Few things are as important as health insurance. In Canada, every citizen has healthcare coverage. The government funded system however, doesn't cover things like prescription lenses and visits to the optometrist, dental care (unless it's an emergency and services are performed in a hospital), and prescription medication. There are exceptions to these rules if you are over 65, or under 25.
While Canada's healthcare system is robust and provides access to hospitals, visits to the doctor and specialists, it doesn't cover access to services like physiotherapy, chiropractors, mental health professionals, and much more. Having access to these types practitioners can have a huge impact on how you manage and prolong both your physical and mental health.
This is where having a private or supplemental health care plan can be a huge investment. As of January 2022, an estimated 60% of Canadians have either out right purchased additional healthcare plans, have benefits through their work, or both. When this article was revisited in February of 2023, those numbers remained relatively the same.
Not all insurance plans are created equal, though. Some offer much more coverage, and some are more expensive than others. So how do you know which is best?
To find the best insurance plans, look for the best insurance companies. To help you make the right decision, we've done some of the research for you.
With that being said, let's take a closer look at Canada's top 5 health insurance companies, what makes them the best and what their health products look like.
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Founded in Toronto in 1887 in Toronto, Manulife Financial Corporation is a leader in the global financial industry. Today Manulife is a multinational corporation providing insurance to over 30 million policyholders in Asia, Canada and the United States. Manulife is noted as the very first company to offer insurance for diabetes.
Manulife has everything to be proud of. As 2022 came to a close, 38,000 people were employed with the company not including the 119,000 agents that have served well over 30 million happy customers. For a company that been in business for over 135 years, it's no wonder the company has $1.3 trillion in assets under administration and management. In the face of COVID-19, not only does Manulife promote health and wellness through their Vitality initiative for their customers, but they've actually given their staff an extra week off in 2022, as well as the option to work one half Friday per month.
Manulife Flexcare Health and Dental Insurance provide plans which help customers save money by way of only buying only what they want. Plans come with health and dental coverage, targeted protection in certain areas if need be, and a slew of optional add-ons.
Oftentimes people who lose their employer provided health and dental benefits are taken aback by the actual cost of a benefits plan that covers all their needs. With a Manulife FollowMeᵀᴹ plan, the focus remains on managing the costs to the customer when they have lost their job. An added benefit of FollowMeᵀᴹ, is that folks of any age can apply, with no medical questionnaires and are able to maintain their coverage for as long as they like.
Manulife's Association Health & Dental Insurance plans offer 8 different, robust plans to choose from. These plans are enhanced continually for great benefits and value. They allow for the customer to pay for only the coverage they need.
One of the best ways to protect against unexpected and out of pocket medical costs, is to invest in Manulife's Health & Dental Guaranteed Issue Enhanced insurance. This plan is specifically geared towards those with underlying health concerns and pre-existing conditions.
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Blue Cross Ontario is a non-profit organization that provides insurance plans for individuals or groups. Insurance offered by Blue Cross includes health and dental insurance, travel insurance, life insurance, and disability insurance. Serving their communities for over 75 years, Blue Cross is reputed to have outstanding customer services.
Blue Cross was founded in 1929 with Manitoba being the first to establish a plan. Soon after, Ontario Blue Cross followed suit together with the other provinces. With the inception of the Medicare system in the 1960's, Blue Cross adapted their plans to complement provincial health care, especially due to the rising cost for prescription drugs. More to their supplementary drug coverage, Blue Cross also provides dental, life and travel insurance.
Blue Cross insurance is unique in that it offers insurance coverage in multiple countries. In Canada, they operate in every province and across every territory. Coverage types and plans vary across locations so it's important to consult with an agent for details.
Your provincial health plan already covers some basic needs. Blue Cross insurance is designed to provide coverage beyond that.
Ontario Blue Cross offers comprehensive and affordable health insurance coverage for customers. If you have a unique work situation, this may be a good option for you. Blue Cross specializes in making sure their plans help those who need them.
Whether you're employed with a small or large company, or are self employed, Blue Cross is a sound option to consider.
Blue Cross Key Details:
Head Office Address
185 The West Mall, Suite 610 Etobicoke, Ontario M9C 5P1
Health & Life Insurance Weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Eastern time). Email (Health insurance): email@example.com Email (Life insurance): firstname.lastname@example.org Local: 416-646-2585 Toll-free: 1-866-732-2583
Travel & Visitors Insurance Weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Eastern time). Email: email@example.com
In Business Since
A.M. Best Rating
Blue Cross Health and Dental Products
Health & Dental Plan
Blue Cross offers health and dental care products to suit every individual. The company prides themselves on finding the right plan for all budgets. Whether you are an individual, a small business, new to Canada or a recent grad, Blue Cross has a healthcare solution for you.
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As a leading company founded in 1865, Sun Life Financial is one of the oldest insurance providers in Canada. Today, SunLife Financial services countries worldwide like Canada, the United States, the UK, Philippines, and Asia. With a credit rating of AA- from Standard & Poor’s, Sun Life is trusted by its millions of policyholders.
Sun Life ranks number 235 on the Forbes Global 2000 list for 2022. The 50,000+ employees and 140,900 advisors at SunLife would tell you that this organization is a great one to work for. Focused on healthy living and financial freedom, the education they promote to their clients is very much a practice in the workplace as well. In 2021, the company saw $3.93 billion in net income and reported $1.44 trillion of assets under management.
