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The Importance of Discussing Your Health Insurance Plan With Your Broker or Financial Advisor

The Importance of Discussing Your Health Insurance Plan with Your Broker or Financial Advisor
Although the Canadian government provides basic health insurance coverage to its residents, there are a variety of products and services that are not covered by the provincial plans. This gap leaves many individuals without the coverage they need to protect themselves and their families from unexpected medical expenses.

As a result, many residents turn to individual health insurance plans to get the added protection they need and the peace of mind they deserve. But purchasing a policy is not enough. All health insurance plans are not created equally, so it is important that you take the time to learn about your particular policy and discuss it with your broker or financial advisor to ensure you are fully educated about the coverage available to you.

Routine Care

One of the best ways to minimize your out-of-pocket medical expenses is to get routine care and prevent problems before they occur. Find out what routine services your health insurance plan covers, discuss them with your doctor and be sure to schedule an appointment to receive the care your doctor recommends.

Treatment Plan

No matter how diligent you are about leading a healthy lifestyle, chances are you will get sick from time to time, and you may even experience a medical emergency. With proper health insurance coverage, there’s no need to panic.

But, it is important to understand the protection your policy provides. Health insurance plans offer varying levels of coverage for different products and services. Some plans cover certain services, partially cover others, and exclude some altogether. It is important that you familiarize yourself with the products and services that are covered under your particular plan.

When your doctor develops a treatment plan, discuss it together. If he or she recommends a therapy not covered by your health insurance plan, don’t be afraid to ask if there is an equally effective alternative treatment that is covered. When you and your doctor work together to develop a plan that is right for you, you can help minimize the financial impact to you and your family.

Plan Maximums

Every health insurance plan has a maximum dollar amount they will pay for products and services within a given period of time. After the plan pays the maximum amount allowed, you are responsible for all additional costs above that sum. Expensive treatments can add up in a hurry and quickly exhaust your plan’s allowed maximum, leaving you to pay the bill.

If your doctor prescribes costly treatments, ask if there are less expensive options that are appropriate for you or if fewer treatments will produce the desired results. This may not be possible based on your individual needs. But if it is, it could help you dramatically reduce your out-of-pocket expenses.

Insurance Plans as Part of Retirement Savings

For many of us, retirement is the reward after a long and storied career. Staying healthy, both physically and financially, is one way to ensure you’re able to get more of out of that hard-won prize. In days gone by, many retirees could look forward to keeping the health and dental insurance benefits provided by their employer. However, times have changed.

Once retired, if your company benefits plan does not continue, you will have to pay for expenses that fall outside the health insurance plan in your province or territory of residence. These expenses include, but are not limited to, medical equipment, physiotherapy, prescription drugs, private or semi-private hospital rooms, and dental care.

If you have grown accustomed to having these expenses covered by a workplace benefits plan, the out-of-pocket costs for these services will come as an unpleasant surprise.

Many of those who do not have workplace benefits are already aware of the high costs associated with paying for these services out of pocket. Those who have not factored the costs of healthcare in retirement into their budget, or assume that their workplace will continue to provide assistance, are in for a big surprise. In fact, Canadians over the age of 65 pay, on average, $5,391 a year for healthcare expenses over and above what is covered by provincial plans.

While nobody likes to consider the worst-case scenario at what’s supposed to be a happy time, giving due attention to healthcare expenses in your plans for retirement can help alleviate the stress of the unknown.

One of the easiest ways to ward off the financial strain of out-of-pocket medical expenses is to purchase a Canada Health Insurance Plan through a private insurance broker. Many plans are available to retirees, but if you are coming off a group benefits plan, it is best to apply within 60 days to take advantage of guaranteed coverage options.

An insurance broker can be an integral part of your financial planning team. Contact us today to get started on the right insurance package to help protect your financial future.

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