Looking to save money (who isn’t!)? Get health insurance! When it comes to insurance many people often wonder if it’s worth paying for something they may not use. These days many of us are looking for more ways save. If you’re one of the many Canadians who don’t receive health benefits through work, we’re here to say that yes, health insurance is worth paying for. And it’s very likely that you’ll use it. It will save you money AND help keep you healthy. Intrigued? Read on.

Many young Canadians find a stark reality awaiting them when they turn a certain age and are ungraciously kicked off of their parents’ health insurance plans. Suddenly, gone are the days of going to the dentist four times a year for ‘free’. And while you’re likely making money, you might not have health insurance coverage through work. In this blog we’ll cover why health insurance is worth the cost and how it can save you money, and your health.

Benefits Look Different for Workers Now

It’s common now for many Canadians to work less ‘traditional’ jobs. Think side hustles, contract or freelance work, or what’s commonly referred to as ‘gig’ work. It’s a growing area of employment in Canada for those who want flexibility and independence, or want to make some extra cash on the side. But the caveat with these sorts of jobs is they don’t typically include private health insurance coverage.

Gig workers in Canada have seen major growth in numbers - they’re up 70% in the last decade, now making up over 8% of the Canadian workforce. The lifestyle that comes with the gig economy can be a fit for many workers these days.  You’re essentially ‘working for yourself’ and can define your hours, commitments, and projects you take on. These are key benefits for gig workers.

Self-employment has also been on the rise for the last 20 plus years. In 2020 3.15M Canadians filed their taxes as self-employed workers. Many millennials and older Gen Z workers find themselves choosing this less conventional option over being employed.

If you want to take a last-minute trip or work remotely from Hawaii, that’s more doable when you’re making your own hours. However, self-employment has its downsides too. These kinds of jobs usually lack private health insurance and other types of employee benefits. That means you’re on your own when paying for your medical expenses. You either choose to pay out-of-pocket or pay for private health insurance. But how do you know if health insurance is worth it in Canada?

Is Private Health Insurance Worth it in Canada?

If you find yourself without a work compensation package that includes health insurance, you might be wondering if it’s even worth it. Given you’re lucky enough to live in Canada where most critical health services are covered, this is a reasonable consideration. But as you know, health care extends far beyond what our provincial health care covers.

It will probably take one visit to the dentist that involves you pulling out your credit card for it to become obvious - health insurance IS worth it in Canada. And the dentist is just one example. Our universal health care, while great, doesn’t cover the cost of prescription drugs or trips to the physiotherapist, just to name a couple examples.

When you’re considering if health insurance is worth it, consider your health and your health needs. Are you a regular at the dentist? Do you take any regular medications? It’s worth thinking about what you want from a health insurance coverage plan too. For example, would you like to visit a psychologist or counsellor on a routine basis, or see a physiotherapist without covering the cost on your own entirely? These visits can be pricey and will add up over time. You might find that having a health insurance plan will save you thousands of dollars. Aside from savings now, it can also help you save into the future.

Private Health Insurance Helps You Plan Ahead

You might be considering your current state of health and not be concerned about your future needs. But like so many things in life, your health can change quickly. Health insurance puts you in a position where you won’t have to worry about affording care and paying for bills entirely out of pocket.

Having health insurance also means you can be proactive with your health care. If flossing makes you cringe, that might be a sign that a regular dentist visit is a good idea for you, and a private health insurance plan can make that affordable. This would save you from some more expensive trips down the road, especially without insurance!

Health insurance also provides coverage for health and medical practitioners that help you maintain and improve your health so you face better odds as you age. Seeing a psychologist now might be a good choice for your mental wellbeing, or perhaps seeing a physiotherapist or massage therapist now puts you in a better position to avoid injuries in the future.  With health insurance, you can afford to be proactive with your health.

It also pays to get health insurance in place while you’re healthy. Since health history is typically a factor in determining premiums, you’ll pay a lower rate if you’re healthy when you apply. And, getting a plan before health conditions aris ensure you’ll be covered when you need it.

Plan Ahead With A GMS Private Health Insurance Plan

Whether you’re looking to replace a work plan, supplement an existing plan, or set up your very first plan of your own, GMS has you covered. Our Personal Health plans offer the flexibility to choose anywhere from basic to extensive coverage. The rates are determined by the benefits you choose and your medical history. If you’ve recently left a job with benefits, you also qualify for our Replacement Health coverage. We offer guaranteed acceptance with no medical questions and your choice between three pre-bundled plans. Learn more today!