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!