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Link Plan vs. Zone Plan: Important Information about Greenshield Insurance Plans

on 13 Oct, 2018

82 years is the average life expectancy for Canadian women and men.

Greenshield Insurance of Canada (GSC) wants to make sure this is true for all Canadians. Public health care is supported by 8 out of 10 residents. However, sometimes life conditions will cause you to need an individual benefits plan.

Self-employment, retirement, and changing careers are all potential reasons you might need a new insurance plan. Choosing to participate in a link or zone health insurance plan is a great way to prevent any lapse in coverage.

These plans specialize in covering both health and dental benefits. Still, each plan presents a unique set of opportunities.

This article will introduce you to the carrier, the plans and most importantly your individual coverage options.

An Introduction to Greenshield Canada

First, it’ll help you to understand who you’ll be doing business with.

Greenshield Canada is a not-for-profit company founded back in the 1950’s. They want to provide accessible health care to all Canadians. Costs are dramatically reduced since they are a not-for-profit agency.

GSC is Canada’s only not-for-profit specialists in health and dental. This not-for-profit company’s expertise lies in health and dental plans. They know everything there is to know about all types of health and dental claims.

This helps them to quickly expedite a wide variety of claims. Not only are they great at administering claims but they also work to give back to the community. Their projects that are fueled by a better health initiative.

Many of the community projects they’re involved in are to help those who would otherwise be without health care. People like the working poor, those on social assistance, and homeless men and women.

Convenience of Technology

GSC provides consumers with a lot of convenient online tools. Their websites are easy to use and they have apps to support mobile phone users. You’ll receive instant help with filing claims and finding health care providers.

You can also use the online tools to research what drugs are covered with your particular plan. Here’s a list of the different types of things policyholders are able to do online:

  • Submit clams
  • Download forms
  • Check coverage eligibility
  • Find providers
  • Look up drug names
  • Check health care spending account

Having online access helps policyholders get the help they need the moment they need it. Convenient options such as this help GSC maintain high levels of customer satisfaction.

Why Do They Focus on Dental Care?

Canadians spend close to $12 billion dollars every year on dental care. Even worse at least 6 million people claim that high costs stop them from ever seeing a dentist.

Recent studies have shown that your oral health is directly connected to your overall state of well being. Poor dental care can lead to health complications such as:

  • Gum disease
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Pregnancy risks
  • Lung conditions

Avoiding a dentist visit because of high costs could cause life-threatening complications. Proper dental care can be the difference between life and death. GSC recognized the importance of providing affordable dental care back in 1957.

Good Candidates for Coverage

Are you experiencing a major life change?

Changes like retirement or switching careers could prompt your application for a new insurance plan. Other great candidates are individuals who are self-employed. This includes those who are working on a contract or as a freelancer.

  • Currently Retiring
  • Soon to be retired
  • Self-employed
  • Small business owner
  • Contract worker
  • Freelancer
  • Career switch

Even if life is staying the same, you might just need more coverage. Certain plans covered by the government are missing essential coverages. If you need a coverage not provided by the government you might also be a good candidate for an application.

Your current health plan probably covers your basic needs. However, when unexpected medical expenses arise you may be left unprotected.

Purchasing an individual plan can help prepare you for unplanned medical emergencies. You’ll also have a way to pay for specialized services your current carrier doesn’t cover.

Requirements to Join

In order to qualify for a plan with Green Shield Canada, you have to be a Canadian resident. Their entire goal is to provide frontline health care that can be accessed by any and all Canadians.

Certain plans are going to come with age restrictions. Advisors can be helpful when reviewing policy options. They can point out every requirement for each individual plan.

Zone Plan Highlights

This plan is great for extended health care benefits. Extended benefits are things such as medical supplies, eye exams or hearing aids. The basic overview of this policy includes:

  • Dental paid at 80% Co-pay
  • Prescription drug benefit paid between 80-90% copay
  • Existing medication coverage excluded
  • Coverage always starts on the first of the month
  • Out of province travel coverage up to 30 days
  • Semi-Private hospital possibilities

Let’s start with looking deeper into the dental coverage. The plan you choose will have a range from $700 to $1,300 in coverage ranges. Your co-payment will continue to increase every year for the first three years.

