Ten Reasons Why You Need Health Insurance in Canada
Even though Canada’s healthcare system is the most accessible in the world, it doesn’t cover everything. Visiting the doctor and medical treatment is mainly free due to government funding. However, depending on which province you live in, there might be limitations on how much you are covered.
In most cases, if you are a relatively healthy person and only require general annual check-ups at your family doctor, then you probably don’t need additional health insurance. But what if you have underlying health issues or have a family member who requires extra medical attention regularly? Then you should consider getting health insurance.
To help you make this critical decision about you and your family’s healthcare, let’s take a close look at ten reasons why you should get health insurance in Canada.
1. You are not eligible for coverage through your employer
For full-time employees, your employer might provide health insurance benefits. But what if you only work part-time? Even if you have two part-time jobs that add up to full-time hours, you probably do not qualify for coverage under your part-time employer’s plan. In this case, you should consider getting an individual health insurance plan to fill in the gaps that your province doesn’t cover.
2. You are self-employed
Self-employed individuals are those who work on a freelance, contract, or gig-type basis. These individuals do not have access to group health insurance coverage under their employer’s plan.
If you are a self-employed individual, it’s a good idea to get an individual health insurance plan because it can reduce your out-of-pocket expenses if you run into a medical emergency. In some instances, you may be able to deduct a portion or all of your self-employed health insurance coverage as a business expense. Be sure to bring this up with your accountant before filing your taxes.
3. You need broader coverage
Suppose you or a family member is dealing with a disability or ongoing underlying health issues. In that case, there are various health services and products that might not be covered with your provincial health coverage. This might force you to pay out-of-pocket for additional assistance.
Eventually, if you know that you will require these other health services or products in the future, the cost might pile up. The solution is to get individual health insurance to reduce out-of-pocket costs and help protect you against unexpected medical expenses in the future.
4. You are retired
If you and your spouse are planning to retire or are already retired, you should consider your future health, especially if you or your partner have already experienced health problems. As you get older, an accident or illness could disrupt your retirement. If you don’t have additional health insurance coverage, you will get stuck with large medical bills.
5. You need to buy prescription medication
Canada is the only country with a universal healthcare system that does not include prescription drugs. You might be able to visit your family doctor for free, but if your doctor prescribes you antibiotics or any medication, you will have to pay out-of-pocket for the treatment. When you have health insurance, your prescription medication is covered, and you only have to pay a dispensing fee, which amounts to a few dollars.
6. You need dental and vision check-ups
Many people think that visiting the dentist for an annual cleaning or optometrist is covered by Canada’s universal healthcare – it isn’t. Any time you visit the dentist or optometrist, you have to pay for each visit. Even though a trip to the dentist or optometrist might not occur that often, it can become expensive over time. With health insurance, the premiums can decrease dental and optometry visits by more than half you would pay per visit.
7. You require treatment by a specialist
If you’re interested in seeing a psychologist, chiropractor or acupuncturist, Canada’s universal healthcare will not cover treatments by alternative medical specialists.
For example, seeing a registered psychologist or therapist could cost $100 – $150 per hour. Seeing an acupuncturist could cost up to $100 per session, and a visit to a chiropractor could cost $100 – $150 per visit.
If you plan to see a specialist every week, you’re looking to spend at least $400 – $500 a month. Getting health insurance is your best bet to reduce the cost of therapy treatments.
8. You require home healthcare
Health insurance is a practical solution for those who require home healthcare. Those who are terminally ill or have health issues that need permanent bed rest, house calls by a nurse, or personal support worker can become costly. If you require home healthcare for the foreseeable future, then getting health insurance is essential.
9. You require medical equipment
If you are over 65 years of age, some provinces will cover partial medical equipment. If you or your loved one requires home healthcare, you will probably need medical equipment, as well. You should consider getting private health insurance to cover the cost of operating medical equipment at home.
10. You require semi-private or private hospital accommodation
Accidents and unexpected illness can happen without a moment’s notice. If you or a loved one ends up in the hospital, you could get billed with medical costs that the provincial health care plan doesn’t allow, such as semi-private or private hospital rooms. Getting health insurance for private hotel accommodation can cover up to $100 per day for each full day you or your loved one is hospitalized.
Now that you know the ten reasons you should get health insurance, we hope we have helped you make this critical decision regarding your health.