Looking For A Great Gift For Your Graduate? Think Travel and Health Insurance

Graduation cake
Graduation is a rite of passage into adulthood when your graduate begins to pay for things themselves including out-of-pocket costs for medical and dental care. What better gift can you give than insurance protection for their health and their healthy finances?

Graduating with a certificate, diploma or degree from a post-secondary institution is a life milestone – for the graduate and their family. Until graduation most full-time Canadian student are covered under their parents’ health insurance or enjoy coverage through their educator. But, after graduation your graduate will be faced with healthcare coverage gaps.

Because there are so many choices for your grad to make when schooling finishes – relocating back home or even to a new province, applying for, and securing a role in their preferred industry and deciding whether to continue studying (or not) – remembering the importance of health coverage may be low on their list of priorities. That’s where your gift of insurance may be the most important of all.

‘Transition’ to health coverage as an essential part of independent living

Your grad may not have learned that public health insurance in Canada does not cover every health service and product they need. If they want to visit the dentist, pick up a prescription or get a massage… they will have to pay out of pocket, unless they can depend on the financial help provided by health insurance.

When they finish going to school – whether that is at age 18 or 25 – you can help by giving them information on their options to take advantage of the ‘transition window’ from your plan. In most group health insurance plans, children are covered up to age 21 if they’re not in school, or up to age 25 if they’re enrolled full time in a post-secondary program. If your grad has been covered under your health plan, they have a ‘window of opportunity’ to transition to their own ‘post group’ individual health and/or dental insurance plan within 90 days.

Even though they personally need to apply, their acceptance is guaranteed, and you can assist them with paying their first premium payments. Or educate them that if they answer some medical questions when they apply and qualify for coverage, their insurance can be less expensive than a guaranteed plan. They will be able to depend on their coverage is renewable year after year as long as premiums are paid – for their lifetime.

Their individual health insurance plan can cover prescription drug costs, dental care costs, or both and offer a variety of extended health benefits like

  • Vision care
  • Accidental Dental
  • Ambulance Transportation
  • Hearing Aids
  • Home Support Services
  • Medical Items
  • Registered Therapists
  • Hospital Accommodation

If your grad is lucky enough to get employment straight out of school, work in a contract or part-time position generally doesn’t include health benefits. Full-time employers may provide health insurance coverage that starts only after a waiting period which is typically 30 to 90 days. There may be not only ‘time’ gaps but gaps in the coverage – like no dental benefits. Or this may not be their ‘forever full-time employer’, so they will be faced with losing this coverage when employment ends. By having their own health insurance plan they can fill in time gaps, get coverage for the features they choose and even use their coverage to ‘top up’ existing group insurance for higher coverage maximums.

At this early stage of your grads working life, purchasing a supplemental health insurance policy of their will own will serve as a financial cushion if they get sick or hurt.

Arm holding a hat sticking out the window of a car on a road trip

Emergency Medical Travel insurance is vital coverage too

Some grads realize they have the rest of their life to work – so they know that this is the perfect time to travel before they are tied down. Travelling can enrich their life providing an opportunity to see the world and gain experiences and knowledge not learned while in school, like traditions of other cultures and learning a foreign language, or truly becoming self-sufficient.

If your grad may be wrapping up their education and taking a ‘break’ to travel before starting their working career, whether they travel out of the country or outside of their home province, they may not realize that if they have a medical emergency, they will be responsible for arranging care — and paying for it out of pocket, too.

From ER fees to ambulance transportation (ground, mountain, or sea), to emergency dental services and more, travel medical insurance is vital to have in place to cover costs that provincial healthcare won’t.

The perfect gift? Multi-Trip insurance can cover your grad for all of their trips within the same twelve-month period. They can enjoy one long or a number of frequent trips, from cross-border shopping trips that last a day to weeklong vacations for some fun in the sun or months long trekking in far off corners of the world.

And travel insurance provides 24/7 emergency medical assistance. If an accident happens on their trip, a multilingual emergency medical team will be available at any time to help coordinate care, so your grad can travel with confidence.

A multi-trip plan can also include trip cancellation and interruption coverage and baggage loss that reimburses your grad for pre-paid travel costs when an unexpected event means they must cancel their trip before they leave, or their trip is interrupted and needs to be cancelled after it has begun, or their baggage has been lost in transit.

Wrap up the best of gifts – insurance

Whether you purchase the coverage for your grad or not, teaching them about the importance of having health insurance and travel insurance is the best gift of all. Nobody wants to be saddled with a huge medical bill because they didn’t think to get insurance. Now that they are an adult, it’s their responsibility to take care of themselves, and insurance is something they have to think about.

If your grad has no idea what kind of plans they need, SBIS has experts available who can walk you or them through the process and help find everything they need. Call us today at 1-800-667-0429 or 416-601-0429. Our business hours are Monday to Friday 8:45 a.m. – 4:45 p.m. eastern time. We’ll wrap up our chat by finding the right plans for your grad – it’s a gift that will last a lifetime.


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