It’s hard to believe but we’re almost one month into 2021! Have you stuck to your New Year’s resolution? There’s still plenty of time to start – so don’t worry. Resolutions tend to be fitness related or eating healthier. But what about improving your financial wellness?
What is Financial Wellness?
Financial wellness is about having a healthy financial balance in your life and a good grasp of financial literacy. It’s just as important to your overall health as making sure you’re eating a balanced diet or getting regular exercise. Stressing about money can have an impact on your mental and physical well-being.
The definition of financial wellness according to the Government of Canada is feeling ‘secure about your financial future and are free to make choices that allow you to enjoy life.’ Who doesn't want that? A great place to start when you want to improve your financial wellness is health insurance. It takes care of you and your family now and in the future – taking away that worry about unexpected health expenses.
Why Is Health Insurance Important?
Costs Are Rising
Healthcare costs in Canada have been steadily rising for the past few decades. Despite government health coverage, Canadians are spending more on healthcare than ever before. A study found that out-of-pocket drug costs were estimated to add up to $13.3 billion in 2017 alone and at least 60 per cent of Canadian households had to spend out-of-pocket money on prescription drugs. These costs can add up, so having that extra coverage can make a big difference!
The Government Doesn’t Cover Everything
Canada is known around the world for our health care system. While our system has its benefits, what lots of people don’t realize is that it doesn’t cover several things that many people require every day for their health.
Under the Canada Health Act, every person has access to basic medical services like hospital care, immunizations and primary maternity care – but it misses coverage of important areas like:
- Prescription medications
- Dental care
- Ambulance services
- Vision care
The good news is that the majority of health insurance plans cover most, if not all of these areas, meaning if any of them come up, you know you have protection.
Retirement Changes Things
Retirement is an exciting time in your life and you should be looking forward to it! It can also mean some big changes to your health coverage. If you have health coverage through your employer now, you may lose it when it’s time to retire. It’s important to get the proper insurance before making your transition into retirement.
It’s also no secret that as we age, we also tend to have more health issues. A study found that out-of-pocket healthcare payments is the biggest expense for those over the age of 65. Prescriptions, in particular, can affect your finances, especially for seniors, who are spending 27.3% of their health care budget on prescription medications. But seniors aren’t the only ones impacted, non-senior households are also spending 17.7% of their health care budget on prescriptions. This makes having the proper coverage more important than ever.
What to Look for in a Health Insurance Plan in Canada
The good news is that health insurance can help with all of these things. With different plans for families, seniors, new Canadians or individuals, there’s always something that can fit your needs. Here are a few things to look for when purchasing a health insurance plan.
Everyone’s healthcare needs are different and that means plans need to be flexible and customized. You need a plan for you and your family that takes care of all aspects of your wellness and covers what is most important to your overall health. For example, you may want access to more mental health resources and proactive health services and want to opt-out of travel insurance. Part of being financially well, is only paying for the things you need, so a customized plan is key!
When you’re paying for health coverage you want it to be easy to access and use – otherwise what’s the point? This usually means online access to your customer portal through a desktop or phone. It also needs to be portable so you don’t have to worry about adjusting coverage when you’re travelling between provinces or territories.
Rewards and Perks
Along with coverage of essential health needs, people want perks! These rewards that come with health care plans can improve your overall financial wellness. These are things like in-store coupon codes, gift card discounts, pet insurance, restaurant, gym and movie ticket discounts and so much more. Make sure to look for these when you get health coverage.
Getting health insurance coverage is a great way to improve your financial wellness. Not to mention, there are options that fit your lifestyle, while also helping improve your mental and physical health. So this year, as you get going on your New Year’s resolution, make sure you don’t skip on your financial wellness and remember the importance of having health insurance coverage!