Menu
Blue Cross1-866-732-2583
What is health insurance?

What is health insurance?

An overview of your coverage options

Understanding health insurance

Residents of Ontario are provided with some health care through the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). This means that you can go to the doctor or hospital and receive medical treatment without having to pay out-of-pocket for it.

When costs exceed the coverage provided by the province, it is up to you to cover the remaining costs. This is why you must pay out of pocket for prescription drugs or medical devices, such as crutches or a splint, following a visit to the hospital. Unfortunately, these costs are not difficult for some, especially those with a large family. Health care costs can add up in a hurry. A prescription here and there can quickly become a sizable and unexpected expense.

Private health insurance is ideal for individuals without a group insurance plan

Depending on where you work, you may have group insurance. Being covered through your employer will help to offset some additional costs you may encounter, but what if you don’t have access to insurance through your employer? This is where private health insurance comes in. Much like a group insurance policy, private health insurance will offset the costs of medical fees that are not covered by OHIP, making it ideal for individuals and families who want to minimize how much they pay out-of-pocket for health care.

How it works

Health insurance works very similarly to how your home or car insurance works. You pay a monthly premium for a policy, and in return you are provided with a certain level of coverage. In exchange for your monthly payment, the insurer pays the agreed upon portion of your medical costs. This form of medical insurance can be ideal for people in various circumstances.

One of the benefits of health insurance is that you can customize the policy to meet your specific needs. You can choose the coverage or budget level that works for you and your family. To get started, all you have to do is be willing to get a quote. You’ll be asked to fill out some basic information the insurance company needs.

If you’re approved, depending on the plan you applied for, your coverage could be valid as soon as the next business day. However, if further medical information is required as part of your application, it could take a few weeks for your coverage is active.

Why you need health insurance

Everyone deserves to have access to proper health care. However, with fewer employers offering group insurance, there is a greater need for people to seek out and research individual health care plans.

Considering that many Canadians will retire over the next decade, and considering that more people are self-employed, supplemental health insurance plans are becoming a more suitable option. A supplemental plan offers you protection from paying the full cost of medical expenses and assures that you are covered in case an unforeseen medical condition or emergency situation arises. Even if you are completely healthy, you never know when you could need extra health insurance coverage.

Policy and coverage considerations

What a health insurance policy covers varies from person to person. Your coverage options can include:

  • Vision care and eye exams
  • Dental care
  • Prescription drug coverage
  • Ambulance services
  • Hospital care
  • Massage therapy
  • Accidental death coverage
  • Registered specialists and therapists

Plans can also include travel insurance to ensure you receive the proper care no matter where you are in the world, making health insurance ideal for snowbirds and individuals who travel regularly for business or pleasure.

Compare your health insurance plan options.

Additional types of insurance

While personal health care insurance is one of the most popular forms of coverage, there are other types of health insurance worth considering. Based on your age and current situation, not all types of coverage may be relevant to you. Here are three types of additional coverage you may want to consider:

  • Disability insurance: A selection of income replacement plans designed to replace lost income due to an unexpected accident or sudden illness.
  • Critical illness insurance: This type of insurance is important for everyone, as it provides protection in case of a diagnosis with a critical illness.
  • Long term care insurance: Plan ahead with long-term care insurance, and get health care either at home or in a long-term care facility.

Comments

Disclaimer
The opinions expressed in this blog are those of its authors and do not represent those of Ontario Blue Cross. Material in this blog is provided for informational purposes only. It is general information that may not apply to you as an individual, and is not a substitute professional care or advice. The inclusion of any links does not imply endorsement of the linked site or its affiliates, or any information, content, products, services, advertising or other materials presented on or through such web sites.