Contrary to popular belief, Canada doesn’t actually have a complete publicly funded health care system. As a matter of fact, one has to fund about 30% of their healthcare costs through an individual health insurance broker or pay out-of-pocket.
Only 70% of the costs are covered by our public health system. Even so, this amount only makes up "medically-necessary" care. This includes hospital, physician and diagnostic services. Under the Canada Health Act, other services like physiotherapy, chiropractic, dental, optical and pharmaceutical aren’t deemed “necessary”.
The average Canadian spends $12,057 on health care annually. This brings the average cost of health insurance per month in Canada to around $1000 per household.
This is by no means a small amount. The options for private health insurance Ontario has to offer, step in to ease this burden.
Choosing the right plan for you and your loved ones can be quite a daunting experience especially if you’re looking to get the best value for your money. Employing the services of an individual health insurance broker makes this process easy.
This article takes an in-depth look at why this is the most viable option for you.
The Difference Between an Individual Health Insurance Broker and an Agent
Many people use the terms broker and agent interchangeably. Yet, the two are quite different.
Both serve as middlemen between the health insurance company and the individual. They are legally obligated to help you find the best health insurance Canada provides. The plans should meet your needs without you having to break the bank.
Insurance agents represent the interests of the insurance company. They are an extension of the insurer and receive compensation from the company in the form of a commission or in other instances, a salary.
They offer health insurance quotes based on those provided by the company. A broker represents the individual purchasing the plan.
They are not allied to any company. As a result, they provide you with an array of options from many health service providers.
They also receive commissions just like agents do but don’t have a contract with the companies. They are well-versed in the health insurance market and understand health insurance law.
They act as your personal counsel on all insurance-related matters to ensure that you and your loved ones are protected. They not only provide you with expert and unbiased advice but look out for your best interest as well. This is unlike other providers whose sole focus is to get you to buy a policy from them.
Services You Get from Insurance Brokers
Many insurance brokers will be happy to give you a free quote online. But, it is always advisable to seek a personal consultation so that they can adequately address all your questions and concerns. Some of the services they offer include:
- Carrying out a detailed assessment of your individual health needs to provide you with a comprehensive quote. Sometimes, depending on the type of insurance coverage, this might need you to provide them with a medical report.
- Doing a comparative analysis of various coverage options that different health insurance companies have. This may include activities like checking out Surehealth Canada reviews to determine if its coverage is right for you. Your broker will give you suitable recommendations based on your budget and individual requirements.
- Looking for the best possible opportunities to cut down on premiums payable by consolidating all the health insurance options to get large discounts.
- Going through the underwriting fine print and explaining all the terms and conditions so that you understand.
- Doing all the administrative follow up on claims on your behalf.
- If policy revisions are necessary, they provide advice and make the required changes at the policy renewal time.
- Providing after sales advice to clients.
- Helping you with the claims process to ensure a fast and fair settlement.
These brokerage services don’t usually have any costs attached to them. Since they earn their commission from the insurance companies that provide the health plans, any other service they offer is free.
Benefits of Using a Health Insurance Broker
There are many methods you can use to buy health insurance. All are perfectly legitimate, but using an insurance broker's expertise works in your favor to help you make well-informed decisions since they work for you and not the insurance company. Here are of the things that set them apart from all other health insurance intermediary options available:
1. They Present You with Many Choices
Individual health insurance brokers have access to a myriad of top-notch insurers, some of whom don’t even sell their healthcare plans directly to the public. Once they do a proper assessment of what your specific health needs are, they embark on finding the best coverage at the most competitive price in the market.
2. They Provide Impartial Advice
Independent health insurance brokers are licensed professionals. Using their industry experience and unbiased judgment they can make recommendations that serve your interests.
3. Brokers Offer Unmatched Flexibility
They have the added advantage of providing a human connection, unlike the experience you get when dealing with large corporate machines. They offer flexibility in their communication channels to ensure it fits into your lifestyle. Whether you’d prefer meeting face to face, email back and forth, or, having a telephone conversation, they can pretty much match your expectations.
4. They Broker Trust
Since insurance brokers work with your best interests at heart, you can trust that their recommendations are free from bias. They provide you with health coverage options that fit your requirements, with the utmost good faith. Ideally, this includes presenting you with a comprehensive plan that incorporates the best dental insurance Canada brings to the table alongside all other benefits not included in the national coverage.
5. Advocacy Goes a Long Way
Your broker goes to bat for you if you ever have to make a medical claim with your insurer. They act as your advocate with the company in case of a dispute to ensure that you receive fair and prompt payment.
6. Transparent Transactions
Employing the services of a broker doesn't come at an extra cost. So they have no financial incentive to recommend one insurance company over another.
This is due to the fact that they’ll earn a commission from any insurance company they place your business with. They are completely transparent in their dealings with some going a step further to encourage you to inquire about their payment.
7. Industry Knowledge
Brokers have a wealth of industry knowledge on all things insurance. They are well-placed to get you all the applicable discounts on the health insurance policies you buy.
8. Community Resource Centers
Brokers are a local community resource center for health and safety information. They are also among the first responders in the event of a medical emergency or catastrophe.
When you buy health insurance through an individual health insurance broker, not only does it guarantee that you’re getting the best value for your money, but, you are also investing in your community as well.
9. Peace of Mind
If you want a cheap health insurance plan without having to compromise on the level of coverage, working with an insurance broker is your best bet. They'll help you understand all elements of the policy. That way you avoid any future issues or unpleasant surprises when it's time to use your health insurance.
10. Cost Effective
Over the last 40 years, private health-care costs in Canada have skyrocketed. One can attribute this to population growth and inflation. Canada is also one of the few countries in the world that doesn’t include prescription drug coverage in its public health system.
This means that more often than not you’ll need private health insurance to meet these costs. A broker will help you find the most affordable plan while ensuring the coverage meets both you and your family’s needs. Ensure you disclose any health issues that play a role in your decision.
The prospect of finding an affordable health care plan is quite the uphill task if done on your own. An individual health insurance broker will be there to hold your hand every step of the way.
They’ll help you find an affordable plan that meets all your needs. This will depend on your personal situation and any medical conditions that could influence your choice.
In case you’re wondering about health insurance quotes for Canada, check out how to choose the best plan for your family.