What You Need To Know Regarding Health Insurance Benefits After Retirement
As a Canadian, you’re probably proud of the government health insurance that most of us have. However, too many make a mistake before retirement of not understanding what it will and won’t cover upon retirement. There are various health services that simply aren’t covered.
Many of the government health insurance policies will vary slightly from one province to another; however, generally, they won’t cover any of the following treatments to name a few:
- Dental Care
- Massage Therapy
- Chiropractic Care
- Contact Lenses
Although each province in Atlantic Canada does offer a provincial health plan, which includes specific prescription drug plans, the drug plans are typically designed for seniors age 65+ or are income tested for individuals and families.
As well, any health benefits under these provincial plans are limited and generally do not cover the treatments listed above that occur outside of a hospital or doctor’s office.
In addition, with regards to the prescription drug plans the amount of coverage, if any, is determined by one’s net income level, age and family status. If you do qualify you will be responsible for a co-payment based on your income level and the cost of the drug. There may also be a monthly or annual premium.
For example, in New Brunswick, you will find there are plans available to help cover the cost of specific drugs for seniors and one for uninsured individuals and families based on income.
Depending on the plan you qualify for, you may have a monthly premium ranging from $115 to $166.67 in addition to a co-payment of 30% per prescription.
These provincial plans are also not as comprehensive as the private insurance plans. For instance, in New Brunswick, the provincial plan covers approximately 5500 drugs while a private plan can cover up to 10,000 drugs. Provincial plans run by the government are also not able to add new drugs as quickly as private insurance companies can. This is something to take into account as new drugs are constantly being developed and approved for many health conditions. It is important that one’s coverage be adequate.
When you consider your future health insurance needs, one must consider all of these factors including the sustainability of the government plans. If you are covered through a provincial plan before or after retirement and develop a health condition, you may find the provincial plan does not meet all of your needs.
Private plans tend to be more stable and comprehensive and this is important when and if we need treatment.
Options for Insurance after Retirement
Elements by Medavie Blue Cross Private Health Plan
It can be challenging at best, to find a plan for health insurance that will fit your personal lifestyle and needs. For this reason, Elements was created and designed to be both flexible as well as responsible.
This plan can assist you in paying for both routine as well as unexpected expenses that aren’t covered by the provincial health plan. You can also adjust the coverage as your life changes. Your budget may fluctuate with your age and needs, and you’ll want to plan for these fluctuations as much as possible.
You’re given the option of several different modules and plan levels and you can mix and match and select the ones that are the best fit for you and your family’s needs. You can upgrade your benefits as you undergo life changes. You’ll be able to make adjustments and move things around as required for your own personal needs.
Although some people have an employer-sponsored group plan, depending on your career path you may not qualify for group coverage forever. As well group coverage typically ends at retirement.
It’s important to keep this in mind as you age and prepare for your retirement. As your circumstances change you may experience job loss, a career change, retire or other life-changing circumstances which can affect your group insurance coverage.
It’s only normal too that health ages right along with us. Some may develop health conditions which will make it more challenging and difficult to be approved for health insurance later in life.
It’s important to factor in all of these potential changes before they occur. This is where Assured Access comes in.
Assured Access works with your group insurance plan to protect you and guarantee you access to a health plan in the future regardless of changes to your health. Think of it as “saving you a seat”.
If you wait until any of these things happen to apply for a personal insurance health plan, you and each member of your family will have to answer medical questions based on your current health – any existing health conditions will not be covered.
With Assured Access, you qualify beforehand and can rest assured you will be able to access health coverage in the future regardless of changes to your health.
Why Choose Assured Access?
Assured Access is an essential part of your healthcare planning, and you’ll want to be able to afford your medications, eyewear, and dental care. These costs can be exorbitant right out of your pocket so you’ll want an Assured Access plan that will factor all of these things into your retirement lifestyle.
Who Can Qualify for Assured Access?
If you’re under the age of 64 years and a permanent resident of Canada, you can enroll in such a health plan that will cover you well beyond the age of 65. Assured Access plans start at less than $25 per month.
Another option to consider is you or your spouse may be eligible for retiree health insurance through your employer-sponsored group plan. Not all employers will offer this option, but some may so always start by checking this out and seeing what they offer. Ensure you look into the details of the retiree coverage as some group plans reduce the coverage significantly for retirees and coverage can be costly.
However, it may be an option and you’ll be able to plan for it through your employment.
Some employers also offer health coverage for those who work part-time. That way, you can be semi-retired. A lot of home improvement stores and similar businesses will offer such options as they prefer those who are older and experienced.
Now that you know your options, you can make an educated decision on your healthcare coverage. Pre-planning your retirement will go far in helping to ensure you have your insurance in place on your retirement date.
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