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Q&A with Cyndy and Sarah – Do I need Health Benefits?

Sarah Chisholm, Financial Advisor

O’Farrell Wealth & Estate Planning | Assante Capital Management Ltd.

Do I need health benefits

Time for that annual dental visit or in need of a massage after sitting at the kitchen table for sixteen months? For those lucky enough to have group health benefits these visits are standard but for those with no coverage the costs may seem prohibitive. Personally owned health benefits packages can provide access to prescription drugs, dental, vision, paramedicals (think: massage therapist, chiropractor, dietician, psychologist etc.) and more with a regular monthly premium. Here are some common questions:

I mainly do contract work; what are my options?

Individual Health Plans are a great fit for individuals doing contract work to provide ongoing coverage. Build a custom plan to meet your family’s needs and budget.

I currently have benefits through work, will those continue through retirement?

Always check the details. Many plans end at retirement or become very limited in their scope. Sit with an advisor to identify any gaps in coverage at retirement and pinpoint the coverage you want to maintain. Take advantage of the 30-day grace period when your coverage ends to apply for individual coverage with minimal medical questions.

When I turn 65 the Ontario Health Insurance Plan will cover me, right?

At 65 OHIP begins covering the cost of about 6,500 prescription drugs. In comparison some health benefit plans cover over 18,000 prescription drugs. OHIP coverage may suffice for drugs, but what about paramedical services, medical supplies and travel insurance? With most individual plans you have the option to drop the drug coverage at age 65, while maintaining access to the rest of the benefits.

There are so many options? What plan is right for me?

Health benefits cover a variety of needs including prescription drugs, dental care, vision care, paramedical services, ambulance services, health aide care and medical supplies. Coverage can also include travel insurance, hospital accommodations and more. Sit with a trusted advisor to review your current coverage, your priority coverage needs and your budget.

Why is it so expensive?

Health care is expensive. No one plans to get sick or injured; but it happens. Putting insurance in place provides a safety net in case you need it. A health benefits plan also provides stability of costs, spreading the cost evenly over the year, regardless of when you access the drugs or services.

Do I already have coverage?

There is never a bad time to review your insurance coverages. Maybe you already have coverage but have not been utilizing it. Take the time to review all your personally owned policies and pull out those dusty group benefits manuals. Still unclear what coverage you have? Come and sit with a Financial Advisor to review the coverages in place and identify any gaps.

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