Health Risk Services Inc. has a number of quality personal insurance programs each designed to meet a specific requirement in terms of expenditure and coverage. Flexible, cost-effective and user specific products that not only provide support and assurance but also guarantee that they continue to serve your needs when and if your circumstances contributing to your insurance requirements change. Choose the product that is best for you:

As neighbours to the US, it can be pretty easy for Canadians to get a little smug about our universal health benefits. This is especially true this year; with Trump threatening to stop paying insurers in order to kill the Affordable Care Act, it’s easy to quietly snicker about Canada’s superior health outcomes and affordability. But while we should all be proud of our country and its accomplishments, the fact is that Canada actually ranks third-lowest for health outcomes among rich nations. Only France and the US rank lower. Beyond that, our universal health benefits fall short of what’s taken for granted in much of European Union. This means that most Canadians who do not receive benefits from work need to find personal, private insurance to ensure their family can receive the care they need. For these families, we recommend Private Health Services Plans (PHSPs).

More Flexibility.

The reason we love PHSPs over traditional plans is the flexibility to have the services you need covered without paying for all the extras you don’t. When we look at traditional plans offered by the Blue Guys, we see a lot of 50% coverage for this and that, plus you’ll need to get coverage for a long list of professionals even if you only want to see a physiotherapist and a nutritionist. That’s not how Private Health Services Plans work. Instead, your money is saved in a health saving account, and you can withdraw money from this account to pay for services as needed. As long as there is enough money in the account, you can access the services you need and have them 100% covered. This is because instead of have an “insured” product where you’ll get a guaranteed 50% off your dental filling, PHSPs offer “fee for service” products. Basically, there’s a small administration fee to access your health saving account, and then you can choose how much of the cost you want to cover.

Save Money.

This means you’ll get coverage where you need it and save money! On average, families who choose PHSPs see between 25% – 40% savings over a traditional account. Traditional accounts need to charge enough that they make money (or at least break even) even if you use every benefit. The PHSPs don’t have that conflict of interest. Your money simply goes into your health saving account each month, and if you want to access it to pay for your new glasses, you pay the administration fee and withdraw 25%, 50%, or even 100% of the cost of your glasses. Just make sure there’s enough left in your account in case of an emergency!

The benefits from your Private Health Services Plan are tax free and any unused premium dollars roll over into the next year, so you don’t need to worry about losing your hard saved money just because your medical needs are simple. That money just pools until you need it!

What Is Travel Insurance?

Travel Insurance is intended to cover sudden, unexpected and unforeseeable circumstances which create a need for emergency treatments such as hospitalization, emergency surgery or dental work, transportation, and recovery or return of personal possessions. Basically, Travel Insurance will provide coverage for health care services in another province or country that your local or provincial plan will not cover. When purchasing a Travel Insurance Plan, ensure you are purchasing the right product with the best coverage by using an HRS Inc. Travel Insurance Checklist to guide you in your decision-making process.

Who Should Purchase Travel Insurance?

Government health insurance plans will pay only a small fraction of expenses if you are sick or injured while outside Canada. Some hospitals charge thousands of dollars a day, not including doctors, Efees or diagnostic services. Without emergency hospital and medical insurance, you and your family would be responsible for these high costs.

Travel Insurance: Key Features & Options

Circumstance/Occurrence Definition Coverage
Hospitalization Emergency hospitalization (semi-private) and emergency medical services in excess of provincial or territorial plan Up to $5 million
Meals & Accommodation While you are in hospital, insured family members or traveling companions remaining with you will be reimbursed for reasonable living expenses Up to $3,000
Transportation of Family or Friend Round trip economy transportation to bring family or friend to bedside

Travel Costs and/or identification of remains in cases of death

Up to $3,000

Up to $1,000

Return Transportation One-way economy transportation to return insured travelling companions and one insured accompanying family member home* Extra costs incurred
Attendant Attendant (not a relative) and return economy transportation to travel with your children home when you have been air evacuated back to Canada* Extra costs incurred
Return of vehicle or watercraft vehicle or watercraft used on journey which cannot be returned due to illness or injury that is covered by your plan Up to $3,000
Pet Return (Dog or Cat) Return of accompanying dog or cat to Canada if you return to Canada under the Emergency Transportation benefit or are hospitalized due to a sickness or injury covered by your plan Up to $300
Return of Deceased In the event of death, cost to return your body to Canada

