Let’s start talking first about life insurance instead of health insurance. You’ve heard about no medical life insurance. It’s a life insurance option that needs to exist. If you don’t have a choice and can’t get life insurance any other way because of your medical history, you shouldn’t feel badly about choosing it. No medical life insurance policies have higher premiums – they cost more because the premiums accommodate people who have pre-existing health conditions. But if you are healthy? It may seem easier and less time-consuming to buy no medical life insurance, but medically underwritten life insurance gives you more options for coverage at a lower cost.
Now let’s talk about health insurance. No medical health insurance – also known as guaranteed issue health insurance – can be a very smart choice (not a last resort choice). Here’s what you need to know.
What is a ‘no medical exam’ health insurance plan?
A guaranteed issue health insurance plan does not involve medical underwriting — the process used to determine an applicant’s eligibility for a particular health insurance plan. When you apply, you do not need to complete a medical questionnaire and/or submit medical information. That means that even if you have a medical condition, you will qualify for coverage.
In Canada, we’re fortunate to have government healthcare that covers doctors’ visits, in‐hospital procedures and so on. But there’s a lot that’s not covered — like prescription drugs, eyeglasses, dental care and more. Those expenses can take up a big chunk of your family budget, especially when they’re unexpected. Health insurance covers some of those healthcare costs so your finances are protected.
Guaranteed issue health plans offer core benefits and dental coverage only or you can choose a plan that covers both prescription drug and dental coverage for services and treatments not covered by your government health plan like:
- Prescription drugs
- Dental care for Basic, Comprehensive Basic and/or Major Services
- Vision care
- Hearing aids
- Registered specialists and therapists including chiropractors, chiropodists, dieticians, naturopaths, registered massage therapists, physiotherapists, acupuncturists and registered psychologist or psychotherapists
- Homecare, nursing, or personal support workers
- Travel Emergency Medical
- And optional hospital accommodation for semi-private and/or private rooms and much more.
Many plans include features to assist you in managing you and your family’s health, like virtual 24/7 access to healthcare practitioners online and mental health support tools. All plans provide you with a health insurance benefit card that you can show your healthcare provider to confirm coverage for benefits like prescriptions or dental care — so you do not have to pay out of pocket for most of the costs.
Who should think about choosing guaranteed issue ‘no medical’ health insurance?
If you are a resident of Canada, over the age of 18 and covered by a government healthcare plan, your acceptance is guaranteed at time of application. The plan you get is not dependent on an employer – you choose it and own it. Once you put a plan in place, it is yours for your lifetime (as long as you pay your premiums) regardless of changes in your employment or health.
Guaranteed health insurance is perfect for individuals, couples and families who are looking for comprehensive coverage and
- want an easy application/prefer not to answer medical questions
- may have pre-existing medical conditions or have been denied health coverage in the past
- are looking for a supplemental plan but don’t currently have a group plan, are self-employed, running a small business or retired
- want to choose the specific healthcare coverage they need at premiums that fit their budget (unlike ‘no medical’ life insurance that provides the same life insurance benefit as underwritten plans but at a higher cost).
Apply for a special ‘no medical’ guaranteed plan available within 90 days of losing group health benefits
If you have terminated your employee benefits within the last 90 days – because you retire, lose your job, or have made the choice to leave — you qualify for a special type of no medical health insurance plan designed so that you do not lose access to financial aid for medically necessary services or items or the peace of mind that having health insurance provides.
You must enrol within 90 days of leaving your employer health insurance plan. Your guaranteed issue health insurance coverage can begin on the 1st of the month after you apply.
You can apply for a fully underwritten health insurance plan
You can apply for coverage with a plan that does not offer guaranteed acceptance. These “underwritten” health insurance plans offer more overall prescription drug coverage compared to ‘no medical exam’ plans. If you do not have any pre-existing conditions, you need covered then you might want to consider an underwritten plan. If you have a pre-existing condition, your qualification for coverage may be more difficult to get, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.
A fully underwritten plan will require that you complete a medical questionnaire. Once it’s completed, the insurance carrier will look at what pre-existing condition(s) you have, the plan you wish to purchase, and will then determine whether they will offer you coverage.
Depending on your condition, you may be eligible for coverage, but with exclusions. This means that any prescriptions, services, or items related to your pre-existing condition maybe excluded under your plan, but all other eligible treatments for ailments not related to your condition will be covered.
If your pre-existing health condition application is turned down and you don’t qualify for coverage, you will always be given the option of applying for a guaranteed acceptance plan.
So, what kind of health insurance should you apply for?
If you’re completely healthy, it’s a good idea to apply for a health insurance plan now, especially if you want one that is comprehensive with high maximums. It is wise to take the best plan available while you are physically and financially healthy.
If you are considering a basic guaranteed issue ‘no medical’ health plan, remember that it is a great bargain. If an unexpected illness or injury suddenly strikes, the benefits you receive can far exceed the premiums you pay.
You may be tempted to select a less expensive plan and think that you can upgrade later if you need more coverage. Here’s the key: it’s always easy to downgrade (after one year), but it can be difficult to upgrade if your health situation changes.
SBIS makes choosing health insurance easy
The biggest barrier to having health insurance isn’t a pre-existing health condition – because at SBIS we offer a wide range of guaranteed issue ‘no medical’ plans. The hurdle is selecting the plan best suited to your needs and budget. Often, you’ve never had to purchase individual health coverage before and may find the terminology, options, and process very confusing.
That’s why you can talk with one of our professionals to get valuable help, for free. Or you can go online and get as many free health insurance quotes as you want. You will find full online plan details for the plan you choose, and we offer secure, online enrolment so you can get the health insurance you need, now.