Government benefits do not cover anything except basic health costs.
They cover hospital costs, visits to your doctor and drugs after a certain annual deductible is met. It is your responsibility to look after yourself and your family for those expenses not covered by the government. If you are a member of a company group insurance plan, you may already have those additional benefits – but read your employee benefit booklet to be sure.
If your employer does not provide group insurance benefits or if you are a small business owner, there are benefit strategies that can help to cover or at least reduce the costs of the additional medical expenses that can occur.
As an employee, you can purchase coverage for just you and your family under an individual health & dental insurance plan. No medical info is required, but pre-existing drugs (that you are currently using) will be excluded from the coverage. The plans are meant to be kept for the long term and are not just temporary cost reimbursement plans, even though they only require monthly premiums. Drugs, medical services and travel insurance are included as well as basic dental coverage – but remember that the premium you pay is the full amount. When you were an employee, the benefit plan that you paid for was actually paid 50% by your employer. When you but a plan for just your family you will be paying for the full 100% premium. Ask your insurance broker to explain why this is still a great benefit to you.
As a business owner, you have both the option of either an insurance plan, as above or under a group insurance plan (when you have employees), or a special tax deductible benefit plan (’PHSP’) that allows your business to pay for all the medical costs, fully tax deduct them and then allow you to receive the benefits totally tax free.