Are you about to navigate the world of Canadian health insurance plans? Whether you're moving to Canada or simply curious about your options, health insurance can be complicated. This is especially the case if you are new to the Canadian healthcare system.
The best way to approach any insurance plan, however, is to inform yourself. In this post, we dive into what health insurance in Canada looks like and provide some health insurance examples.
Read on for insight!
Canadian Healthcare: The Basics
Healthcare in Canada takes many forms. In general, residents can apply to both public and private health insurance.
Public Health Insurance
First and foremost, Canadian citizens enjoy publicly funded health care. This means that all permanent residents can apply for public health insurance.
It also means that public health insurance plans in Canada cover most if not all of the costs for medical services.
However, it's important to keep in mind that public Canadian healthcare is not necessarily "free." Someone has to pay for those medical services, after all!
Publicly funded health care is made possible via general taxation. This means that individuals and families are annually taxed in order to support the Canadian health care system.
The numbers vary, but the average Canadian family will pay $12,000 a year for health care (in taxes). Believe it or not, this cost is moderate in comparison to health care spending in other countries.
You can learn more about Canadian taxes and health care system here.
Keep in mind that the process of applying for public health insurance will vary from province to province. Residents have to apply for insurance from the province in which they reside.
In some provinces, you can obtain insurance immediately upon arrival. In others, however, residents may have to wait for three months (approximately) before coverage can be approved.
If this happens to you, don't worry! You can easily apply for private insurance to cover you in the interim. A lot of residents do this with great success.
Private Health Insurance
Private health insurance is still available to Canadian residents. This insurance is not publicly funded.
In many cases, employers will provide private health insurance for their employees. However, these plans will vary widely depending on the size of the company and the benefits provided.
In other cases, families will choose to sign up for a private health insurance plan (in addition to or instead of public health insurance).
In both cases, insured individuals will have to pay a premium (either annual or monthly) for this insurance. What these plans cover will depend on the provider.
Health Insurance Examples
Let's look at some health insurance examples so that you can have a clearer idea of what your Canadian plan could look like.
These examples include both public and private insurance plans.
Blue Cross Insurance
Many employers turn to Blue Cross when providing private plans to their employees, and for good reason. This provider offers a whole range of health insurance packages of varying costs.
You can also sign up for private, individual health insurance with Blue Cross Canada if your employer does not provide benefits. These plans cost anywhere from $300 to $5,000 a year.
Benefits include prescription drug coverage, practitioner services, and select dental work.
The Bank of Montreal Financial Group has been around for 200 years and counting. It offers the whole gamut of insurance plans, including health, life, and accident plans (among others).
BMO is especially known for its excellent disability and accident coverage. The Disability Insurance Plan, for example, replaces income during the length of a disability.
BMO's Hospital Cash program enables insured individuals to receive daily cash to cover unexpected costs in the instance of a hospitalization.
Public Health Insurance in Ontario
The Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) is available to Canadian residents of the province of Ontario.
If you apply for this plan, there is no cost (per se). However, you will have to wait three months to be approved. You'll have to prove your identity, residency, and immigration status when applying.
OHIP covers all of the following: dental surgery, doctor visits, hospital stays, abortions, ambulance services, and more. If you apply for this plan, we recommend taking a close look at all of the services OHIP covers.
Public Health Insurance in Alberta
Residents of the province of Alberta can apply for an Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP). Once you apply for this plan, your enrollment is active immediately.
You will still need to apply for coverage by showing proof of residency and legal identification.
This public health insurance plan covers a variety of medical services.
These include full coverage for "medically necessary" services and some dental surgeries. The AHCIP partially covers hospital visits, optometry, dental services, and foot care.
Sun Life Financial
Those insured via Sun Life Financial health insurance enjoy a variety of benefits. Applicants can choose from two plans: Personal Health Insurance and Health Coverage Choice.
If you choose personal health insurance, you can further decide between three options. Plans vary based off of annual premium cost and coverage.
Sun Life Financial also offers life insurance plans. You must complete your application while you are in Canada and be a resident of Canada.
Final Thoughts: Health Care in Canada
If you are planning on moving to Canada, it's important to explore health insurance examples ahead of time. The sooner you can get coverage, the better!
The same goes for if you are a student or existing permanent resident.
Navigating the world of Canadian health care can be daunting, especially when you have so many options for coverage. Keep in mind that as a resident, you have options for both public and private insurance.
Public insurance is not necessarily "free," as it is a program funded by taxation. Yet it is possible to find a great private insurance plan that is cost-effective for you (and your family).
At Insurdinary, we connect Canadian residents to the best insurance plans available. Get your free quote now!