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Suddenly Becoming A Common-Law Couple? Great! It Makes Common-Sense To Get Health Insurance

Suddenly Becoming A Common-Law Couple? Great! It Makes Common-Sense To Get Health Insurance
Sharing expenses or just ready to share your lives? Suddenly becoming a common law couple means you’ve taken the step to a future together. Now it makes common-sense to put in place health insurance to protect both your finances and your healthy times to come.

Since Statistics Canada first began tracking common law couples 40 years ago, there’s been enormous growth in the number of couples that are living common law – multiplying over five times in the last 40 years. In fact, the percent of unmarried couples who live together is the highest percentage of any G7 nation.

Why are so many Canadians choosing to live common law? Stepfamilies and those who have been in a previous relationship may find blending households without the formality of marriage simpler. But now more than ever there can be a real economic advantage to share household expenses – with many couples making that decision quickly in the face of challenging economic times.

If you’ve taken the step to move in together, the next step you should take is to review your health insurance, together.

Understanding single vs. couple or family health insurance coverage

If it is only you and your partner, you can apply for health insurance as a couple to take advantage of paying a lower premium rate than you would for two separate plans. If your family grows, you can switch to a family plan for more protection and savings.

You may think you don’t need to have health insurance for your household, but costs like prescription drugs, dental care and therapy may not be covered by the government. You could end up being out of pocket for a lot of money just providing healthcare essentials you and your partner need.

Consider how you will financially cope together with these health care needs and costs:

Minor illness

Common colds do not typically need significant medical care. On the other hand, some eye, ear, or throat infections only improve with out-of-pocket costs for prescription antibiotic therapy. A private health insurance plan can cover thousands more drugs than those offered under a provincial plan.

Serious illness

If you or your new partner are like almost half of adult Canadians, you already have chronic health issues or may it be on your health horizon. From asthma to diabetes, you or your partner may be faced with a serious or long-lasting health condition. You will need to invest in regular medication and therapies. Health insurance helps cover these costs.

If you are worried you may not qualify for health insurance, be assured, you can. Age, province of residence and work status are a few of the first questions you’ll be asked to get a quote for coverage.

Accidents and injuries

You work hard to keep safe but when it comes to sprains, serious cuts, and broken bones someone in your household is bound to trip downstairs or even seriously strain a ligament while moving to your new home. While physical activity is vital to your good health, seasonal activities can be hazardous. Enjoy organized sports together? These can result in concussion, dental injuries and more. Pain medication, medical equipment, dental work, and therapy can unexpectedly add up, and you will pay out-of-pocket unless you have health insurance.

Therapists and specialists

Sometimes we need to be able to talk about problems, fears, or concerns for our mental health. At other times you might need to find specialized support for weight control with a dietician, chiropractic help or massage therapy. Therapeutic costs can add up year after year, really impacting your budget, amounting to thousands of dollars. The good news is that health insurance helps you take care of these costs.

Dental care

A regular dental check-up can cost hundreds of dollars — and specialized care may cost thousands. From routine check-ups to emergency dental work and orthodontics, health insurance can help so you only pay a portion of the total cost. It’s important to know what your plan you select covers and to what extent.

Couple budgeting

Can you stay within your budget with added healthcare costs?

Most health insurance plans cover costs for a wide variety of prescription drugs your new family household’s needs. You can take your health insurance benefit plan card to your pharmacist and eligible costs will be covered automatically so you don’t need to pay them out of pocket.

When it comes to dental care or therapy like naturopathy, chiropractic, acupuncture, or massage services that are not covered by your government health plan, you would be partly covered by your health insurance so that you can stay within your budget.

Depending on whether you have any employer benefits or coverage available under your new partner’s coverage, you either need to choose:

An individual health and dental plan to cover all your household’s needs

Purchasing a couple’s health insurance plan means that you have protection against unexpected healthcare costs, regardless of whether you are working or what age you are. Coverage is renewable for life regardless of changes to your health if you pay your premiums.

If your new household includes kids, it should be a priority to have them covered by health insurance right away. A family plan will cover dependent children up to the age of 21. For families with children covered by OHIP+, you may want to get a dental and extended healthcare plan.

An individual health and dental plan to supplement your existing coverage

Your employer health plan may not provide dental coverage or limits therapy benefits that you or your partner need. Benefits available in both your group and individual plan will be combined to provide higher coverage. A health insurance plan you purchase is always going to have different types of coverage or maximum visits per year, and the important thing to know is that the plans will work together to permit coverage of up to 100% of eligible expenses. Coordinating employer health benefits with your own supplemental plan is especially useful if someone in your family needs an expensive pair of glasses or additional therapy sessions.

Health insurance helps with preventative healthcare so you can focus on your future together

Health insurance used to serve us primarily when an illness or accident caused us to incur out-of-pocket healthcare costs. But that’s changed. Now it also delivers preventative healthcare tools to help you lead a healthier lifestyle. You can get rewards for eating right, exercising, and learning about healthy choices, from premium discounts to gift cards.

Health insurance offers online resources to access health information that is up to date and accurate for your family. Your insurance can connect you to preferred pricing and 24/7 access to virtual healthcare professionals. There are also online prescription services with at home delivery and built-in features for digital mental health therapy so you can address health issues quickly and conveniently.

To help you filter and focus, at SBIS our job as your health insurance broker is to deliver understandable information you can trust and help you select and put in place health insurance coverage that fits your needs.

Use SBIS resource search to find the answers.

Its sensible to work out between you how your new household will work, including what health insurance you will depend on. At SBIS we have identified important plan features and options – from taxation to claim management, dental coverage to homecare – and we have created resource articles that will give you the information you need quickly. Just type in what you are looking for in our smart Search function or check out our Resources.

Shopping for your health insurance is as convenient as other online shopping. At SBIS, our quote and apply platform is smart, easy, and fast to use, saving you time. We deliver tools that work smoothly from your phone, laptop, or tablet from wherever you may be – whenever you want to shop for and even compare from the 40+ different health and dental plans we offer Manulife, Green Shield (GSC) and GMS health insurance companies.

We make it easy to connect and receive personal support from insurance experts you can trust. During the workweek, you can call SBIS 8:45am to 4:45pm ET and connect live to get answers within minutes. And when managing the family means that the only time you can deal with your health insurance choices is off-hours, SBIS chat and online inquiry will let you ask your questions and get your answers, wherever you are, any time of day.

Managing your insurance benefits is easy for you both

Want to make a claim or check your health insurance claim status? There’s an app for that. At SBIS, we are committed to working with leading insurance carriers that deliver online and app tools at your fingertips when it matters: claim time. You have insurance to work for you, so you don’t have to pay out of pocket for eligible expenses (like dental care or prescription drugs) and if you do, you’ll be reimbursed quickly. The tools you can access with your insurance deliver clear details and help you keep your finances in balance.

The cost of maintaining your new household’s good health can add up quickly so the best tip is to have health insurance in place.

When your health insurance is in place, instead of reaching for your debit card, you can reach for your benefit card after your visits to your healthcare professional. For other visits by you yourself or by your partner, you can submit the healthcare receipt and claim online for quick and easy reimbursement.  Contact SBIS today or visit us online – we’re happy to be your partner for insurance advice and protection.

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