Your accidental dental coverage will range somewhere between $5-10K every year. Next, we’ll look at some of the extended health care benefits.

Medical supplies are an extremely valuable extended health care benefit available with this plan. Hearing aids are covered at $500 every 4 years. Also, miscellaneous medical items are covered. Life improving items like home support services.

Here’s the financial breakdown of your at home support service coverage. The first year you’ll receive $2k, the second year $3-4K and the third year you’ll receive $4-6K. The different amounts vary depending on the plan you choose.

Prescription drugs are covered on this plan with a range of $2,500 up to $10,000 every year. These amounts are paid out at 80-90% so the pharmacist can directly bill Green Shield Canada.

Your vision care and eye exams are taken care as well. Eye exams are covered from $65-$80 every two years.

Emergency travel is covered with the zone option. You can choose to add extended coverage for exceptionally long travel plans.

Link Plan Highlights

This plan is wonderful if you are losing group coverage. Link plans are also a wise choice if you have pre-existing conditions.

Similar to the zone plan, the link plan will cover extended health care benefits like medical supplies too. The basic overview of this policy includes:

  • Best plan for pre-existing conditions
  • Best plan if you’re losing group coverage
  • Dental benefits
  • Prescription drug coverage
  • Existing medications included (only with pay-direct card)
  • Coverage begins the first of the month
  • Travel coverage included

We’ll start the review again with a quick dental coverage review. The dental coverage options range from $600 to $1K every year. The overall maximums on this plan will also raise for the first three years.

The accidental dental coverage ranges between $2,500 and $10,000 every year. The medical supplies portion of this policy is very similar to the zone plan.

However, with this plan, you’ll have more coverage for hearing aids. The hearing aids are $300 to $600 every 4 years. Eye exams are also included from $50 to $80 every two years.

Emergency travel is almost identical to the zone plan. You can still choose to add extended coverage for trips that outlast the coverage’s reach.

With the link coverage plan, you’ll have medical items and home support services covered at $1,500 to $5K every year.

Professional Services with Both Plans

Here are some of the professionals you’ll have access to:

  • Physiotherapy
  • Podiatry
  • Chiropodist
  • Acupuncture
  • Chiropractor
  • Massage therapy
  • Osteopath
  • Speech therapist
  • Psychologist

Both plans (Link and Zone) provide access to professional services and registered therapists. Keep in mind that the costs will vary depending on the type of plan you choose.

Deciding Between Link and Zone Plans

Both plans offer extensive coverages with affordable price points. When making your choice it’s really important to evaluate your current state. Are you dealing with pre-existing conditions? If so you will definitely want to choose a link plan.

Remember if a career change is in your future you might want a link plan as well. Losing group benefits from changing jobs means you’ll be without any coverage at all. You can prevent this by proactively investing in the right link plan for you.

Zone plans are ideal if you want more coverage. These plans really appeal to individuals who aren’t experiencing a major life change. Having specialized services covered can be a game changer when the unexpected occurs.

Plans can be purchased and started directly online, through an advisor or from a partner. The idea is to help you have a customized health plan experience. Keep in mind that neither plan offers disability or life insurance.

Understanding the Insurance World

Do you feel better prepared to choose the Greenshield plan that will properly cover your family?

It helps to have the right information when you’re making major life decisions. Visit our Insurdinary blog for more up to date articles about everything insurance related.

Our informative articles will help you gain insight on insurance and financial services and products. The insurance world can seem overwhelming and full of confusing options. It’s our mission to help simplify things to help consumers make the best decisions.

Contact us today and we’ll provide you with a personalized quote. We will search all of Canada for the lowest insurance rates available to you. Let our team of experts take the stress out of your decision making.

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