Health care costs for most Canadians have risen by 70% in the last twenty years.
This is because the Medicare does not pay for every facet of your health care. Most people take out private insurance in order to pay for prescription drugs, dental care, and optometry.
If you're in good health, this might not seem like a worry to you. But what do you do when you need dental care, vision care or prescription drugs? What about when you can't wait for Medicare's diagnostic tests or slow appointments?
That's where Green Shield Health Insurance steps in.
Since 1957, they've been the only not-for-profit health and dental benefits specialists in Canada.
We've developed a Zone program to allow you to find a supplementary medical insurance that works for you.
In this article, we'll cover what you'll get with your Zone 2 benefits.
Anyone under the age of 75 can sign up for Zone 2 benefits. Really, anyone.
There are no health checks or intrusive questions. You won't be excluded for pre-existing conditions.
All we require is that you be a Canadian resident and have valid provincial health insurance. If you're from Quebec, you'll also need RAMQ.
You'll only stop your coverage once you stop paying for it.
Under Zone 2, Green Shield does not offer prescription drug coverage. Instead, you'll have to go out of pocket for your needs with this plan. Or, you can choose another plan that has more coverage options.
Good news, they'll take care of your pearly whites with Zone 2 coverage. For the first year, you're with them, you'll get up to $500 of basic coverage. The second year, it increases to $650. By the third year, you'll have $800 worth of coverage.
You can go to the dentist for basic care every 9 months, and they'll foot 80% of the bill, as long as it doesn't go over your premiums.
They'll pay 50% for comprehensive basic services. You can have major service coverage starting with our next plan up, Zone 3.
With Zone 2, you'll get $65 toward eye examinations per every 2 years. You'll also receive $150 toward corrective lenses, contacts or eye surgery every two years.
Need physical therapy or a musculoskeletal specialist? On Zone 2, you can see an acupuncturist, chiropractor, podiatrist, massage therapist, naturopath, osteopath or physiotherapist. Zone 2 covers $20 per visit for up to $300 per practitioner per year.
If you struggle with mental health, Green Shield Health Insurance can set you up with a therapist to help you work through your issues. You can also see a speech therapist if necessary under this plan.
They'll cover $300 per each practitioner you see per year.
Although they don't cover comprehensive dental insurance with Zone 2, you'll get accidental coverage with this service. We'll pay for up to $5,000 worth of spur of the moment dental issues and accidents.
They'll also pay for your ambulance no matter what the issue is. You'll get ushered by land or air, and it Green Shield will cover the entire thing.
Although they don't cater to older individuals with the Zone plans, Green Shield does help those who need hearing aids. If you're part of that population, you can have up to $300 worth of your hearing aid covered for the first three years.
Upon the fifth year with Green Shield, we'll cover $400 worth of hearing aids every four years.
Can't wait for Medicare to make the appointment you need? Do you need lab work done relatively quickly? With Zone 2, they'll cover some of your diagnostic costs, to help get your health back on track more quickly.
Zone 2 will cover up to $2,000 of X-rays, labs, diagnostic tests, and dialysis equipment.
While this is something that most people believe is reserved for older individuals, this could be important for you or a loved one sometime in the future. If you suffer from an accident or serious illness, you may need home aids to help care for you. Whether its permanent or temporary, your coverage with Zone 2 can help you out.
For your first year with them, you'll get $2,000 toward these costs. Each year, your benefit increases by $1,000. After four years, Green Shield will provide you with $5,000 each year going forward for in-home health services.
If you go out of the province or out of the country, you may be risking paying out-of-pocket for some very expensive healthcare. Even if you go to a country where healthcare is provided to its citizens, you may still need to pay a fee to access it.
With Zone 2, you'll get up to $5,000,000 worth of coverage out of the country for each 15-day trip you take. And, this coverage also goes with you from province to province. Even if you're just visiting a Canadian friend or family member, you'll still ensure you're covered.
With Zone 2, you may be eligible for private and semi-private hospital accommodation. This is an extra that requires underwriting, or a few extra questions.
With this benefit, Green Shield will pay the difference between private and semi-private accommodation at a public hospital. Or, they'll transfer you to a more private section of the hospital.
This benefit will only last for 30 days in-patient.
Green Shield Health Insurance's Zone 2 is perfect for the individual who is starting to take their health more seriously. While it may not be a totally comprehensive plan, it works well for young people who are still fairly healthy but don't want to take too many risks with their health.
For more information about Green Shield and which Zone is right for you, check out our guide.