Fiona Law looked at a raft of traditional group insurance plans while looking to provide health and dental benefits for her staff at Calgary-based CompuTouch.

Her business, which uses technology to support interactive meetings and conferences, has just three full-time employees. So she wanted something that was easy to set up and understand, a plan that would cover a wide range of medical expenses and offered the firm certainty of costs.

What she ended up choosing was not an insurance plan at all, but a private health services plan (PHSP).

“This was an alternative way of providing a benefit that was very straightforward and very transparent,” she says. “It’s a good compromise with a minimum of hassle.”


  1. I’ve always known about the METC (Medical Expense Tax Credit) and how one can deduct expenses such as dental but one must reach and pass a certain threshold (i think its 3% of net income or $2,000) before you can get the credit.

    However the other lousy thing about the METC is that it is a credit against the lowest tax bracket (17%?). Doesnt seem worth it if you have a choice to get PHSP.

  2. I wish something like tihs existed for non-business people because i really cant afford private health insurance.

  3. Based on my calculations it would see crazy to use the long standing medical expense tax credit if you have the option of joining a P.H.S.P.

    Of course there is nothing stopping you of combining both but if your business is going to be in operation for a while its best to avoid the tax credit on your personal return and just carry forward expenses and apply them each year as a business expense.

  4. I haven’t read too into it but i wonder if it is retroactive and i can get coverage on my childs braces that started back in February. This could be very interesting since i own a carpet business.

  5. As a small business owner i have been a proud lover of phsp and have my spouse and children under it and we’ve saved tremendously with it. Thanks for sharing.

  6. With something like this i see no value in private insurance. Unless like the article says you have a really high expense. Which i can debate since health plans have deductibles and set limits per year that are far lower than you can get with phsps.

  7. So this is only for businesses (and their employees). I assume then the owner is considered an employee and is eligible?

  8. How does PHSP handle large medical expenses? I understand it can be broken up into multiple years so you dont go over your set limit per year but i have yet to read anywhere on how this is managed.

  9. I’ve heard of providers such as this. Yea it seems like a good idea. You can also start your own called a self-administered PHSP if you want to cut out the middle man.

  10. Never heard of this before. Canada should make this more aware to people. It is a great idea for little companies.

  11. Time for me to start my own little business 🙂

  12. Ok so what i’ve read a sole proprietor can save up to $1500 on gross income (tax deductible) per year.

    That’s pretty good compared.

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