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How to Choose Health Insurance for Canadians: A Simple Guide

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This article provides information about how to choose health insurance for Canadians.

Canadians do not often give much thought to health insurance. With provincial health plans in place to take care of most needs, many people believe that they have all the coverage they need. The truth is there are many instances in which the provincial coverage is not enough. The key to choosing health insurance for Canadians lies in knowing what is not covered by provincial health plans and filling in the gaps.

How to Choose Health Insurance for CanadiansSupplemental Health Coverage Choices
Although Canada does have a fairly comprehensive medical plan for all residents, there are some areas where the coverage ends. This is where supplemental health coverage kicks in. These policies provide coverage for items that are not included in the provincial health plan. This can include things like travel to see a specialist, the cost of that specialist especially if it is in the United States, and other associated costs.

Supplemental coverage can also include coverage for critical illness, disability insurance and the two major areas not covered under provincial health plans: dental and vision. Some policies combine two or more of these options into one policy, making it easy to choose a supplemental policy.

Another area where you might want to consider coverage is for prescriptions. If you are being treated for a serious illness, you may find that the cost of prescription drugs adds up fast. A private prescription plan can offset this cost.

Understanding Your Needs
When it comes to how to choose health insurance for Canadians, it’s important to understand what you require in terms of supplemental coverage so that you do not pay for anything you don’t really need. Supplemental coverage may be available through your employer. This is a big advantage since it is usually subsidized by the company, making it more affordable.

Take a close look at what coverage you currently have and note any areas that are not covered well or at all. Once you know what is not covered, you can decide what you really need. Consider your age, health status and lifestyle. What coverage are you most likely to need? Remember that some coverage will be nearly impossible to get after you have been diagnosed with an illness; preparing ahead of time is the best way to ensure coverage.

You should also consider your dependants; if your child needs glasses or braces, you will be glad to have that coverage in place since these can be very expensive.

Choosing the Right Health Insurance Plan
Because most major items are covered under the provincial health plan, Canadians generally find supplemental coverage to be affordable. The biggest factor in choosing your plan is the cost of the policy versus the likelihood of needing it. While some supplemental insurance is easier to predict the need for – like vision or dental – other choices can be difficult to predict. It’s important to remember that as with many insurance policies, it is often only when you do need it that you see how worthwhile it was.

Having extra coverage is always a good idea; and knowing where the gaps in your current coverage lie will make it a lot easier to understand what you need most.


About the Author:
Adriana Stefania is a freelance writer for Canada Health Insurance. For more information on health insurance for Canadians please visit