Health Insurance Considerations for the Self-Employed in Canada

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When you run your own business, your health may be your most valuable asset. And yet, as many newly-minted entrepreneurs learn very early on, taking care of your health in Canada is sometimes a challenge because of the number of services that fall outside of your provincial plan.

Self-employed Canadians don’t get sick days, and many only have supplemental health insurance if they’re covered under a spouse’s plan.

If you’re planning to become one of the more than two million self-employed Canadians, you have some decisions to make about health insurance.

Have an Emergency Plan

Nobody likes to think about the worst-case scenario, especially when chasing a dream. The reality is that bad things happen to good people every day, and recovering from a significant life event is a lot easier when you have a plan.

Something as seemingly minor as an upper respiratory tract infection can leave you sitting on the sidelines for weeks if left untreated, but without health and dental insurance coverage, many Canadians will go without a prescription their doctor has given them to treat an illness. In fact, according to a recent study out of the University of British Columbia, those who don’t have insurance are 4.5 times more likely to avoid taking prescribed medications because of cost.

Put it this way: you should put at least as much time and energy into a plan to protect your family in an emergency as you put into your business plan. Putting insurance needs on the back burner is a recipe for disaster. Some put off the purchase of adequate health and dental insurance because they feel it’s too expensive when they’re just starting out.

The reluctance to buy insurance is even greater for those who are young and generally pretty healthy. Paying out of pocket may be fine for routine dental cleanings and the odd course of antibiotics, but did you know that a root canal costs over $1000, and prescriptions to treat some chronic illnesses can costs hundreds of dollars a month?

Before taking a gamble on going without insurance, consider how taking care of your health can fit in with the overall budget for your business.

Careful Health Insurance Planning Makes Tax Season Easier

Your accountant is the best person to talk to about the specifics of income and deductions, but did you know in many cases you can deduct health insurance premiums as a business expense? Knowing the difference this can make at tax time may help to remove any lingering doubt you have about the affordability of insurance coverage.

Any smart financial planner will tell you that managing controlled costs wins over mitigating the costs of unexpected events – every time! Investing in a health and dental insurance plan now may be the best choice you can make for your business and your future.

You may be young and in relatively good health now, but when your business is a huge success, you’re never going back to the traditional workplace. Qualifying for health and dental insurance coverage is simpler and more affordable if you start the process while you’re young.

Guaranteed Coverage for Those Leaving Group Plans

If you’re one of the many people starting a business on the side while keeping your day job, we may have some good news for you! There are health and dental insurance plans that are specially designed for those who are leaving a group benefits plan.

These plans allow you to have a continuation of health and dental insurance coverage. This is a great option for those who are worried about whether or not they will be able to get their own health and dental insurance coverage because of a pre-existing condition or other health concerns that make the medical questionnaire process a tricky one.

By now you’re probably thinking that there’s probably a catch, and the answer is yes. To qualify for these special packages, you must apply for these benefits within 60 days of losing your group coverage. If you’re considering making the leap to self-employment, the time to start researching your health insurance options is now!

Talk to an Insurance Broker about Health Insurance

The internet has given us the ability to do a lot of research on products and services from the comfort of homes, but it’s no substitute for the personalized service and attention you will receive from an insurance broker. Like your lawyer or your accountant, an insurance broker is a professional who can help you better understand your options in an area that falls outside your speciality.

Choose the right policy for your highly specialized needs with the aid of on an insurance broker. Contact us today to get started!


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