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No Employee Benefits? Now You Need Health Insurance

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Some people believe that health insurance is only for those lucky enough to have a full-time employer who offers benefits. Not so! You need health insurance, too!

A nice perk for some people who work is that their employer provides benefits. But more and more Canadians don’t have that advantage. They are self-employed.

Once you’re in business for yourself, you’re in business for yourself. And that means it’s up to you to provide the benefits. So let’s look at your options.

Non-traditional work arrangements aren’t something new

If you don’t have employer benefit, you are not alone. Whether by choice or circumstance, many people now work “on-demand,” doing freelance, temporary and contract work. Sometimes this style of work is called working in the “gig economy.” Instead of traditional full-time jobs with a single company, the gig economy has thousands of people who work as short-term, independent contractors for a variety of clients. Gig workers are really self-employed people who contract with organizations or individuals to complete a specific task or to work for a specific period of time.

They might work for multiple organizations to generate ‘full-time’ income, but on a flexible or alternative schedule. Some companies that utilize gig workers—Uber, Freelancer or TaskRabbit —do not act like an employer at all, but simply “connect” contractors and clients together.

Whether you are a trade labourer, entertainer, in transportation or a healthcare worker, a project manager or accountant, an IT professional or writer you have adapted to be part of the gig economy. And while your non-traditional work arrangements aren’t something new, as new technologies continue to facilitate workforce collaboration and make working anywhere, anytime possible, this will be how more and more people will experience work.

Individual health insurance protection isn’t a new idea, either

In 1968, Canada’s National Medical Care Insurance Act came into effect to provide provincial and territorial healthcare programs for all Canadians (not just those who work full-time and enjoy employer benefits). Since that time, health insurers have provided plans to supplement provincial healthcare coverage.

Why? Provincial plans don’t cover services like dental check-ups and treatment, massage therapy, chiropractic care, or physiotherapy, and only some provinces cover a portion of prescription drug costs (and not much, at that).

Let’s suppose you have an accident (knock on wood) and you need physiotherapy and maybe medication to help with the pain, and a mobility device to help until you get back to full strength. If you don’t have health insurance, you’ll have to pay for the mobility aid, every therapy visit as well as the prescription pain medication. Those expenses add up over time and can empty your bank account. You know that without health insurance coverage, just one illness could put you in dire financial straits because of unexpected out-of-pocket healthcare costs.

That’s why there are health insurance plans available to fit a wide range of benefits and budgets. The money you put into your plan will ensure that you will not be out of pocket thousands of dollars for much-needed treatment. Health insurance gives you a cushion to fall on, should something happen to you. You deserve that.

And the best news is that they are available to protect you and your family, whether you are working or not.

Here is how to put health insurance in place

Ready to put health benefits in place for your life? Once your health insurance application is approved, your coverage will continue as long as you pay your premiums, regardless of your age or any future changes in your health.

Your individual health insurance options cover a broader range of products and services than your provincial plans. The additional coverage provides the financial protection you need to minimize the impact of unforeseen circumstances. You never know what can happen, but it’s a good idea to be prepared.

Depending on the level of coverage you require, there are many options with different price points available to meet your needs and budget. It can be overwhelming to think about, particularly when you’re looking for work, but you have to consider it a means of taking care of yourself (and avoiding financial ruin).

You don’t need to know all the ins and outs of health insurance, because that is our job. At SBIS, we are trained professionals who can assist you in choosing the best plan for you.

SBIS goes to work for you

At SBIS, we have experts ready to assess your needs and provide you with the most up-to-date information on the available programs on the market.

Once you look at all the options, you can make an informed decision. It’s your health, and it’s your money. A supplemental health insurance plan is an excellent way to protect them both. Call us today.

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