might be surprised to find out you can claim travel expenses associated with your psychologist visits as well if you live 40 km or more from your attending psychologist’s office. You can claim $0.49 per kilometer driven to your therapy sessions.

Keep track of your appointments (using the invoices and reminder emails) and a small notepad to record your mileage for each trip.

Psychologist Meal Expense Deduction (80km or more)

If you live 80 km or more from your psychologist’s office you can claim your mileage as above as well as meal expenses. You can either keep your meal receipts or simply use the flat rate of $17 per meal.