In the event of death, cost for cremation or burial at place of death

Up to $10,000

Up to $4,000

Accidental Dental Emergency repair or replacement of whole or sound natural teeth caused by an accidental blow to the face Up to $3,000
Dental Emergencies Immediate relief of acute dental pain from causes other than an accidental blow to the face Up to $500
Emergency Transportation Arrangements for emergency transportation to a hospital in Canada or to the nearest hospital** Extra costs incurred
Return to Original Trip Destination One-way economy transportation for you and travelling companion to return to original trip destination after your emergency is completely resolved if your return home was under the Emergency Transportation benefit Up to $5,000

* Travelling companions are under the age of 18, or physically or mentally handicapped and reliant on you for assistance
** Patient must be medically assessed as transportable

What is Not Covered Under Travel Insurance

Travel insurance does not cover everything. This insurance has exclusions, conditions and limitations. Certain circumstances and conditions may affect the manner in which insurance coverage can be applied to a medical situation.

Available only to the spouse and dependent children of an employee or insurance policy holder, dependent life plans provide coverage in flat amounts only. Coverage for the spouse is generally higher than that available for children. Coverage for children generally becomes effective 14 days after birth and continues until the child is 21 years of age (25 years if in full-time attendance at school or university).

Your children and your spouse’s children (other than foster children) are eligible dependents if they are not married or in any other formal union recognized by law, and are under age 21. If your child is a full-time student attending an educational institution recognized under the Income Tax Act (Canada), they are considered an eligible dependent until the age of 25 (age of 26 for employees residing in Quebec) as long as the child is entirely dependent on you for financial support.

Employers may share in paying the premium, or opt to have employees pay the entire premium. The benefit is payable to the covered plan member upon the death of the dependent.

Benefit Amount
The most common amounts of dependent life coverage are $5,000 for a spouse and $2,500 per dependent child or $10,000 for a spouse and $5,000 per dependent child. However, coverage for higher amounts is often available.

According to Statistics Canada, life expectancy at birth is age 83 for women and 78 for men. Almost inevitably, age brings with it a higher risk of limitations than can hamper your ability to live independently. As we age, our ability to perform daily activities both physically and mentally may become more difficult to achieve as an individual. In Canada, 1 of 3 seniors aged 65 – 74 will become dependent on others to assist for daily activities and 4 of 5 seniors 85 years or older will require assistance. If one day you needed help performing everyday tasks, who would you get this help from? In 90% of cases, caregivers are family members, either a spouse or the children.

Definition

Loss of independence means the insured needs:

  • Help performing 2 of the 6 activities of daily living: bathing, dressing, eating, using the toilet, getting in and out of bed and chairs, or be incontinent OR
  • Ongoing supervision to ensure his or her security because of a cognitive impairment of organic origin (i.e., Alzheimer’s disease, senile dementia)

Why take out loss of independence insurance?

In the event you become unable to care for yourself, you receive a non-taxable monthly benefit, allowing you to keep your financial and estate plans on track. You can use the amount received as you wish, notably to:

  • Protect your wealth and children’s future inheritance
  • Hire home care personnel
  • Make required home adaptations
  • Get services not offered in public or private health care facilities

Long-term care insurance (LTC or LTCI), helps provide for the cost of long-term care beyond a predetermined period. Long-term care insurance covers care generally not covered by regular health insurance plans. 

Individuals who require long-term care are generally not sick in the traditional sense, but instead, are unable to perform basic daily activities such as dressing, bathing, eating, toileting, continence, transferring (getting in and out of a bed or chair), and walking. Age is not a determining factor in needing long-term care. About 60 percent of individuals over age 65 will require at least some type of long-term care services during their lifetime. About 40% of those receiving long-term care today are between 18 and 64. Once a change of health occurs long-term care insurance may not be available.

Benefits

Long-term care insurance generally covers home care, assisted living, adult daycare, respite care, hospice care, nursing home and  Alzheimer facilities. If home care coverage is purchased, long-term care insurance can pay for home care, often from the first day it is needed. It will pay for a visiting or live-in caregiver, companion, housekeeper, therapist or private duty nurse up to 7 days a week, 24 hours a day (up to the policy benefit maximum).

Other benefits of long-term care insurance:

  • Long-term care insurance could help cover personal, out-of-pocket expenses and deter from individuals having to rely on their children or family members for financial support. Without long-term care insurance, the cost of providing these services may quickly deplete the savings of the individual and/or their family.
  • Premiums paid on a long-term care insurance product may be eligible for an income tax deduction. The amount of the deduction depends on the age of the covered person. Benefits paid from a long-term care contract are generally excluded from income.
  • Business deductions of premiums are determined by the type of business. Generally corporations paying premiums for an employee are 100% deductible if not included in employee’s taxable income.

