In Canada, we are fortunate to have free healthcare. Provincial health care covers basic health care services like physicians and hospitals but not all health-related services. There is a misconception that because we have provincial health coverage we don’t need private health insurance. However, there are areas where provincial healthcare falls short and it can take a significant bite out of your finances you may end up paying for them out of your own pocket.
Depending on the province or territory you live in, you may have to pay for:
- Prescription drugs
- Services like physiotherapy, dental, chiropractic, orthodontics; and
- Medical equipment
Most employers provide some sort of health benefits but employer benefits may not be enough. You may have to purchase additional health insurance to supplement your existing health coverage. You may think that it does not make sense for you to buy health insurance because you are healthy but circumstances can change quickly. If you were to find out, you have a serious or chronic illness then the financial burden of the illness is on you. I think for most people premiums are the main cause for not taking additional health cover. But paying premiums may be worth it. With private health insurance, you are covered and the financial burden is transferred to your insurance provider.
Private health insurance is also a must even if you are traveling to another province within Canada. While provinces have some sort of reciprocal cover for out of province visitors, there are differences in the services covered. Which means that a service covered in your province may not be in another.
We buy insurance for our home, cars, belongings, and life but ignore health insurance. I think this is because when we are healthy it seems like unnecessary forgetting that our health can take a turn for the worse at any time. On top of that provincial health cover provides a seen of security that free health care should be enough. While provincial health cover is great, it just isn’t enough.
I am fortunate to have great health benefits from my employer. Dental care alone should be enough to convince anyone to take additional health coverage seriously. Looking at all the health benefits I receive through my employer I have come to appreciate the security of private health insurance.