After years of hard work, retirement is a well-deserved reward. It’s a chance to enjoy more time with your family, friends and see more of the world. As boomers continue to age, more Canadians are retiring than ever before. According to Statistics Canada, 25 per cent of Canadians will be aged 65 or older in 2030 compared to around 15 per cent in 2013.

If you’re getting close to retirement, you might be planning your dream trips, decluttering your house and taking up more hobbies. Have you thought about health insurance? If you’ll be losing the benefits you have through work, now’s the time to get a new plan in place. Canadians over 65, on average, pay about $5,300 a year in out-of-pocket medical expenses. That can add up fast. The good news is there are lots of options for maintaining health coverage as you enter retirement.

Importance of Maintaining Health Coverage into Retirement
As Canadians, we’re lucky to have a universal health care system. Coverage is a bit different in each province and territory, but the main things covered are:

  • Doctor’s visits
  • Emergency room treatment
  • Hospital stays including accommodation and food
  • Prescription drugs in hospitals

Things that aren’t usually covered:

  • Prescription drugs
  • Eye exams and glasses
  • Dental
  • Physiotherapy, massage, osteopath and chiropractor
  • Medical equipment such as casts, crutches and canes
  • Ambulance

No matter your age, it’s important to have coverage on top of what’s offered by your province to protect from unexpected costs. Personal health benefit plans do just this, while also helping you maintain a healthy lifestyle. They can cover your regular trips to the dentist, optometrist, and physio, as well as drugs and devices to manage your health. If you’ve had these benefits from your employer, you likely won’t want to give them up when you retire. Luckily, we have options for you.  

Replacement Health Plans
Our Replacement Health Insurance offers three different conversion plans. They’re guaranteed issue, so you’ll be accepted without answering medical questions. And you won’t pay more because of health conditions you may have developed during your career. The benefits are pre-selected to include many of the things you’d have covered through your work plan. They can be purchased online and give you instant access to your full benefit maximums. That means no waiting for your coverage on eye care, prescription drugs, dental, physio, massage, travel insurance and more. Just make sure your plan begins within 90 days of your work plan ending.

As part of our Prescription Drug benefit under Replacement Health you can use our Prescription Drug Lookup Tool to see if the medications you’re already taking are covered under your plan. And to save you from spending out-of-pocket at the pharmacy or health practitioner, your GMS ID card doubles as a pay direct card, meaning we’ll get charged directly.

Personal Health Plans
In relatively good health? Want to pick and choose some of your benefits? Check out our Personal Health Insurance. We offer three core plans with optional benefits, such as Prescription Drugs, Dental and Travel. Plus, each plan includes LifeWorks - a wellness program loaded with tools to help improve all aspects of your health.  You’ll have to answer medical questions for these plans, but you can apply online and have your plan start any day you choose.

We Can Help You Choose your Retirement Health Insurance Plan
Retirement is an exciting transition and you have a lot to think about. We have lots of different options for your coverage needs whether it’s a Replacement Health Plan or a Personal Health Plan. The good news is, we’re here to help you choose! If you’re not sure what plan is best for you, our Help Me Choose tool is a great resource to help you decide. And if you still have questions, our customer care team is always available to help.

Retirement is a new chapter in your life that comes with so many amazing new adventures. Getting the right health insurance gives you the security to take advantage of every moment.