Health Insurance Costs Too High? Mistakes to Avoid & Tips
Some Canadians sign up for a new health insurance policy and then forget about it. They assume they have the best plan and that everything they need is included in their policy. Or, they don’t have enough coverage because they’re younger and think they can get by with only provincial coverage. But, these can prove to be costly mistakes. Here are a few health insurance mistakes to avoid -- and a few tips to save on health insurance.
Mistake 1: You’re a Millennial Who Thinks Provincial Insurance is Enough
Maybe coverage on your parent’s plan has ended or you changed employers. Starting insurance when you’re young is advisable. Rates are the most affordable when you're younger. Presumably, your salary is lower and you're healthier. Government plans will typically cover basic medical services like: If you’re starting your first health insurance plan, consider private insurance to cover your out-of-pocket costs. This can include ambulance fees, dental care, prescription drugs and treatment by a specialist.
- Physician appointments.
- Hospital stays.
- Some prescription medications (varies by province).
Mistake 2: You think Healthcare is Free or That Everything is Covered
Some people that move to Canada think healthcare is free. But, Canadians pay for their healthcare through their taxes. The government health care system will cover doctor’s visits and any in-patient hospital care that you need if you have a critical illness.
What’s not covered?
Medications on an outpatient basis for those aged 25-64 are generally not covered. Canadians spend almost $840 on average a year for prescription medications. Since 2005, this figure has gone up by twelve percent. Other services not covered include:
- Rehabilitative care and physiotherapy.
- Dental care.
- Prescription eyecare.
What you can do
Ask your employer about a group health insurance plan. Or, shop for an extended healthcare plan.
Mistake 3: You Have a Life Changing Event and Don’t Prepare For It
Life changes can happen to anyone. But, depending on the particular life change, you may need to make changes to your health insurance plan.
You’re starting a new job
If you’re starting work with a new employer, there are a few questions to ask:
- Do they provide a group health insurance plan?
- Can you keep your same individual health insurance plan?
- How much will the salary increase raise your tax liability?
You’re having a child
If you’re having a baby, newborns can be added to most insurance policies when they turn 30 days old. Check with your particular insurer and submit the request to add the baby to your plan before they're 30 days old. Then spend your time enjoying your new bundle of joy.
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You’re ready to retire
As people age, the risk for serious health conditions increases. To prepare in case a life change like this occurs, consider how you will handle your long-term care needs. You want coverage for hospitalizations, serious illnesses, and any out-of-pocket medical expenses.
You’re facing a serious illness
For many families, it’s a tough balancing act to raise children and care for aging parents. And, what if you or a family member is faced with a serious illness? Aside from the strain on your finances, a sudden illness can affect you emotionally. Talk to your doctor and ask which foundations support that particular disease. They might offer a support group and information to help you manage your condition.
Mistake 4: You Don’t Want a Plan Now and Would Rather Wait
While you think waiting will save you money, you can’t predict an accident or unforeseen medical illness. What if you need emergency surgery or emergency dental care? That’s why having a plan now can help you prepare for the unexpected. And, your insurance can cover you if you have a sudden accident. Just like you shop around and compare auto insurance or home insurance, you can shop around for the cheapest healthcare plan. An unexpected healthcare bill is something you can avoid. Get the cheapest plan you can afford and you’ll be covered if you need glasses, a therapist or specialist and any emergency care.
It's a mistake to assume that because you're young you shouldn't have coverage. Plans will become more expensive as you age and your salary increases. If you're not sure if you have the best health insurance plan - or the cheapest, compare quotes. That way, you'll have coverage if a life-changing event occurs (and you might find a cheaper plan with more options). For help with health insurance or if you have questions, contact Kanetix.ca. Compare cheap health insurance plans today to find the right one for you and your family.