As a Canadian, you have access to one of the finest government run health insurance systems in the world. When you or your family need medical care you can choose your own doctor and not worry about expensive co-payments. However, universal healthcare does not pay for everything and there are several circumstances where you may want additional coverage in the form of supplemental coverage.
What is Supplemental Health Care Insurance?
Supplemental insurance is meant to cover medical expenses you may incur that are not covered by universal healthcare. However, you cannot purchase coverage for things already covered by national healthcare.
Who Needs Supplemental Insurance?
There are some instances in which you might want to take out additional insurance. Although this coverage is optional, it can help to pay for “out of pocket” medical costs. Here are some of the things your government healthcare insurance does not over.
Dental care is not part of your government insurance coverage. Everyone has the need for proper dental care and some of the expenses a supplemental policy may pay for include:
- Routine dental exams and x-rays
- Tooth extractions
- Root canal work
- Some plans may provide denture coverage
Your universal health insurance will pay for your hospital stay, but you will need to stay in a room with as many as three other patients. If you would like to stay in a semi private room, you’ll need to buy supplemental coverage. You also may choose coverage that pays for a private room. This can make your stay quieter and stress free.
If you wish to have more of your expenses covered while you are in the hospital, you may buy a supplemental policy which pays you as much as one hundred dollars a day for expenses like household chores, babysitting, and travel expenses related to medical care.
Your government healthcare does not cover the cost of prescriptions and this can be a major expense for some people. If you have drug coverage, you may be able to fill your prescriptions and only pay a very affordable copayment amount.
Special Medical Services
Some special services are not included in universal healthcare, so your supplemental coverage can include ambulance fees and special nursing care. This will pay for nursing services not covered by your government health care insurance plan.
Would you like to have insurance that covers prosthetics and artificial limbs? A supplemental policy may also cover these things:
- Durable medical supplies
- Medical appliances
Professional Medical Services
Would you like to see a chiropractor for neck or back problems? Many people are finding relief from a number of health concerns with chiropractic care. Your supplemental healthcare insurance policy can include chiropractic, podiatric, and physiotherapy services.
Do you or a family member need eye care services regularly? Your universal healthcare does not pay for services for eyeglasses or contact lenses. A supplemental policy can be a good idea. It can also pay for visits to the optometrist.
Many Canadians do not realize how important travel health insurance is until they need it. For example, you and your family are planning a trip to the United States. There are many things to do and see and you might want to stay there for several weeks. Do you know you will have limited or no healthcare coverage during your stay?
Hopefully, no one will get sick, but what if a family member is injured or needs an emergency appendectomy. You could be responsible for the entire bill, and this includes doctor fees, diagnostic charges, and hospital stays, which can easily be ten thousand dollars or more.
Travel insurance is important when you travel in Canada. For instance, when you go to Quebec you may not be insured. There are many good reasons for travelers to buy special medical insurance. You can purchase a onetime policy or if you are a snow bird, long term policies are also available
A Word about Co-Payments and Supplemental Health Care Insurance
When you buy medical insurance, it does not usually pay one hundred percent of the charges. For example, your insurance may pay eighty percent and you will have a deductible amount. Here is how this works.
Suppose your medical bill is for $600. You may need to pay a $50 deductible and $120 (20 percent) which would come to $170. This is far better than paying the entire $600. Also, deductibles are usually a onetime annual payment, so you only pay them once a year.
Most policies have a maximum payment they will make, so it’s important to be aware of this factor.