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I’m Retiring! How Do I Continue Having Health Insurance When I Leave My Job?

We may not be participating in the ‘Great Resignation’ like our friends south of the border, but there is no doubt that many Canadians are planning retirement and facing the loss of employer health benefits. Here’s how to ensure you have protection from out-of-pocket health and dental costs during your retirement years.

Just one look at Canadian statistics, and it is clear that more people are retiring, and many at a younger age. During 2020 and 2021, more than 650,000 Canadians joined the 65-plus age group ready for retirement, a 9.7 per cent increase. But hundreds of thousands of older Canadians postponed retirement during the pandemic, and now feel that they can quit the workforce. And they are not the only pre-retirees. According to Statistics Canada, the average Canadian retirement age is 64.4 years old, which means a lot of Canadians are far younger than 65 when they retire. In fact, in 2022 there have been above-average rates of retirement according to StatCan’s workforce reports, rising over 30 per cent from 2021 and over 12 per cent more than pre-pandemic years.

If you are thinking of joining Canada’s ‘The Great Retirement’ trend, it has serious ramifications for the employer health insurance benefits you have depended on. Most employers do not offer continued health insurance coverage post-retirement. It’s now time for you to put your own health plan in place.

Apply for retirement health coverage within 90 days of your retirement

You should apply for your personal health and dental plan within 90 days of leaving your employer health insurance plan. This is one of the most important steps in the retirement process because it allows you to get guaranteed coverage regardless of your health. Your retirement health insurance coverage can begin on the 1st of the month after you apply.

Choosing to purchase health insurance means you are keeping an eye on your future retirement finances. It is important to consider how your health needs may change as you age and what kinds of retirement health coverage you may need in the long term. Inflation will impact the cost of your healthcare needs and a retirement health plan can ensure you are ready for a long, healthy, and secure retirement future.

The basic facts about the retirement health coverage available

Just like your employer health coverage, your personal retirement health insurance plan will provide you with health care benefits as well as administration services. It will cover medical services and products that are not covered by your provincial health plan.

At SBIS 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 you, your partner, and any dependent children
  • Dental care, including routine procedures like cleanings, fillings, extractions and x-rays
  • Accidental dental repair of natural teeth due to 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
  • Ambulance Transportation
  • Home Nursing care
  • Semi-private or private hospital accommodations
  • Emergency medical travel coverage

Different plan designs offer different levels of coverage for prescription drugs and dental expenses — some plans cover prescription drugs, but not dental care, while others cover dental care, but not prescription drugs and some cover both. There are many plan options, with different premiums, deductibles, and eligible services.

Coverage is available for you, your spouse, and any eligible dependents. Based on the plan you choose; you will pay a monthly premium and can continue the coverage for your entire life. A premium is the amount you pay in exchange for coverage.

Your plan may also include online health information and tools, an app to assist you in making claims and features like reward points.

Details about eligible expenses, maximum reimbursements, deductibles, and coverage will be in your health insurance benefit plan booklet or contact SBIS to answer questions on these topics.

Put a plan in place to be ready for your retirement now

Health care out-of-pocket costs can really add up during retirement. If you were to pay out of pocket for these services, you would be depleting your retirement fund in short order. The best way to be confident that healthcare costs won’t seriously impact your finances is to purchase a health insurance plan that will meet your needs.

At SBIS we offer excellent planning resources on retirement health insurance. It can be hard to decide about the right retirement health insurance.

Contact us today to get a free, no-obligation quote. 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. Our team can help you make sense of all your retirement health insurance options and provide sound guidance you need to make an informed decision. Or go online today!

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