When it comes to a simple answer to the question of health insurance in Canada, it isn’t quite simple. But here is what you need to know to make sure an unexpected health problem doesn’t leave you with hundreds or thousands of dollars in healthcare costs to pay.
What is health insurance in Canada?
There are two types of health insurance in Canada.
Public health insurance
Public health insurance plans are provided by your provincial government. Under the Canada Health Act, the federal government mandates that all residents have free access to what are termed “medically necessary services”. It covers care by a doctor or hospital care with the therapy and drugs needed in the hospital. So, if you have a serious illness or accident, some of your healthcare costs are covered.
Private health insurance
Private health insurance covers many health services that the public health plans do not cover, like prescription drugs, semi-private rooms in hospitals and therapy outside of the hospital. Other examples are dental checkups, eye examinations, massage, chiropractor services, nursing and homecare. It usually is called Health and Dental Insurance.
What are health and dental insurance benefits?
The term ‘benefit’ is the amount of money you are eligible to be reimbursed for the healthcare costs your private health insurance plan covers in exchange for the premium you pay.
A big advantage of health and dental insurance is that the benefits you receive help you take care of your health and your family’s health three ways:
1. You are protected if an unexpected health event happens to you or your family member.
If you were injured in a serious slip and fall accident, for example, here are some healthcare costs that would be covered:
- Prescription medication after you leave the hospital
- At home nursing
- Medical equipment like crutches
- Psychologist visit for mental health support
- Physical or massage therapy or a visit to the chiropractor
2. You are covered for many health maintenance costs
Going to the dentist or orthodontist, taking prescriptions for chronic conditions, having eye examinations, and getting eyeglasses or contact lenses, and visiting the chiropractor or massage therapist, or consulting a psychologist helps us maintain our good health. While these costs may not always be ‘unexpected’ they can drain your financial resources. Having coverage helps you stay on track with regular health maintenance.
3. You have access to trusted health support tools
While features vary, many health insurance plans give you the opportunity to conveniently set up virtual healthcare appointments. You get online access to healthcare professionals through web and mobile applications so you can get the care you need when you need it — at work, at home or wherever you are — for professional advice diagnosis and treatment of health concerns, new prescriptions and renewals, lab and imaging requisitions, referrals to specialists and allied health professionals. There are also prescription drug look-up tools and confidential assistance and digital wellness platforms where you can browse articles, podcasts and more with trusted information on family, health, life, money, and work.
So, not only does health and dental insurance help pay for things provincial health care plans don’t cover when it unexpected happens. It really helps you take care of your health and your family’s health every day.
Do you have health and dental insurance?
You may have had health and dental coverage at some point in your life:
Under a family member
Now you need it for yourself. You might want to remain loyal to the provider your family has had – and SBIS makes that easy by offering plans from Canada’s leading providers including Manulife, Group Medical Services (known as GMS) and Greenshield Canada.
Through your post-secondary institute
If you are no longer covered under your plan, it’s important to understand that simply trying to avoid the expense of health insurance is likely not the right choice in the long term. The unexpected can happen and having health insurance prepares you – just like your studies did.
Provided by an employer
Whether you are retiring or working for yourself, you are at a point in your life where you cannot count on having employer provided health benefits.
If you don’t have health insurance in place now, or don’t have enough coverage, you should so you can handle whatever healthcare costs you may face.
By putting your own private health insurance in place, you have the confidence of knowing that you have coverage throughout your lifetime for every year you continue to pay premiums.
Go online at SBIS. You’ll find all the health insurance answers you need.
If you are comfortable choosing health insurance services without the personal touch, we make that easy. You can get health insurance quotes, results, applications, and all things associated with your health insurance questions served up quickly and online at SBIS.
If you prefer a personal touch, simply give us a call Monday to Friday 8:45 a.m. – 4:45 p.m. Eastern Time at 1-800-667-0429 or 416-601-0429.