Sun Life Financial offers health and dental coverage, but you can't get dental coverage on its own. You'll have to take the health insurance coverage too, but the product offerings in each of those combined plans are very attractive.
The health insurance offered by Sun Life is comparable to others on this list. It's laid out in easy-to-understand terms on their website, which is helpful, especially if you tend to get confused when it comes to insurance.
You have three health insurance options to choose from with Sun Life. They call these Personal Health Insurance and Health Coverage Choice: Basic, Standard and Enhanced Plans. They offer anywhere from 60-80% coverage on prescription drugs and dental coverage and many other travel and paramedical services as well.
This plan is well suited for those who prefer a low-cost plan which covers the basic items of a healthcare plan such as drugs, travel and emergency.
Personal Health Insurance Standard Plan
Listed at Sun Life's most purchased plan with all the added benefits of the basic plan, but comes with coverage for catastrophic drugs and medical travel expenses.
Personal Health Insurance Enhanced Plan
With all of the benefits of the basic and standard plan, the Sun Life Personal Health Insurance Enhanced plan offers the largest prescription drug amount coverage. It also includes mental health services and add-ons (optional) for orthodontics and restorative dental care.
Health and Dental Choice A - (Exclusive for those losing Group Benefits)
This plan offers excellent core coverage for your family medical, dental and vision costs
Health Choice B - (Exclusive for those losing Group Benefits)
The Health Choice B plan offers everything that comes in the A plan, but with more comprehensive medical coverage for the whole family, include travel medical coverage and the option to add dental.
Health Choice C - (Exclusive for those losing Group Benefits)
Sunlife's most robust coverage for families that need complete coverage. This plans offers everything in the A and B plans, with a much higher lifetime coverage maximum.
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The Canada Life Assurance Company has been a household name since 1847. The company is one of the most well-established players in the Canadian financial services industry and also considered as one of the best life insurance plans provider in Canada.
The Canada Life Assurance Company was founded in Winnipeg Manitoba and paid out its first death claim in 1893 for an insured killed in a bicycle accident. By 1897, the company was represented across every province in Ontario.
The business continued to evolve and thrive over the last century and beyond until 2020 when it amalgamated The Great-West Life Assurance Company, London Life Insurance Company and The Canada Life Assurance Company, along with their holding companies (London Insurance Group Inc. and Canada Life Financial Corporation).
They offer several plans to choose from. Though the name is somewhat deceiving, this company does offer more than life insurance.
What you'd be looking for here is health and dental insurance. These plans are designed for people who don't have group benefits or are losing health coverage for some reason.
What do these plans cover? They're available for both you and your family. Those insured receive help with prescription drug, hospital, ambulance, and vision costs, to list only a few.
The idea here is to make your health plan feel like you're covered with group benefits, even if you're not.
GMS focuses on bridging the gap between publicly funded medical care, and its customers. GMS provides health insurance for medical needs not covered by the government such as ambulatory services and personal support workers. The aim is to ensure all Canadians get to live their lives to the fullest.
GMS (Group Medical Services) was opened in 1949, long before publicly funded health care was available in the country in the lovely province of Saskatchewan. The unique aspect of this company is that it was actually founded by a group of determined doctors, community and friends; as part of their mission statement, their primary focus on wellness first. GMS offers several health coverage plan options. These include travel insurance, student insurance, replacement health coverage, and personal health coverage.
Do you have friends or family that are visiting from out of country? They can secure health insurance from GMS during their stay. As a resident of Canada, you may be interested in either the personal or replacement health coverage options.
Personal health coverage plans are meant to extend the coverage you have through your province. They're flexible and cater to your needs. These include dental coverage and prescription drugs.
GMS offers three personal health coverage plans. The Basic Plan, ExtendaPlan, and the OmniPlan. Each one offers different benefits with the OmniPlan being the creme de la creme as it brings you services like naturopathy and accidental dental, so make sure you familiarize yourself with them all before making a choice. Once you've chosen a plan you can also add additional coverage.
Replacement health coverage is for those who're losing group benefits in the near future. GMS also offers three plans for this type of coverage.
If side-by-side comparison would be helpful, speak with us today. Our agents would be happy to spend the time to understand your unique needs and provide more detailed information on how a GMS health and dental plan can benefit you.
GMS Key Details:
Group Medical Services
Head Office Address
2055 Albert Street, PO Box 1949 Regina, SK S4P 0E3
Call Centre Hours Monday – Friday 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Customer toll-free: 1.800.667.3699 Broker toll-free: 1.855.821.6881
In Business Since
A.M. Best Rating
GMS Health and Dental Products
Within its Basic Plan, GMS offers coverage for core health requirements and unforeseen emergencies. Customers also receive benefits for Naturopathy, Osteopathy, Dietitians and more.
Along with everything received in the BasicPlan, the GMS Extenda Plan also offers coverage towards mental health services, vision, and more.
GMS's most superior plan. Along with everything received in Basic and Extenda, OmniPlan®comes equipped with accidental dental, vision care, massage therapy, acupuncture and so much more.
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Take Care of Your Health with These Best Health Insurance in Ontario
Health insurance is one of those things you'll likely always be paying for, but it's always worth it in the end. Make sure you choose a plan that gets you high-quality coverage by going with one of these 5 health insurance companies.
Take a look at the plans that are offered and choose the one that best meets your needs. Whether you need prescription drug coverage, dental coverage, or bare-bones health coverage, there are options for you.
Not sure how to choose the right health insurance plan? Click here for more information.