What You Need to Know about Health and Dental Insurance

Should you have your own health and dental insurance? Whether you have benefits, are self-employed or retired, ask yourself these questions to see if you need your own plan.

Lady on swing

What is health and dental insurance?

Health and dental insurance helps pay for routine, scheduled medical and dental costs that we all have every year. It helps with expenses like prescription drugs, dental and vision care, massage therapy and so much more. It also covers occasional expenses, like a stay in a semi-private hospital room, and long-term health costs, like wheelchairs and walkers.

You pay a yearly or monthly fee (called a premium) and the insurer agrees to pay certain health and dental care costs that your policy or plan covers. That means you pay less for the health and dental expenses that we all have throughout the year.

Why do I need it?

As with all insurance, health and dental plans are there for peace of mind and financial security.

We all need routine, scheduled health and dental care. Whether it’s having your teeth cleaned, filling a prescription or getting an eye exam, it’s not a case of what if, but when. Those costs can add up.

When you or your family needs health care that our government health insurance plans doesn’t cover, it’s nice to know you don’t have to pay the whole cost yourself. You can have the treatment with less worry about out-of-pocket expenses.

What's the difference between employee group plans (benefits) and individual plans?

You have benefits through your employer? That’s fantastic!

The best part of employer benefits plans is that the company may pay a portion or all the premiums. This makes these plans very cost effective.

Keep in mind that your company usually decides on your group plan for you. They choose what the plan covers and for how much. They may choose to cover you and your family, or just you.

You may be lucky enough to have coverage choices within your employer’s plan. Your options depend on the choices the company makes available.

When you buy insurance, you create your own individual plan.

With an individual plan, you choose the plan that fits your situation and budget.

  • No need for orthodontic coverage? You can choose a plan more suited to you, rather than one with this coverage that you don’t need.
  • Want to cover some or several family members? You can add them to your plan.
  • Changing jobs or moving? Your own plan will follow you wherever you go, sometimes even if you move to another province.

Can you have both plans?

Yes, it’s possible. You need to check with your employer to see if you can top-up any benefits that are missing from your employer’s plan.

If you have to choose between having a group plan or an individual plan, think about what works best for you, your family and your situation. While your employer may pay for some or all of your benefits, your premiums for an individual plan may be tax deductible. That can make your own individual plan affordable.

Some questions to ask yourself if you’re thinking about buying an individual plan:

  • Is this plan portable? Can I take it with me when/if I am no longer at the company?
  • Can I top it up or add coverage?
  • Can I remove some components if I feel I don’t need them or want them?
  • Do I have choices?

Not sure if you’ll need health insurance when you retire?

Planning for retirement is exciting, but there are many things to consider. One of the most important is whether you will have health and dental insurance in place.

Ask if your employer provides retiree health plan benefits. If not, we suggest considering these questions:

  • How often do you (or your family members) visit the dentist?
  • Do you (or your family members) wear eyeglasses or contact lenses?
  • Do you regularly see a physiotherapist, registered message therapist or chiropractor?
  • Will the government cover all of your on-going prescription drug expenses?
  • Do you have funds set aside should you (or a family member) ever need hearing aids, a wheelchair, walker, or in-home nursing care?

Depending on your answers to these questions, you may want to invest in an individual health and dental plan.

Only you can decide if you need a plan.

Preparing creates peace of mind. There are lots of plans to choose from, so a Licensed Life Insurance Advisor can help find one that suits you.

To learn more about health and dental insurance, contact a Licensed Life Insurance Advisor at 1-888-444-6711 or book an appointment online.