In Canada, we’re lucky to have our basic needs met through our national health care system. But many Gen Squeeze supporters said they still needed help with extended coverage for things like prescriptions, paramedical practitioners, and dental. So we’ve taken our terms to the market and have added to our extensive Benefits program what we believe is the most affordable health coverage plan:
It was unlikely we could find a plan that would perfectly meet everyone’s needs. As it turns out, these plans are all about trade-offs between what you want insurance-like protection on, vs. what you can reasonably budget to cover on your own.
A health insurance plan is a tool that shares your risk over time with other users -- it’s not a subscription to a number of services. Unfortunately there are no cheap plans that give you unlimited massages -- believe us, we looked!
But there are ways we can make reasonable trade-offs, and so here are some things we’ve learned that are important to consider when selecting your options.
Basic vs. Full Coverage
Do you want a low premium “Honda” plan with basic coverage (meaning on average you will pay more out of pocket per service, but your monthly premiums will be much lower), or a “Cadillac” plan that has a higher monthly premium, but more coverage? This will depend on how much you intend to use the plan, and how you prefer to manage your money and risk.
For some, a low monthly premium is preferred to keep monthly recurring costs down. They might intend sporadic to moderate use of the plan and are comfortable with a higher risk (e.g. cost) in the case of the unexpected. For others who know they will use the plan more often and want higher coverage “just in case”, a higher-premium/higher-coverage plan might make sense.
Our plan has both a base-plan, plus an upgrade option -- but the choice is up to you.
One thing to look for in a plan is whether it will cover pre-existing conditions (in other words, will it cover you for conditions you’ve already had diagnosed?). The language to look for is “guaranteed issue” vs “underwritten”.
If a plan is “guaranteed issue”, it means you do not need a medical review before joining the plan, and things that have already been diagnosed will be covered. If a plan is “underwritten”, you will need a medical evaluation and anything that is already diagnosed might not be covered under this plan.
Why would you want to be underwritten? Well, typically underwritten plans can be a bit cheaper on the assumption that those using the plan are using it as an “insurance policy” and not a “subscription policy” -- and often they have higher coverage in the case you receive a high use diagnosis in the future.
Once you are in the plan, any future diagnosis will be covered, and so the advice often given is to get a good plan when you’re “young and healthy” to ensure you are fully covered as you age and your chances of a diagnosis increases.
Again, this is blanket advice and it will be up to you to decide what works best.
Proper dental care is absolutely part of an overall individual health plan, but again, the question becomes how to manage this within your budget and risk tolerance. Dental coverage will usually cover a portion of your routine costs, and a further portion of anything unexpected -- and quite often it is an optional coverage item.
The choice is: do you want an insurance policy against the unexpected, or are you comfortable with the risk of something happening that will require you to expend a fair amount of money? For example, if all you get is the occasional cleaning, dental coverage may not be necessary. However, should you get a cavity or require major dental work, then insurance might be useful for you to mitigate this expense.
Our Benefits program is about sourcing the best deals we can in the marketplace to ease the squeeze in your day-to-day life. In our first year of the program, we put over $30,000 back into the pockets of young Canadians by getting them better deals on things like cell phones, bank accounts, groceries, and car shares!
Let us know if you have any other health plan-related questions below. We’ll do our best to help!