Here's What You Need to Know About Health Insurance After Retirement in Canada

Posted on December 19, 2018

A full 20 percent of Canada's population will be 65 years of age or older by 2023. The Baby Boomers are now reaching their golden years.

The aging Canadian population has many people talking. There are questions about how the healthcare system will support so many older people. There are questions about the effects on the Canada Pension Plan.

Many older Canadians are asking themselves questions too. Many, like you, are concerned about retirement. You may also have questions about your health.

It's known that as people get older, their health tends to decline. Many elderly people live with chronic health conditions like arthritis. You might hope to enjoy your retirement, but a health issue could interfere.

With health and retirement on your mind, you might wonder about your health coverage. Our guide will help you understand health insurance after retirement in Canada.

You'll Still Have Coverage

As you already know, Canadians have a public healthcare system. This means you're covered for many basic medical services from the time you're born.

This doesn't change when you retire. In fact, many provinces offer seniors extra healthcare coverage. Ontario and Saskatchewan have programs to help seniors cover the costs of prescriptions.

If you slip and fall, you'll still be covered if you need to stay in the hospital or see a doctor. If you're managing a chronic health condition, trips to the doctor are also covered.

Keep in mind that there are holes in the Canadian healthcare system. In Ontario, seniors have coverage for eye exams, but you'll still have to pay out of pocket for your prescription eyeglasses.

What Isn't Covered?

One of the big gaps in Canadian healthcare is dental care. In most provinces, only emergency dental surgery performed in a hospital is covered.

You may also notice differences in levels of coverage. If you need a hip replacement, you will likely have coverage. You're only covered for a plastic replacement, though, not an upgraded titanium replacement.

Other exceptions abound. You likely won't be covered for:

  • Assistive devices such as hearing aids
  • Emergency medical services delivered while traveling
  • Private hospital stays

Supplemental coverage can help you cover costs for the medical services you need.

Financial Concerns in Retirement

Most Canadians wonder if they'll have enough money to retire. The Canada Pension Plan provides a start, but for most Canadians, it isn't enough.

Canadian retirees worry about finances even if they have a private pension or invested in an RRSP. Your concerns may grow if you have a health condition.

Even if you don't have a health condition now, it's likely you'll develop one as you grow older. Canadian seniors who live with chronic illness often feel more of an economic pinch.

This is only going to get worse. The cost of Canadian healthcare has been climbing. As the population continues to age, the healthcare system has to deliver more.

The Impacts of an Older Population on the Healthcare System

Canadians are also living longer and with a wider variety of health conditions. Again, this increases the cost of healthcare in Canada. Governments may look for ways to cut costs.

One of the most likely ways to curb costs is to reduce coverage. In turn, out-of-pocket costs will increase, creating more financial burdens for individuals. Canadian seniors can ill afford to have their coverage reduced.

It's important to remember that Canadian taxpayers fund the healthcare system. Just how much do Canadians pay for healthcare?

On average, the Canadian health insurance cost is around $6,000 per person in the public system. This doesn't include out-of-pocket costs. As more people use the system more often, it's likely the average cost will increase.

Private Health Insurance after Retirement in Canada

Given possible coverage reductions, you might wonder about private health insurance during retirement. You most definitely have options.

Some Canadians will have had private health insurance provided by an employer. In most cases, those benefits come to an end when you retire or reach retirement age.

Some employers do continue to extend benefits to retired employees. You should always check your policy to see if your coverage will continue.

Even if you do have rollover coverage, it's not a bad idea to buy your own health insurance after you retire. Having a supplemental policy protects you against gaps in the system. It also protects you against any reductions in provincial coverage.

You may want to consider supplemental healthcare insurance even before you retire. It's never too early to protect yourself in case of catastrophic illnesses or dental surgery.

Planning for Healthcare Costs in Retirement

The best time to begin planning for retirement is right now. The sooner you start planning, the better off you'll be.

The same is true when it comes to planning for healthcare costs in retirement. You may have some coverage through the public system or employer rollover benefits. You probably won't have enough coverage in retirement.

How much does Canadian healthcare cost? The average Canadian household spends $2,000 out of pocket and $4,000 per year on private health insurance.

As you can see, the price of Canadian healthcare is higher than you might think. Without private insurance, Canadians would spend much more out of pocket.

When you're planning for retirement, you'll want to include different kinds of policies. Catastrophic illness insurance is a good idea. Dental care and vision care policies are also helpful.

Don't forget to plan for inflation as well. As the numbers show, in Canada, health insurance costs have been going up. By planning for future cost increases, you can make sure you have enough.

Put Your Retirement Plan in Action

Whether you're retiring soon or not for a while, it's time to start planning. Make sure you consider health insurance after retirement in Canada in your plan. It will help you get more out of your golden years.

Are you looking for an affordable retiree plan? Talk to us and get a quote. We can help you find the best policy at a price that fits your budget.

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