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Manulife FollowMe vs. Prism Continuum Health Insurance Plans

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You’re leaving your employer group health plan? Set your own health insurance coverage in place by applying within 90 days for guaranteed acceptance! But how do you choose? We can help.

At SBIS, we know you want the health insurance coverage that best fits your budget and your needs — and you want an insurance provider you can trust. That’s why we offer eight great “after group insurance” plans from two great insurers: Manulife and Green Shield Canada (GSC).

Your employer made the decisions and choices for your group health insurance. When that coverage ends because you’ve changed careers, lost your job, retired or reached the maximum age under your group plan, you need to make decisions about health insurance you can keep for life.

Your first decision: Why buy health insurance at all?

The Canadian government ensures all citizens have access to provincial (or territorial) health insurance plans where they reside.

Most provincial plans offer basic coverage for some medical expenses, like eye exams for children and seniors, drugs and physician care in a hospital, and routine doctor visits.

The problem is that there are a variety of services that are not covered under the government plans at all, or only covered in part. That means you must pay out of pocket for them.

You might be prepared to spend some money on healthcare for yourself and your family, but what if minor day-to-day costs suddenly become more than you can manage? Any unexpected accident, illness or onset of a chronic condition can drain your financial resources.

Not having health insurance leaves you without adequate coverage for both routine and emergency medical care. That’s why a supplemental health insurance plan is needed to fill in the gaps.

What should your Health Insurance cover?

Compared to the provincial plans, both Manulife FollowMe and GSC Prism Continuum health insurance plans offer comprehensive benefits for the range of products and services you need, including

  • Prescription drugs for you, your partner or your 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

These are just some of the services that fall outside of provincial health insurance plans that you must pay out of pocket for. As time goes on and governments change at all levels, even more services may be removed from the list of what is covered by government health insurance in Canada.

Both Manulife and GSC take care of that for you by offering plans that evolve year after year to cover some or all of those healthcare costs. The plans reflect current costs and close the gaps in your healthcare protection.

Keep in mind that the health insurance plan you choose is not intended to — and will not — provide the exact coverage that you had under your group employer health insurance plan.

Basic, Good, Better and Best – Which plan level is for you?

You can apply for any Manulife FollowMe Health or GSC Prism Continuum plan without answering medical questions at the time of application, as long as

  • You are a Canadian resident
  • You apply within 90 days after your group health plan ends
  • You have valid provincial health insurance in place.

Guaranteed acceptance is dependent upon receipt of your first premium payment.

Here’s what you should keep in mind: you have this one chance to buy the most comprehensive (and yes, expensive) coverage with no questions asked. If you have a health condition, you will be covered.

You may decide to start with a basic plan to save money if you are in good health right now. If your health changes for the worse, you may need more protection – but you may have lost your chance to get it. When you upgrade, you will be asked medical questions. You may not be able to get an upgrade, or your condition may not be covered under the plan because you may not qualify.

On the other hand, if you choose to start with the best plan but find you don’t need that much protection, it’s simple to “step down” to a less comprehensive plan, and you will get the coverage you want.

And remember, while there is no medical questionnaire required for the Manulife FollowMe or Prism Continuum plans, if you are in good health you always have the option of completing the medical questionnaire for any health insurance plan that may provide even more comprehensive benefits.

Let’s take a close look at your “after group insurance” guaranteed options.

Basic Coverage:   FollowMe Health Basic vs. Continuum C1

Both of these plans cover prescription drugs and extended healthcare services like vision care and hospital care. Dental care is not covered.

Choose Manulife Basic if you want

  • coverage for long hospital stays
  • more coverage for psychologists or counsellors
  • to ensure your surviving spouse has coverage continuously for one year if you die
  • 24/7 access to Healthcare Online professionals with preferred pricing for their services
  • Up to 10% premium savings by adding the Vitality option and qualifying by actively maintaining your good health.

Choose Continuum C1 if you want

  • increasing prescription drug coverage that provides higher maximums
  • higher per-visit dollar coverage for visits for healthcare therapy
  • 10 days of travel health insurance protection built in
  • a higher per-day hospital coverage maximum
  • Change4Life online health tools and reward program

Good Coverage:   FollowMe Health Enhanced vs. Continuum C2

Both of these plans have the benefits of the basic plans, plus increased coverage for prescription drugs and extended health care services like vision care and hospital care.

Choose Manulife Enhanced if you want

  • higher prescription drug coverage

Choose Continuum C2 if you want

  • dental coverage

Better Coverage:   FollowMe Health Enhanced Plus vs. Continuum C3

Both of these plans have prescription drug and dental coverage, the benefits of the basic and enhanced plans, and more.

Choose Manulife Enhanced Plus if you want

  • higher annual maximum coverage for registered specialists and therapies

Choose Continuum C3 if you want

  • major dental services like crowns covered after two years, beginning in your 3rd benefit year
  • higher prescription drug maximums after the first year of coverage

Best Coverage:   FollowMe Health Premiere vs. Continuum C4

Both of these plans have the benefits of the enhanced plans plus the highest maximum coverage amounts available.

Choose Manulife Premiere if you want

  • major dental coverage after one year, beginning in your 2nd benefit year
  • higher prescription drug coverage in the first year
  • HealthCare Online at no charge

Choose Continuum C4 if you want

  • higher dental coverage maximums
  • higher prescription drug coverage maximums after two years, beginning in your 3rd benefit year

Comparing plans can be tricky but getting coverage is easy!

First, we’ll start with saying the above recommendations are for your consideration only based on our 2020 plan review. Plans change every year — and so do your needs. Only you can look at the current product details and decide what is right for you and your budget.

Choosing the perfect health insurance plan takes some thought, but at SBIS we make applying for coverage is easy! Go online and in a few minutes, your application will be on its way to your insurer.

If you have any questions, would like more information or need assistance selecting a plan, 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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