Updated - February 02, 2022
If you're currently unemployed, there are health insurance benefits available for you.
Canada sees more than ten million people visit the emergency room each year. That's one-third of our country's population.
Quite the taxing number of people on our healthcare system.
What's more, that's not counting the doctor and specialist visits that Canadians attend each year.
And while our healthcare system takes great care of our citizens and is affordable, not everyone has easy access to healthcare.
The public health system works well but doesn't cover everything Canadians need to stay healthy, especially in terms of preventative care.
You're covered for physician visits and the emergency rooms. Though lacking are prescription medication and non emergency dental services, unless of course you are under 25 or over 65.
For most, it's not an issue. Employer-provided health care and private policies cover many of the services that provincial plans don't.
However, for the unemployed among us, lacking coverage for things like medication becomes a more pressing issue.
Is There a Solution?
Not only is money tight, but the ability to have costly medication may be compromised. And you never know when illness can arise.
But luckily, you're not completely out of options.
The flexibility of our healthcare system ensures that all people have access to healthcare that covers their needs. The Trillium Drug Program is a good example of that for Ontarian.
To help you stay insured during your unemployment, we're bringing you the 5 best options for health insurance for unemployed people.
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1. Dental Insurance
Dental insurance is one of the most common types covered under your employer's insurance plan. Not everyone carries this insurance, but everyone should.
However, dental plans are available for separate purchase by individuals. It makes them an appealing type of health insurance for unemployed people.
Put simply, public health covers the main health issues, including normal doctor visits.
Many unemployed people choose to live without additional health benefits.
For those under 24 years of age, new legislation has made some prescription drugs covered in full. This makes it even more appealing to avoid supplemental health insurance altogether.
It's a very real option to put your faith in the public health system and choose just to buy dental insurance.
It keeps costs down and avoids paying for something you may not need. Especially if you're a younger individual.
2. Hospital Cash Plans
For those looking for protection over the long run, hospital cash plans make an excellent way to ensure you're covered in the event of an emergency.
These plans pay out cash if you find yourself stuck in the hospital long-term.
Simply as it sounds, hospital cash plans are just that. Cash related to hospital expenses, or any other expense that the insured deems fit. In most cases, basic supplemental insurance would have to be purchased with the hospital cash plan included as on add on.
Some folks may find that the benefit assists with televisions in the hospital, upgraded meals etc, and others use the funds to assist their families with groceries, babysitters or bills.
Most plans do not require a medical or health exam and becomes active the moment you apply for it. It typically covers anywhere from $25-$100 per day and up to a lifetime maximum of $50,000. This coverage would decrease by 50% once one reached the age of 80.
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3. Critical Illness Plans
Critical illness plans cover an individual in case of a severe health emergency.
While public health covers most costs, these plans provide extra coverage to offset immediate issues.
The plans pay out cash should you face a severe illness such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, kidney failure, and even blindness.
The money is then available to pay off things that might otherwise fall by the wayside. Debts, child care, at-home medical equipment, etc.
You can even invest the money into a career change for an at-home career. Whatever your needs, these plans can help.
They're great health insurance for unemployed individuals because of their long-term protection, and stand-alone nature.
You're not obligated to buy any more coverage than you can afford.
Critical illness plans are another plan type that allows public health coverage with added protection.
They offer long-term pitfalls while keeping short-term costs low for those with limited income.
4. Full Coverage Plans
Full coverage plans are similar to what your employer would offer for your employee health insurance.
They typically cover everything from cosmetic surgery, to dental, to medication, to ambulance services, to wheelchairs and more.
However, as far as health insurance for unemployed people goes, they're expensive. Simply put, they cover a wide variety of services and thus require a higher monthly payment.
Though that doesn't mean that they're necessarily out of reach. Full coverage plans come in a variety of packages, and some are cheaper than others.
It's possible to find an individual or family plan that fits your needs.
Try shopping around for plans to get a better idea of the low-cost options available. While not as cheap as our other options, it might surprise you how affordable plans have become.
5. Pay Out of Pocket
The last resort to those without health insurance is paying out of pocket for your own costs. This means taking the risk that you'll stay healthy.
However, all's not lost when paying out of pocket. For instance, your Canadian public health plan is still active.
Any doctor visits, emergency room visits, or critical illnesses are still covered in terms of diagnosis, follow ups and treatment, just as they were before.
Luckily, our government provides us with exceptional health care, no matter your individual circumstances.
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Losing your job is stressful without adding the cost and worry of lost health insurance.
Canada does a great job providing basic health insurance, but sometimes you need help. For the unemployed, this means deciding what's worth your time and money.
Out of the five choices above, each offers benefits and drawbacks to carrying health insurance while unemployed. While some options cover more than others, they're all viable supplements to public health care.
Remember, unemployment typically doesn't last forever, and these options can last for as long or short a time as needed.
You can always reevaluate your health insurance options once you're back in the workforce.
If you're in need of private health insurance for the short-term, let us help. We provide a comprehensive research of available insurance plans that fit your needs.
Know your health options today! Start looking and stay healthy!