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How Can I Get Health Insurance?

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Health insurance is critical to maintaining good health and protecting your finances.  It gives you access to the routine care you need to stay healthy; and it provides the security you need to safeguard yourself and your family from an unexpected illness or injury.  But it’s important to get health insurance before you need it.  If you wait until you’re sick or injured, you may not qualify for the coverage you need.  If you’re interested in obtaining a Canada health insurance plan, there are four main ways you can get coverage.

Government

The primary source of insurance for Canadian residents is the government.  All residents are eligible to receive health insurance from the province where they live.  But the provincial plans do not provide adequate coverage for many people because they cover only a handful of basic services.  Many treatments such as specialist visits, dental care, vision care and much more are not covered by the governmental plans.  As a result, many residents choose to purchase additional health insurance to get the protection they need.  If you’re looking for a supplemental plan, you can get health insurance from your employer, an insurance carrier or an insurance broker.

Employer

Employer-sponsored plans are the most popular choice for Canadian residents who want to obtain supplemental insurance.  Next to salary, health insurance is the most important benefit employers offer.  If you’re eligible to obtain coverage from your employer, you can sign up when you begin working or during open enrollment.  Your employer will assist you with the enrollment process and answer any questions you have about the plan.  However, if you are unemployed, self-employed, retired, a student or don’t qualify for coverage from your current employer as a part-time or contract worker, there are other ways you can obtain the coverage you need.

Insurance Carrier

One way you can get health insurance is directly from the carrier.  Insurance companies offer a variety of plans with different coverage levels, price points and eligibility requirements, so you can select the one that’s best for you.  Insurance carriers can help you assess your needs, review the plans they offer and make recommendations about the ones that are best for you and your family.  If you have any questions about your coverage options, they will assist you.

Broker

Working with an insurance broker gives you the greatest selection of plans. Brokers offer policies from several different carriers, giving you a wide range of plans to choose from.  They also have access to plans from carriers that do not sell directly to the public.  If you want to purchase one of these plans, you must get health insurance through a broker.

Brokers are familiar with the plans available in the marketplace.  They will work with you to identify your needs, help you sort through your options and select the plan the meets your needs and fits your budget.  An insurance broker will provide the information you need to make the choice that’s right for you and your family.

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