Taking care of our health is so important. One security we feel is having health care coverage. Besides our provincial healthcare plans (such as OHIP or MSP), many Canadians have a group benefit plan or an individual health and dental plan.
An advantage of having group or private insurance to cover excess health care costs (beyond what provincial government plans pay for) is to limit our out-of-pocket costs in case of sudden drug costs, a dental accident, ambulance ride, etc.
If you don’t have group benefits, there are a number of options.
1) If you have had coverage under a group benefit plan within the last 60 days, you are eligible for different plans that do not require any medical questions. These plans are available from any insurer that offers it (not just the the group benefit provider).
2) Individual plans -guaranteed issue (lower limits, immediate coverage)
3) Individual plans – underwriting required. More coverage choices, higher limits.
Here is a sample list of insurance providers publicly available health and dental plans (our health insurance advisors have access to these and a few more options):
● Blue Cross
● Sun Life
Questions to ask when evaluating the best plan for you or your family:
● What is the medical expense you are most worried about?
● Will that expense be covered under the plan and is it reasonable (ex. Pre-existing brand name drug coverage may be limited to $800/yr)
● Are there parts of coverage that aren’t cost-effective (ex. Basic dental costs may be better to pay out of pocket if the maximum coverage is $1,000 in year 3 and increases the plan cost by over $1,200 more annually)
For costs paid out of pocket and not reimbursed, the Medical expense tax credit can be claimed on your tax return. Any expenses over 3% of your income (or $2,268, whichever is less) receives a 15% tax credit. Eligible expenses include what you pay for a private health and dental plan.
If you want more information on health and dental plans that may be most suitable for your family, please get in touch with one of our insurance advisors.