In British Columbia, up to 20 percent of emergency department patients need hospitalization. These individuals are sick enough that they need to stay in the hospital for in-patient care.
Sounds bad, right? That's not the worst of it. A study found that 96 percent of discharged patients need readmission within 30 days! Many reasons, like infections and falls, force them to go back to the hospital.
Luckily, the province's Health Insurance BC contact center makes faster service available. This department handles both the Medical Services Plan and PharmaCare program. In short, they're the ones to call for help for the free, public healthcare services in the province.
This doesn't mean they're your only health insurance contact option though. You're free to get private health insurance, which can cover what the public program can't.
That said, keep reading to learn who your best private health insurance contacts are!
Getting MSP through the Health Insurance BC Contact Center
First things first. All qualified BC residents need to enroll with the Medical Services Plan. The government requires it, so make sure you check your eligibility with them first. If you qualify, they should be your first health insurance contact point.
As mentioned above, Health Insurance BC makes it easy to phone them for help. You can ring them up at 604-683-7151 or through their toll-free number, 1-800-663-7100. You can call them whether to enroll in or cancel MSP or to apply for Premium Assistance.
Now, the question is, what does MSP cover you for?
The BC health care system's MSP pays for any medically-required healthcare service. That includes services from MSP-accredited physicians and surgeons. It also covers medically-necessary oral surgeries performed in a hospital.
Note that the public BC medical plan doesn't cover preventative or restorative services. Yes, it covers visits to the doctors, but it doesn't cover annual physical check-ups. It also won't pay for tooth fillings, crowns, or any other dental restorative treatment.
Furthermore, MSP doesn't provide coverage for prescription medications. That's what the PharmaCare program is for. You first need to enroll in MSP before you can enroll in PharmaCare.
Under PharmaCare, there are several other plans covering prescription drugs and medical supplies. There are still limitations to what and how much it'll cover, so be sure you know what these are.
Here's a more detailed look at everything that MSP covers and what it doesn't.
Not Enough MSP Coverage? Here Are Your Best Extra Health Insurance Options
MSP and PharmaCare, as great as they are, are still limited. Especially if you consider the ever-increasing cost of healthcare services.
For instance, back in 2016, healthcare spending reached an estimated $228 billion. In 2017, experts estimated it would go up to $242 billion. This year, the forecast is set at $253.5 billion for healthcare alone.
No wonder then, that Canadians are facing higher out-of-pocket costs for healthcare. Worse, these expenditures can reach thousands of dollars every year.
It's for this reason you'd want to supplement your public BC health insurance with private insurance. If public health insurance isn't enough, it's time to consider these insurance providers:
Manulife Financial Corp
Manulife is Canada's biggest insurer, with its reported earnings of $1.43 billion in 2017. The main reason for its popularity is its many health insurance benefits. There are many insurance plans you can choose from too.
That said, you won't have a hard time finding a program that meets your level of healthcare needs. Note though, that the Manulife FlexCare Plans are some of the most popular. There's also the FollowMe Health and Dental Insurance Plan.
What makes FlexCare a great choice is its affordable yet good coverage programs. It's also very flexible (hence, the name), as you can choose only the coverage you need.
If you only need prescription drug and vision care coverage, the DrugPlus plan is for you. If you need basic dentistry services plus vision care, then DentalPlus is a good option. If you want the best of both worlds, then consider getting the ComboPlus plan.
Best of all, there's no medical questionnaire for getting any of these FlexCare core plans! It also comes with pregnancy/maternity benefits, rewards, and senior privileges. Tax and extended healthcare benefits are also offered.
The FollowMe plan is also an ideal choice for those who want guaranteed acceptance. If you're about to lose your current insurance within 60 days, consider getting this plan. This way, you don't have to submit to a medical test to qualify for the insurance.
Like the FlexCare plans, FollowMe also provides basic healthcare services and drug coverage. Emergency, specialist, and intensive care services are also covered. Check this post out for a closer look at all the benefits the FollowMe program offers.
Green Shield Canada
Believe it or not, Green Shield Canada is a non-profit organization. Its goal is to deliver health and dental benefits throughout the entire country. The profits it makes then go towards community and healthcare programs in the nation.
Aside from that, GSC is a great provider of family-oriented medical insurance in BC. There are also possible tax deductions waiting for business owners and self-employed folks. What's more, there are 10 plans under GSC, which means you're sure to find one best suited to your needs.
Of course, the basics are there, such as dental, drug, and extended health coverage. It also includes travel insurance among many other benefits.
But one thing that sets GSC insurance apart is its coverage for pain management services. Remember what we said about MSP not covering restorative healthcare services? It won't pay for pain management, so GSC insurance may be exactly what you're looking for.
Need Help Deciding Which Health Insurance Provider is the Best?
True, Manulife, and GSC are two of your best private health insurance providers. But you should still look at your other private health insurance BC contact options. Comparison of their plans is key to ensuring you get an adequate supplements for your MSP.
Need more help figuring out which private BC health insurance company to choose? If so, then make sure you check this comprehensive guide we have. It'll help simplify the comparison process so you can get insured ASAP.