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Retiring? Health Insurance Helps Take The Worry Out of Chronic Condition Costs

Time and money
Too often we don’t like to talk about money, but that’s not really healthy. Health insurance after retirement in Canada is a topic of concern for many individuals, especially those living with chronic health conditions.

It’s no secret that Canada’s population is getting older. What may come as a surprise is that when you age you may need to be prepared to pay out of pocket for healthcare costs.

As we know, health insurance in Canada is provided to residents by their province or territory of residence. However, there are many conditions and treatments that fall outside of the coverage offered by the government. This list is extensive, and if you are diagnosed with a chronic health condition, there’s a good chance that some or all of your treatment needs will not be covered.

Let us help you better understand what happens to those who do not have health insurance when they are diagnosed with a chronic health condition.

Going without health insurance is a financial gamble

If you follow gambling at all, you know that the house always wins. You take a risk, and sometimes it pays off, but more often than not… it doesn’t.

The same can be said for going without health insurance. Nobody likes to think about the implications of getting older, but the fact remains that it’s happening to all of us every day, whether we like it or not.

When you reach the age of retirement in Canada, it is very likely that you will be managing a condition that affects your health every day. How likely? Would you be surprised to learn that according to Aging and chronic diseases: A profile of Canadian seniors

  • about two-thirds (65.5%) of seniors are diagnosed with hypertension
  • over half (52.0%) of those aged 65–79 have moderate-to-severe periodontal disease
  • over one-third (37.9%) of those aged 65+ were living with diagnosed osteoarthritis.

The prevalence of most chronic diseases increases with age and over time. For those over 85, over 83% have hypertension, over half suffer from osteoarthritis, 42% have ischemic heart disease (IHD), and almost 37% have osteoporosis.

So, what are your odds of a retirement without chronic disease? Suffice it to say that betting against having a chronic condition is unrealistically optimistic. Now that you understand just how likely it is that you will have to pay for the treatment of at least one chronic health condition as you age, the next point to understand is just how much it will cost to manage the effects of that disease without health insurance.

Chronic illness can strain your finances

It’s entirely possible that you’ve never considered just how much it could cost to pay for healthcare treatments out of your own pocket. The amount of out-of-pocket medical expenses faced by seniors and their caregivers are expected to reach at least $8,000 by the year 2035 according to the Conference Board of Canada.

Even plans for a lavish retirement likely do not include an allowance for that kind of expense, over and above any other plans you may have when you leave working life behind.

When we consider the high cost of prescription drugs to manage chronic health conditions, paramedical services, and medical supplies, it becomes clear that health insurance is a necessary investment in any future senior’s well-being.

If fact, you don’t need to be approaching retirement age to apply for health coverage.  It is available to any Canadian resident covered by a government plan between the ages of 18 and 80, or even older– and its renewable for your entire lifetime.

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Yes, you can get health insurance if you have a pre-existing condition

Many Canadians are under the impression that health insurance is only for older people and those that are already in need of supplemental healthcare. This misconception adds up to a costly mistake for many Canadian households.

To help you better understand why it’s important to carry health coverage at any age, think of health coverage as though it’s the insurance you buy for your car. Trying to purchase health insurance after you have been diagnosed with a chronic health condition is rather like an attempt to buy auto insurance after you have already had an accident. It just doesn’t work like that!

However, special conditions may apply if you do have a pre-existing health condition and you have lost group benefits coverage in the last 90 days or will lose your benefits shortly. In fact, you may be eligible for guaranteed acceptance under some insurance plans. There is no time like the present to explore your options, like Manulife Health and Dental Guaranteed Issue Plan which provides coverage for a wide range of coverage including dental, registered specialists, vision, mental health care and therapy, travel and more – all at a competitive price, and includes

Prescription Drugs

Coverage of 80% of $3,125 ($2,500) per year for generic and brand name drugs (unless they have a lower cost alternative), including $500 per year for Lifestyle* drugs like flash glucose sensors, smoking cessation drugs and aids and anti-obesity drugs

Extended Health Care

Coverage for registered specialists and therapists including acupuncturists, chiropractors, osteopaths, naturopaths, chiropodists, podiatrists, massage therapists, physiotherapists, and dietitians, and help with costs for medical equipment including blood pressure monitors, casts, canes, and crutches, walkers, standard non-electric wheelchairs, and hospital adjustable beds

Nursing and Ambulance

Coverage for the service of a Registered Nurse (R.N.) or Registered Practical Nurse (R.P.N.) and unlimited ground and air ambulance in your home province

SBIS takes the risk out of health insurance

Chronic illness is one of those things that we all like to think will happen to someone else. However, the reality is it’s very likely that you or a member of your family will be affected by a condition that requires treatment over and above what is covered by the health insurance benefits provided by the government.

Paying for treatment out of pocket can very quickly put a strain on household finances, and even if you think you can comfortably afford whatever may come your way, there is no guarantee that something the government covers today won’t be delisted later. That’s why it’s so important to work with an insurance broker like SBIS now to help provide financial protection for the future.

Making sense of your insurance options doesn’t have to be complicated. You’re only a phone call away from gaining a better understanding of the coverage that will best suit your needs, now and in the future. We offer a wide variety of plans that will provide you with the benefits you need regardless of any prior health condition you have. Contact us at SBIS 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.

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