How Does Frida Compare to Other ADHD Care Options in Canada?

If you live in Canada and think you might have ADHD, then there are 3 main options for diagnosis and treatment. The available options vary in terms of price and accessibility. But at the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide which option might work best for you.

Last update: August 12, 20225 min read
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    Over 1 million Canadians live with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. But reports show that over half of all adults with ADHD never get a diagnosis. This is partly because getting an ADHD diagnosis and treatment in Canada can take months on a waitlist or cost thousands of dollars.

    Online ADHD treatment programs like Frida are working to change that, and make ADHD care more accessible. But how does Frida compare to provincial health care?

    What are the options for ADHD treatment for adults in Canada?

    If you live in Canada and think you might have ADHD, then there are 3 main options for diagnosis and treatment. The available options vary in terms of price and accessibility. But at the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide which option might work best for you.

    Provincial Health Coverage

    Your first option for ADHD treatment in Canada, and what most people start with, is to go through your provincial health coverage. Provincial health should provide care to all citizens and permanent residents. This includes assessments by either a primary care provider or a specialist. 

    But using this system to get ADHD diagnosis and treatment may not be ideal for a few reasons, which we’ll cover in the next section.

    Private Clinics

    Your second option for ADHD treatment in Canada is to visit a private clinic. An important reason why someone would choose this option is that it can take months to years to get an appointment in the publicly funded system — not ideal when you’re struggling every day with ADHD symptoms.

    Of course, the main drawback to going to a private provider for your ADHD assessment and treatment is the out-of-pocket cost. The costs of private clinics vary — but they can be very expensive, with costs that can reach up to several thousands of dollars. You may have private health insurance through your healthcare employer to cover services that provincial health care doesn’t, but those plans often have limits.

    These private assessments are also often done by health professionals (psychologists) that can’t prescribe medications — a big part of managing ADHD for most patients.

    Virtual Care Health Providers

    This brings us to your third option for ADHD treatment in Canada: online treatment through a platform like Frida. Frida brings the best parts of public and private healthcare together in one easy-to-access package. It’s affordable, accessible, and you can get an appointment anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

    Is my ADHD assessment and treatment covered by my provincial health insurance?

    OHIP, Alberta Health, and other provincial health care plans do cover ADHD assessment and treatment within the public system. 

    Unfortunately, they don’t cover all virtual health care services in each province. They also don’t routinely cover health services provided by nurses, nurse practitioners, psychologists, or mental health counsellors. 

    Because of this, provincial health care plans don’t cover online ADHD programs like Frida.

    Although this is disappointing, and we hope it will change in the future, we’d like to explain why Frida’s services aren’t covered by public healthcare. 

    Frida is primarily a nurse practitioner model. We use licensed and experienced nurse practitioners to provide services to our clients with ADHD. Our nurse practitioners are highly trained in ADHD, and are also licensed to be able to prescribe medication-based treatments — just like medical doctors.

    However, public health care plans in the provinces that we serve currently don't cover services provided by nurse practitioners. Services provided by nurse practitioners can’t be billed to the province, while services provided by doctors can. We’re hopeful this will change, but it may take some time for our provincial systems to update their health plan coverage to include nurse practitioners. 

    In addition, there is a severe shortage of doctors in general practice or psychiatry that regularly treat adult ADHD in Canada. This means you could end up waiting up to 18 months for an appointment if you try to get an ADHD assessment through the public system.

    This is the biggest issue facing accessible ADHD care in Canada.

    Accessing Frida’s model of care may involve a small expense (through private insurance or out-of-pocket) because it’s not yet covered under provincial health care plans. But it also means that we can provide effective and compassionate ADHD diagnosis and treatment that’s faster and more accessible for our patients.

    How much does an ADHD assessment cost in Canada?

    When weighing your options for an ADHD assessment and treatment, cost is a considerable and understandable concern. Cost-of-living is rising every day, and you want to make sure that whatever option you choose is worth the price.

    Provincial Health Coverage Costs

    The most economic choice for an ADHD assessment and treatment in Canada is through your provincial health care plan. The cost for this option is $0, and the person who provides your assessment can often prescribe you with medication. But they might not provide continuous care or follow-ups, and you’ll need to wait up to 18 months (after getting a referral from your GP) for a specialist appointment.

    Private Clinic Costs

    Getting an ADHD assessment through a private care clinic can cost up to $2500 — sometimes even more. It’s a little bit faster than going through a provincial health plan, but the average wait for your first appointment can still be 8 weeks or more.

    The practitioner who conducts your assessment can’t always prescribe you with medication (you may need to wait, and pay, for another appointment for that), and they can’t always provide continuous care. Even if your practitioner does provide follow-ups, they’re likely to charge hundreds of dollars an hour for it.

    Virtual Care Health Provider: Frida's Costs

    An ADHD assessment with Frida costs $349 — a big savings compared with the costs of going to a private care clinic. We’re able to do this because Frida uses technology to be efficient in providing high-quality care. 

    It isn’t free like it would be with provincial health care, but you will get your first appointment within 3 weeks (not 6+ months). If medication is the right option for you, you’ll get a prescription. The cost of that medication may also be subsidized through available programs.

    After that, you can choose to pay a monthly fee of $29/month to receive continuous care for ADHD management. Your clinician will meet with you on a regular basis to make sure that your individualized treatment plan is working well for you. 

    Frida has and continues to develop non-medication treatments for our patients who receive ongoing care that can be used instead of or on top of ADHD medications, depending on conversations with your Frida clinical team.  

    Continuous care is especially important in the beginning, while you’re getting used to your ADHD treatment — many people find that their medication needs to be adjusted within the first few months.

    Talk With Frida: Best Online ADHD Treatment

    If getting ADHD treatment is important to you and you don’t want to wait up to 18 months for an appointment (or pay thousands of dollars for an assessment with a private psychologist), then Frida could be the best choice for you. 

    Frida provides ADHD assessments for people just like you. Our services are fairly priced, readily available, and fast yet thorough. Our clinical team is made up of expert nurse practitioners who have experience working with adults with ADHD.

    Other methods of accessing an ADHD diagnosis or treatment plan for adults take many months and can cost thousands of dollars.

    Frida is changing that. 
    Take our free 2-minute ADHD assessment today to see if you’re eligible for a diagnosis.


    Frida Care Team

    We are a group of clinicians, continuous care support, writers, and creators who care deeply about patient care and ADHD. Together, we write content that we hope sheds light on ADHD and the health care space at large. You can reach us at support@talkwithfrida.com if you have any questions!