How much is your health worth?
That's a question you could be asking yourself if you're in the market for private insurance in Canada.
The good news is there are a lot of options, but you'll have to do your homework to get the best rates and the best package to suit your needs.
Here's the thing about public insurance in Canada. It will typically cover medically-required services, such as heart surgery or a doctor's exam.
But if you're looking to stretch your coverage further to help maintain your health then you should have private health insurance. You'll also want to consider private insurance for eye exams and eyeglasses.
Different provinces in Canada offer different coverage under public insurance. So be sure you know what's covered and what's not when you're shopping for a plan.
For example, in Ontario, you can apply for the Trillium Drug Program to cover some of your medication costs depending on your income. There are also government dental programs in Canada that can provide coverage for some dental procedures.
But for the most part, you're on your own for health services that aren't deemed necessary by a doctor.
Private health insurance can be useful if you're looking to pay for routine expenses such as medications that aren't covered. Or you may want coverage for emergencies that require you to take time off from work.
These insurance plans can also help you offset ongoing expenses related to a condition. For example, if you have cancer, the treatment is covered, but you likely won't be able to work during recovery.
Take into consideration that cancer is the leading cause of death in Canada, so you might find yourself in this situation one day even if you're perfectly healthy now.
Private insurance can also help pay for medical equipment. If you have sleep apnea, then your insurance might cover part of a CPAP machine cost.
Let's take a look at the biggest health insurance providers in Canada and the benefits of each:
This is the biggest private insurer in Canada. It offers different levels of private health insurance in Canada, depending on your needs.
You can pick and choose which items you need to be covered. It could be drugs, therapy, or dental coverage. You can choose a core plan that offers wide coverage, and you can then purchase add-ons. You can also buy stand-alone plans that cover something specific, such as a hospital stay.
Manulife also has a great option called FollowMe for those losing group insurance recently through an employer. The FollowMe plan is affordable, and it doesn't require any health questions either.
This insurer says its health insurance plans are affordable and similar to group insurance coverage. It's also a good option if you want to enhance a group insurance plan you already have through your employer.
You can choose from basic or enhanced private insurance plans depending on your needs. You can also get comprehensive travel insurance too.
You can get other products through Desjardins aside from health insurance, including term life insurance, car insurance, and even tenants insurance.
Desjardins Insurance is part of Desjardins Group, which is the largest credit union in Canada.
Through Sun Life, one of the biggest health insurance providers in the country, you can choose health insurance that makes sense for your age and health picture.
There are actually four different plans offered through Sun Life. They include Personal Health Insurance, Critical Illness Insurance, Long Term Care Insurance, and Disability Insurance.
Sun Life also offers a basic health insurance plan that's suitable if you're losing coverage through your workplace, or you want to top up group coverage you already have.
The basic plan has other features, such as coverage for dental accidents and ambulance rides.
This health insurance is advertised as affordable with a lot of benefits.
It offers extended health benefits for registered therapists and more. You'll even get 15-day travel medical insurance as well as accidental death benefits if you're under 75 years old.
Aside from what's included in the plan, you can choose optional coverage such as hospital coverage for semi-private or private rooms.
However, it's Blue Choice health insurance coverage is only available to those living in Ontario.
This is a suitable option if you're looking for better hospital coverage, and you're between 18 to 69 years old. If you're a customer of any RBC company, you're guaranteed to be accepted without any medical questions.
RBC also has critical illness insurance that will help you get back on your feet if you're in recovery mode.
This company offers a child life/health insurance combo plan. Your child will be covered for critical illness and loss of life. You'll be covered as a parent if you need to take some time off from work to care for your child with a life-threatening ailment.
You can also choose the company's CancerGuard plan, which protects you financially in the event you develop cancer. You don't need a medical exam to qualify for this plan, either.
The critical illness coverage offered by this insurer will help you stay financially afloat if you develop a life-threatening illness such as cancer.
If you're diagnosed with a critical illness, you'll get a tax-free lump sum of cash to use towards paying your mortgage or paying for medical equipment.
You won't have to drain your retirement savings to keep yourself going if you have this kind of coverage.
The health insurance offered by this company (which includes the Bank of Montreal) focuses on critical illnesses.
One of the unique products available from BMO is the Well Woman critical illness package, which is targeted at Canadian women aged 18 to 55 that have cancer.
The plan, available as basic or advanced, covers up to seven cancers that strike women.
The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) provides roadside assistance coverage if your car gets sick and breaks down at the side of the road.
But CAA also offers health insurance plans for people too. It offers a wide variety of dental and health insurance plans depending on your age, as well as affordable health insurance if you're self-employed.
Like Manulife, CAA also offers a FollowMe health insurance plan if you've lost your group benefits recently. There are four levels of coverage within this plan, depending on your needs.
You can also ask about affordable travel health insurance through CAA if you're planning to leave the country.
This company is headquartered in Ontario and offers various critical illness packages.
Empire Life CI Protect Critical Illness protects you financially against four common critical ailments – including heart attack, coronary artery bypass, stroke, and cancer.
The Protect Plus plan can help you financially if you're diagnosed with one of 25 critical illnesses from blindness, coma, and more.
This coverage can allow you to continue making mortgage payments and replace income while you're recovering.
This is a suitable option if you're a Canadian that spends a lot of time outside the country. This could mean coverage for a single trip, or if you escape the cold Canadian winters in Florida (known as being a "snowbird".)
It's travel medical insurance will cover emergency medical costs for you and your family members when you're traveling outside Canadian borders, and even outside of your own province.
You can also purchase critical illness insurance through Canada Protection Plan, which will pay out a lump sum if you're diagnosed with certain serious illnesses.
For example, if you have chronic pain and need frequent massage therapy, then you should ensure your chosen plan covers that.
If you have several prescriptions, then you should pick an insurer that covers most or all of your medications.
Also remember that public health insurance in Canada won't cover medical expenses outside of the country, or at least not all of them. If you're a frequent traveller, then having travel insurance as part of the plan is important.
As you can see, there are many options for private health insurance in Canada.
Choosing the right health insurance products isn't hard when you have all the facts. Depending on your age and lifestyle, different insurance plans may make more sense for you.
Keep in mind that many of these insurers offer other insurance products that might not have already been mentioned, so it's best to ask when you're shopping around. There are a number of other insurance companies not mentioned that offer reliable health and life insurance coverage to Canadians.
If you're looking at health insurance, it's a good opportunity to review your auto insurance plans for automobiles and homes to save money. Some companies offer all of these plans to make it easier. Life insurance is never a bad idea either.
Ready to shop for the best private health insurance in Canada, at the lowest rates? Don't delay any further, let us do the work for you!