 

Types of Policies

Private long-term care (LTC) insurance is growing in popularity. Although premiums have remained relatively stable in recent years, coverage costs can be expensive, especially when consumers wait until retirement age to purchase LTC coverage.

  • Tax qualified (TQ) policies are the most common policies offered. A TQ policy requires that a person 1) be expected to require care for at least 90 days, and be unable to perform 2 or more daily activities (eating, dressing, bathing, transferring, toileting, continence) without substantial assistance (hands on or standby); or 2) for at least 90 days, need substantial assistance due to a severe cognitive impairment. In either case a doctor must provide a plan of care. Benefits from a TQ policy are non-taxable.
  • Non-tax qualified (NTQ) often includes a “trigger” called a “medical necessity” trigger. This means that the patient’s own doctor, or that doctor in conjunction with someone from the insurance company, can state that the patient needs care for any medical reason and the policy will pay. NTQ policies include walking as an activity of daily living and usually only require the inability to perform 1 or more activity of daily living.

Creditor insurance is usually available as part of a group insurance policy, rather than an individual policy. Group polices are generally less expensive than the individual type. The lender is the owner and beneficiary of the group policy. The borrower is known as the insured.

For example, a bank wants to insure all its mortgage customers. The bank applies for a group creditor insurance policy. The insurance company weighs the risks of the entire group with the price of the policy. Each customer pays a fee, called a premium, to be covered under the policy. As a result, the bank customers pay a lower fee than if they each bought an individual insurance policy.

Decreasing term life insurance may be used to cover a mortgage loan. As the customer pays the mortgage each month, the outstanding balance – the amount that is insured – is lowered. The amount of the death benefit will be lowered to match the remaining loan balance. As a result, the premiums can also be lowered each month.

Creditor insurance can also be used to insure credit card balances. These policies are sometimes called credit card protection programs. The customer can choose to purchase life or disability insurance, or both. The cost of the policy varies each month, based on the credit card balance. When the customer has a zero credit card balance, there is no premium due that month.

Banks may also use creditor life insurance policies for business loans. If a bank loans money to a business owner, the bank may require a life or disability insurance policy for the owner. Such policies help ensure that the loan will be repaid. This coverage is especially important if the owner’s work creates the main source of revenue for his company.

What Is Critical Illness Insurance?

A critical illness is something that no one would choose or wish to experience, yet it affects many of us when we least expect it. If you have a mortgage, you work full time or you have dependents, choosing to purchase a Critical Illness Insurance Plan will protect you from having to make a choice or a compromise in these important areas of your life.

Who Should Purchase Critical Illness Insurance?

If you are between the ages of 18 and 65, a Critical Illness Insurance Plan could be of great value to you. Family finances, future plans for education, career and life experiences can all be possible even in the event of a critical illness that affects the main source of household income. Critical Illness Insurance plans can also complement existing income protection plans and existing group or association disability plans.

Critical Illness Insurance: Key Features & Options

Each insurance provider will be able to offer a number of key features and options for each Critical Illness Plan. Each plan owner can determine which features, options and “riders” will be best suited for their needs and have them “built in” as the plan is designed.

Disability insurance insures the beneficiary’s earned income against the risk that disability will make working (and therefore earning) impossible. It includes paid sick leave, short-term disability benefits, and long-term disability benefits. Disability insurance can provide you with financial security by replacing a portion of your earnings when an accident or illness causes you to become disabled and unable to work for a fixed period of time. Accidents and illnesses are a fact of life and could happen to anyone at any time. Did you know that:

  • 1 in 3 people, on average, will be disabled for 90 days or longer at least once before age 65.
  • The average length of a disability that lasts over 90 days is 2.9 years.

Both personal and business disability insurance solutions are available that offer flexibility and features to help bridge the gap between income and expenses during a disability. Policies can be designed to include components that insure short-term disability claims and move into longer term coverage in the event that a disability leave is extended.

Employer-Supplied Disability Insurance
Since one of the top reasons for becoming disabled is getting hurt on the job, it is not surprising that the second-most important form of disability insurance is that provided by employers to cover their employees. There are several subtypes that may or may not be separate parts of the benefits package: workers’ compensation and more general (but very basic) disability insurance policies.

