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  • Health insurance is for everyone, and here’s why

    By Savannah Menton · June 14, 2021 · 0 Comments

    Getting an insurance plan can be easy if you do it early. If you wait until you develop an illness, however, it may be a challenging task.

    Because Canadians are recipients of universal healthcare, extended health insurance may seem like an option to most. The reality is that current healthcare plans do not provide adequate coverage for the range of health needs Canadians have. Unfortunately, there are many reasons that can deter one from getting insurance.

    • Perhaps you don’t want insurance because you believe you’re too young, fit, or healthy.
    • You may think that insurance is simply not worth the cost.
    • You have fears about denial of coverage- whether that be for pre-existing conditions or illness you develop overtime.

    No matter which category you fall in, the truth is everyone should have health insurance. Here’s why:

    Insurance can prevent and treat current and newly-developed illnesses

    Having extended health and dental plan gives you access to critical health services and prescription drugs that are not covered by most provincial plans. Your health needs can be addressed, therefore lowering your risk of developing illnesses in the future.

    You can avoid paying high out-of-pocket costs for medical bills

    If you are healthy now, it may be hard to justify paying monthly premiums for insurance. However, unexpected costs associated with illness can be extremely high. These costs are exacerbated by long-term illnesses. Insurance can knock off a large chunk of these costs, and in many cases, all costs. 

    It is adjustable to fit your needs

    No one human is the same, and insurance providers recognize that. Plans are customizable to suit your lifestyle, budget, and health priorities.

    Consider this case:

    Rebecca is a 30-year-old who has a partner and young child. She works a full-time job, as does her partner. After speaking with an insurance advisor and learning about Rebecca’s needs and budget, the advisor suggests the best plan she opt-in for is one that covers up to $100,000 of prescription drugs annually, however, Rebecca thinks the monthly fee is too costly, especially because her overall health is in a good state. She’d rather use that money for other family expenses, so Rebecca decides not to get it. 

    Six months later, Rebecca develops is diagnosed with degenerative arthritis. She cannot perform to the best of her ability at work, and financial anxieties loom as she is worried about losing her job that she needs to support her and her family. She is required to take a cocktail of pain medications to manage her condition. The pain medications, in addition to treatments not covered by OHIP, are going to cost Rebecca $12,000-$20,000 a year. She returns to her advisor, who informs her that she is no longer eligible for the plan originally quoted to her because she now has a pre-existing condition. This drug would have been covered by this plan.

    Had Rebeca possessed coverage before, she would have been insured to receive the drugs she needs, and manage her condition so that it does not significantly impact her career, finances, family, and overall quality of life.

    Insurance and pre-existing conditions

    While you can still get insurance with a pre-existing condition, rates depend on a number of factors, such as the degree of seriousness and severity associated with your illness, family history, and medical tests. In other words, insurance becomes more costly, time-consuming, and stressful to obtain the longer you wait, however, it is important to note that insurance is available. In fact, many people already have pre-existing conditions like asthma, diabetes, and vision impairment, and are able to easily secure quality insurance. 

    Rates tend to vary more when dealing with pre-existing conditions, and although it can be more costly for these individuals, it is necessary to consider your expected costs with and without insurance. Take the time to explore your options and also be transparent about your health when talking with an insurance professional. 

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