Ontario will spend about $65 billion on healthcare next year. The government has also promised to trim around $1 billion from the healthcare budget.
Recent changes to OHIP+ scaled back prescription medications for youth and seniors. No further cuts to OHIP have been announced just yet, but some people think it’s only a matter of time.
Know your Provincial Coverage
In Ontario, OHIP provides basic coverage. You’ll be covered every time you visit a doctor or if you need to stay in the hospital.
OHIP also covers the cost of visits to the optometrist for people under the age of 18 and over the age of 65. Seniors in Ontario also qualify for a government co-pay for their prescription medications.
When you’re looking for medical insurance in Canada, it’s key to be sure you’re not duplicating your coverage. If you already have coverage under the public system, you shouldn’t pay for it again in a private insurance plan.
Having duplicate coverage can also cause confusion about who is responsible for paying. This was the outcome of the recent changes to OHIP+.
The program was supposed to cover prescription medication for children. In September 2018, revisions made the province a secondary insurer. If a child had private insurance, the private plan paid first.
More recently, OHIP+ has revised again. Children covered under private insurance are not eligible for OHIP+.
Another change is the introduction of a dental care program for low-income seniors. Seniors with higher income will still need to pay for dental care delivered outside of a hospital.
Assess Your Medical Insurance Needs
Before you begin looking for health insurance in Canada, you should decide what you need. This will make it easier to get quotes and compare them later on.
After reviewing provincial healthcare coverage, you should know about gaps in the program. You may want to seek insurance for medical costs you don’t have coverage for.
In Ontario, common health benefits in a private insurance plan include:
- Vision care coverage, including prescriptions for glasses and contacts
- Routine dental care coverage
- Corrective dental care, such as braces or tooth extraction
- Supplementary health services, like physiotherapy and registered massage therapy
- Medical devices, such as wheelchairs and walkers
- Prescription medication coverage
- Emergency medical services outside of Canada
It’s up to you to decide what kinds of coverage you need most. If you’re healthy, you may want to have coverage for routine dental care. You may also want prescription medication coverage. This is very true if you have a condition such as asthma.
If you have a physical disability, you may want to invest in a plan that helps manage the costs of medical devices. Older people or those with injuries may want coverage for physiotherapy.
If you travel a lot, a policy with emergency medical coverage outside Canada might be a good choice. If you tend to stay at home, you may not see the need to pay for this coverage.
Get Health Insurance Quotes in Ontario
Once you’ve reviewed your needs, you’ll have an idea of what your ideal plan looks like. With that in mind, you can begin getting quotes.
You’ll likely begin by researching different insurance providers in Ontario. Canada has a public health system, but there are many choices for private policies.
Some companies operate all across Canada. Others will operate in Ontario alone. Some of the large insurance providers include:
There are others. You can begin your research by visiting the websites of insurance providers. Many provide online quotes quickly and easily.
You can also turn to comparison sites. These sites may list the top providers, as rated by customers like you. You can read reviews and get health insurance quotes.
These sites make it easy to compare plans across several companies at the same time. You only need to fill in the form once.
You can also discover which companies offer special plans. You may be interested in plans designed for seniors or self-employed people. Some companies excel in customer service, while others have low premiums.
Talk to a Broker
When you’re looking for health insurance in Ontario, don’t forget to talk to brokers.
Brokers often deal with several insurance companies. They can help you compare plans and companies by delivering several quotes. In that way, they're like comparison sites, only with even more insight.
They may also be able to help you find better rates. Brokers act as the managers of group insurance plans. They create accounts for their clients.
They then shop those accounts around to different providers. Since they place multiple client accounts with a provider, they get group discounts.
You can’t get these rates on your own. They’re often lower than those you pay as an individual. Working with a broker could help you save money on your insurance.
Brokers can also give you more insightful feedback on plans and companies. They can help you assess your needs, then review plans with you to find the right one. Since they review and select plans themselves, their advice is often invaluable.
A broker takes the guesswork out of comparing plans and providers.
Read the Fine Print
Once you’ve gathered up health insurance quotes in Ontario, your next task is to review them. Be sure you’re comparing apples to apples. Plans should be similar to each other.
The first thing you’ll likely look at will be the premiums. How much will you pay for this coverage? You should always ask if there are extra fees, deductibles, or co-payments.
Next, look at the coverage itself. One plan may offer $500 for prescription medications. Another plan offers $750 for a higher premium.
Ask yourself which is providing you with more value.
Finally, compare the providers’ offers. Do some providers add perks to their plans? Some might give you access to 24/7 support, while others provide a mobile app to make managing your plan easy.
Remember that the best health insurance in Ontario is the one that fits your specific needs. If you’re on a shoestring budget, a low-priced plan may be the best option.
If you have high medical costs, though, a low-priced plan may not provide you with the right coverage. In fact, it could leave you paying out of pocket more often than not.
This is where it’s important to have a good idea of what you need in a plan. If you need medications, you pick a plan that offers more prescription coverage. If, by contrast, you don’t wear contacts or glasses, you may not want as much coverage for vision care.
Customize Your Insurance Solution
Another thing you should do is ask about your customization options. Some providers will allow you to make minor changes to your plan. Others will let you pick from an a-la-carte menu of options to make a more customized plan.
Keep in mind that a customized plan may have higher premiums. It should provide you with more value, though, since it better serves your insurance needs.
Customization allows you to increase coverage for the items you need the most. At the same time, you can lower the coverage for items you need less of. You may even be able to switch coverage you don’t need for extra dollars or another benefit.
In turn, you’ll get more use out of your plan. It will save you more in out-of-pocket costs.
Pick a Provider, Any Provider
Finding the right insurance solution will help you cover more of your needs. It will also help you save money and get the peace of mind you need.
Remember that some supplementary healthcare coverage is usually better than none.
The Ontario public healthcare system only covers some medical costs. There are many more it doesn’t cover. Across Canada, public healthcare only covers 70 percent of costs.
That leaves Canadians to pay 30 percent out of pocket.
With supplementary health insurance, you can spend less and save more. Picking a plan that mostly fits your needs will be better than not having the extra insurance.
Get a Quote Right Now
If you’ve been thinking about getting private health insurance in Ontario, now’s the time to do it. Online tools make it quick and easy to start researching companies and comparing plans.
If you’re ready to start getting better health insurance quotes in Ontario, you can get a quote from us now. We’ll compare plans for you and pick the one we think is best for you, at the lowest price.
Get more peace of mind with the best health insurance in Canada. It could be just a few clicks away.