How to Help Employees Ease into Retirement With Health Insurance

How to Help Employees Ease into Retirement With Health Insurance
The eventuality of failing health can make retirement planning difficult for retirees that worry they haven’t saved enough money. As an employer you can help even if you don’t provide a retirement health plan.

Nobody needs the stress of financial worry. That’s why having a job with paid benefits is so highly valued by most Canadians. We are all fortunate to have provincial health insurance coverage, but those plans are often not enough. Having employer-provided benefits to cover the costs of items and services not paid for by the provinces provides a vital financial buffer.

When your employees retire, will they lose their health insurance benefits?

The consequence of retirees having no health insurance

If you take retirees off of your group insurance plan, they will no longer have coverage for healthcare services and items they may still need, like prescription drug coverage, physiotherapy or dental care.

As their employer you made the decisions and choices for their health insurance. When that coverage ends, they now need to make decisions, and most feel ill-prepared and overwhelmed.

Losing health and dental benefits at retirement can cause pre-retirees worry about the “what ifs” of facing out of pocket healthcare costs

  • What if they or their spouse becomes unexpectedly ill?
  • What if one of them gets injured?
  • What if as they get older, they encounter chronic health problems?
  • What if they can’t afford healthcare?
  • What if unexpected costs impact their retirement financial plan?

Health insurance is designed to be a safety net that prevents retirees from having to spend an inordinate amount of money on services to stay healthy.

If you don’t provide a retiree health insurance plan, retirees can find themselves in a sticky financial situation in the years to come.

Provide more than well wishes to ease the worry

Provide more than well wishes to ease the worry

When employees are confronted with retirement decisions about the future, thinking about eventualities like failing health is especially difficult. Some will avoid facing the issue or overlook the value of having health insurance in place.

Your organization can do more than give well wishes for retirement. Encourage retirement planning in your workplace setting by prompting people to make a health insurance retirement plan as early as possible, when they are less prone to deeply felt emotions.

How can you do that? The best solution is to assist retirees in purchasing a plan for themselves, by helping them connect with a professional insurance advisor like SBIS.

As an insurance broker we are experts in the complex world of insurance. Working with SBIS means that your retirees will receive:

  • free online resources to learn about retiree health insurance
  • free telephone consultation for sound guidance to help them figure out what coverage they may need
  • over 40 different health and dental insurance plan options comparable to their employee health plan
  • access to many plans that do not jeopardize their coverage for pre-existing health conditions
  • free, no-obligation quotes to help them determine how much to set aside in their post-retirement budget
  • buy online options to shop, compare, and apply for a plan when it is convenient.
  • free assistance in actually signing up for the new plan
  • help with updating personal information like an address change, upgrading or downgrading coverage or updating premium payment information like a bank account change
  • assistance throughout the claims process and advocating to help the insured get the most out of their insurance coverage.

Provide choices a retiree can depend on for life

The menu of health insurance options at SBIS is expansive. We have dozens of plans to choose from, some with low premiums and several levels of coverage, to more robust plans that cover a large array of services including

  • Prescription drugs for a retiree, their partner and any dependent children
  • Dental care, including routine procedures like cleaning and fillings or emergency dental work required because of an accident
  • Vision care checkups, glasses, contact lenses and even laser eye surgery
  • Professional therapy services by a specialist like a massage therapist, psychologist, chiropractor, dietician, or acupuncturist
  • Transportation to the hospital
  • Home healthcare
  • Semi-private or private hospital accommodations

For retirees, coverage should transition from your group plan to their own individual health insurance plan within 60 to 90 days.  Guaranteed acceptance is dependent only on their first premium payment.  Coverage is renewable year after year as long as premiums are paid.

Through Green Shield, Manulife and GMS we offer these ‘post-group’ health and/or dental plans

Green Shield PRISM Continuum Plans

Through our partnership with Green Shield, SBIS offers our exclusive Prism Continuum health care focused plans to employees who are coming off of your group plan. Plans include up to 15 days of travel health insurance protection, semi-private or private hospital coverage and the Change4Life online health tools and reward program.  Retirees enjoy comprehensive coverage – even if they have a pre-existing health condition – that is the best choice to cover ongoing and unexpected health care expenses. No medical questionnaire is required.

Manulife FollowMe Plans

Manulife Follow-Me is perfect for those who are coming off a company group insurance plan and need a new one. Acceptance is guaranteed, even with pre-existing conditions, if your retiring employee applies within 90 days of leaving the group plan. FollowMe plans offer 24/7 access to Healthcare Online professionals with preferred pricing for their services. Retirees can enjoy up to 10% premium savings by adding the Vitality option and qualifying by actively maintaining good health. A surviving spouse has coverage continuously for one year if the retiree dies.

GMS Replacement Plans

GMS Replacement Health plans include features like the GMS Prescription Drug Lookup Tool to find out which drugs are covered under your plan. And like Continuum and FollowMe plans, retirees enjoy the convenience of a pay-direct card to present at participating pharmacies, dentists, massage and physiotherapists, psychologists, and more, so their plan is billed directly for covered costs. No need to pay out of pocket!

It these ‘retiree’ plans are not the right fit we also offer a wide range of fully underwritten plans to choose from.

Put SBIS expertise to work for your business and your retirees

Some insurance brokers sell all kinds of insurance. But to make a good decision, it is important to work with a broker that has real expertise. At SBIS we are experts in the field of health, dental and travel insurance for over 25 years, so you don’t have to be.

If you have any questions, would like more information or need assistance in offering health insurance options to your employees, pre-retirees or retirees, please do not hesitate to call us. Our business hours are Monday to Friday 8:45 a.m. – 4:45 p.m. Eastern Time at 1-800-667-0429 or 416-601-0429.


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