Medical expenses under microscope

‘Clarification’ in federal budget could affect workplace health plans
By Sarah Dobson
||Last Updated: 05/05/2008

One small, unexpected announcement in the 2008 federal budget could have big implications for workplace health plans. The issue is medical expenses — the government has clarified the wording in the Income Tax Act so over-the-counter drugs no longer qualify as eligible expenses under the Medical Expense Tax Credit (METC) program.

In particular, eligible drugs would be restricted to those medications both prescribed by a recognized medical practitioner (or a dentist) and recorded by a pharmacist. This ensures only costs for substances not generally available to the public and required for medical reasons receive tax relief, said the government.