Losing your Group Health Coverage?
BY JON KNUTSON BA DiplT (Fin Mgt) CFP
As Canadians, we have one of the best healthcare systems in the world – but that doesn’t mean your provincial government provides you with all the healthcare coverage you need. As provincial governments cut back their levels of healthcare coverage, you may be left to pay for expenses such as:
■ Prescription Drugs
■ Dental Services
■ Vision Care
■ Paramedical Services (eg Physiotherapy and Chiropractor visits)
■ Transportation by Ambulance
Fortunately, many employers provide group healthcare and dental coverage as employee benefits to attract and retain talent. This supplemental coverage helps fill the increasing gap left by provincial health insurance coverage. However, over half of Canadian employers do not offer any group healthcare or dental coverage to their retirees.
If you are going through a career change, retirement or job loss, your benefits may be lost. Without a healthcare plan, you may have to pay for routine medical expenses such as prescription drugs, visits to the dentist, prescription eyewear and chiropractic visits out of your own pocket. To complicate matters, if you face an accident or illness, the significant out-of-pocket medical expenses you would pay in addition to everyday healthcare bills, could be quite sizeable.
Understanding how important supplemental coverage is these days, especially with the constant changes to provincial health insurance, it is wise to consider purchasing your own healthcare insurance when leaving a group health plan. It is important to obtain a plan that offers you solid, yet affordable coverage and will help ensure that you and your family can maintain many of the benefits you enjoyed under your group health plan.
There are health and dental plans that are specifically designed for those who are concerned that their age or health issues may make it difficult to obtain affordable health and dental coverage after their employee benefits end. As long as you apply for this coverage within 60 days of your group health benefits ending, your acceptance is guaranteed if you are a Canadian resident – all without a medical questionnaire or exam.
Unlike health benefits at work that can change or end, you will own this health insurance coverage. In addition, many of the health and dental plans allow you to decide what level of protection best suits your needs and budget. Therefore, you will only pay for the health coverage you really want and need.
For more information, please speak with your Rogers Group Financial Advisor.