Individual Disability Insurance Policies
Those whose employers do not provide benefits, and self-employed individuals who desire disability coverage, may purchase their own policies on the open market. Premiums and available benefits for individual coverage vary considerably between different companies, for individuals in different occupations. In general, premiums are higher for policies that provided more monthly benefit, pay the benefit for a longer period of time, and start payments for benefits more quickly following a disability. Premiums also tend to be higher for policies that define disability in broader terms, meaning the policy would pay benefits in a wider variety of circumstances.

Mortgage loan insurance is typically required by lenders when homebuyers make a down payment of less than 20% of the purchase price. Mortgage loan insurance helps protects lenders against mortgage default, and enables consumers to purchase homes with a minimum down payment of 5% — with interest rates comparable to those with a 20% down payment.

To obtain mortgage loan insurance, lenders pay an insurance premium. Typically, your lender will pass this cost on to you. The premium payable is based on a percentage of the home’s purchase price that is financed by a mortgage. The premium can be paid in a single lump sum or it can be added to your mortgage and included in your monthly payments.

Mortgage loan insurance is not to be confused with mortgage life insurance which guarantees that your remaining mortgage at the time of your death will not be a burden to your estate.

Proper financial planning may include a solid Life Insurance policy that could protect your family and loved ones from the difficulties of maintaining a stable and secure lifestyle in the event of a premature or unexpected passing. Life insurance can help create financial security for you and your family as it can be used to:

  • Pay final expenses and any debts
  • Provide an income for your family
  • Ensure your family has the resources to maintain a comfortable standard of living
  • Leave your desired contribution to a favourite charity

While you’re still living, some life insurance policies can:

  • Build tax-advantaged savings you can draw upon as needed for personal or business opportunities
  • Supplement your retirement income or provide for long-term care or home care for yourself or a family member

The following is a brief explanation of the various types of Life Insurance Policies available:

Term Life Insurance is Life Insurance which provides coverage at a fixed rate of payments for a limited period of time. Term Insurance is the least expensive way to purchase a substantial death benefit on a coverage amount per premium dollar basis over a specific period of time.

Available Terms of Coverage for Term Life Insurance are:

  • Annual Renewable – Premium increases every year
  • 5 Year Term – Premium increase every 5 years
  • 10 Year Term – Premium increases every 10 years
  • 20 Year Term – Premium increases every 20 years

Term Life Insurance policies do an excellent job of meeting immediate and fixed time period needs such as loans, mortgages or family protection. Premiums are guaranteed for the duration of the coverage, even the subsequent renewal years. Your policy automatically renews at the end of the “term” without your providing proof of health to the Insurance Company. However, the increase in premium or price can become substantial in later years, causing many people to terminate policies in their retirement years even though they may still have a need for insurance coverage. Also, it is important to remember that the majority of term policies will terminate coverage at age 75 or 80.

Term insurance is well-suited to meeting large, short-term protection needs for the lowest initial cost. For example, if you have purchased a home using a mortgage amortized over 25 years. A Term 20 Life Insurance Policy will cover the initial 20 years of your mortgage for the least amount of cost. Or perhaps you have purchased a new car that requires life insurance coverage, a 5 year or 10 year Term would be the answer for you!

Term Life Insurance provides you the option to later change or convert your current policy to a Permanent Life Insurance policy with the same Insurer without providing proof of health. Two important points to remember regarding conversion of a policy is:

  • The insurance company usually offers a select number of Life Insurance contracts that you can convert to
  • The Conversion privilege usually expires around age 65 or 70.

There is absolutely no doubt that many consumers will purchase Term Life Insurance on “PRICE” alone!

However, just like any other product that you may purchase, there are many other considerations that you should be aware of when making your decision to buy.

What to look for in an Insurance Company?

  • Does the company consistently receive excellent ratings from several internationally-known rating agencies?
  • Does the company have the capital to grow and to compete in an increasingly competitive environment?
  • Does the company treat its existing clients fairly?

What to look for in a Term Life Insurance product?

  • Is the product convertible? For how long?
  • Does the product offer no medical underwriting for most policies?
  • What permanent products are available to convert to?
  • How long is the product renewable?
  • Are the renewal rates guaranteed? Are they competitive?
  • Does the product offer lower rates for healthier clients? How difficult is it to qualify for a company’s preferred rates?
  • Are preferred rates offered when converting to a permanent plan?
  • Does the product offer a range of coverage options all in the same plan?
  • Does the product offer the flexibility to change as client’s needs change?
  • Does the product offer a range of competitive riders to custom design solutions to meet your unique needs?