Some incidents are common in the summer months that put you and your family at a higher risk of injury and illness. If you need medical help, your provincial health insurance plan may not cover all the costs for healthcare, especially if more specialized or complex care is required.
A supplemental health insurance plan is like having a summer safety net to protect you and your family against substantial medical expenses.
Are you prepared now for these healthcare costs?
It’s essential to be aware of common personal summer injuries and illnesses and plan for the healthcare costs you can face
Sunburn and Heat Illness
When you, your spouse or your children have sun overexposure you may need:
- Pain medication and prescription oral antihistamine to help relieve itching as the skin begins to peel and heal underneath and corticosteroid cream for the affected area or prednisone in extreme cases
- Hospitalization for extreme heat stroke
When the weather is hot, it’s tempting to spend time cooling off outside. While we know to stay safe with frequent applications of sunscreen, wear a hat, and stay hydrated with plenty of fluids, overexposure to the sun still happens. The result is sunburn. When its severe, the out-of-pocket costs of prescriptions to help ease suffering can be significant if they are not covered by your health insurance.
Extreme heat events (EHEs) are becoming more common. When we sweat in the heat, we lose electrolytes and we may not feel the urge to drink sufficient fluid to replace lost body water, which puts a strain on our heart. Problems are compounded when we age and sweat less and have decreased blood flow which means our bodies don’t dissipate heat well as when we are young. Heat is also a problem if we are overweight or have diabetes or hypertension, and that puts us at more risk for heat stroke and even hospitalization. If you are hospitalized for days, you may prefer a semi-private or private room and be faced with the cost for that care.
Extreme Allergic Reactions
When an allergic reaction is extreme you may need:
- Antibiotic ointments to treat unusual skin rashes or rashes that don’t heal quickly. Often, skin rashes are difficult to diagnose and many look very similar, making them difficult to treat on your own. Any rash that does not resolve within two weeks of topical treatment should be reported to a doctor.
- Inhalers for asthma symptoms from airborne allergy triggers
- Epinephrine injections to avoid anaphylactic shock
- Prescription eye drops used to relieve persistent itchy, red, or watery eyes when other interventions aren’t effective.
With long days spent outdoors, it’s not uncommon to get irritations from wild plants like poison ivy, sumac, and oak. Many Canadians suffer chronically from seasonal allergies. If you’ve felt like your seasonal allergies have been bothering you more frequently recently or more extreme, you may be right. New research suggests that climate change may be responsible for pollen season starting earlier and lasting longer.
Insect stings can cause allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) with hives or fever, but in severe cases result in rapid swelling of your lips or throat, swelling around the eyes, throat tightness, wheezing, difficulty breathing, hoarseness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, light-headedness, or passing out due to low blood pressure. Once you have a severe reaction you have about a 60 percent chance of having another anaphylactic reaction if stung again. That means you may face years of immunotherapy to become desensitized.
Outdoor enthusiasts are experiencing more tick-related illnesses in the past, the most common being Lyme Disease, which is a debilitating illness that causes extreme fatigue and worse and require lengthy and costly medical care. In Canada, we have approximately 40 species of ticks, but only a few can transmit Lyme Disease, such as the black-legged or deer tick. Not sure if you’ve encountered one? Check eTick to find out.
Outdoor Work and Recreation Injuries
When you are seriously injured you may need:
- Dental repair and orthodontic reconstructions for tooth fractures, dislodged teeth, and loosened teeth
- Medical equipment like wheelchairs and braces
- Prescription medications for pain
- Physiotherapy or chiropractic visits
From working around the house to having fun and playing sports, outdoor injuries spike in Canada during the summer. Sports-related injuries from playing frisbee to football can result in sprained wrists, twisted ankles and broken bones and a trip to the emergency room.
Celebrating? A misdirected pinata hit can be serious, but fireworks pose the most serious hand and eye injuries.
As a homeowner you may love the sight of a pristine, neatly kept yard. But mower injuries can be severe — toes, hands, and fingers getting caught in blades, and things like rocks and sticks getting flung out of them. Those whirling blades cause complex lacerations and fractures, and they can bury contaminants like grass and dirt in the wound causing infection.
Your health insurance will help protect you against healthcare expenses
Instead of struggling to pay out of pocket for these unexpected summer healthcare costs, health and dental insurance will cover many of the costs of you and your family’s medical care.
There is a great range of coverage for healthcare expenses such as
- basic and orthodontic dental care
- durable medical equipment like crutches and canes
- vision care with glasses and contact lenses
- registered specialists and therapists including chiropractors, chiropodists, naturopaths, registered massage therapists, physiotherapists, acupuncturists for muscle and joint pain therapies
- registered psychologist or psychotherapists to deal with stress
- homecare and nursing or personal support workers for recovery support
- accidental dental and accidental death and dismemberment – on some plans
- ambulance and semi-private room hospital costs
- hearing aids.
Together, the comprehensive range of benefits makes individual health and dental insurance a strong foundation for managing your healthcare expenses in the summer.
When is the best time to buy your health insurance?
Before you become sick or injured this summer. Once that happens, you may only be able to qualify for some but not all of the health benefits you need. The good news is that when your health insurance is approved, you will receive a drug card for direct billing with no waiting period for most of your benefits to commence, so you can get started on some summer fun.
Enjoy your summer protected from unexpected out-of-pocket health care costs. At SBIS 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.