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What you need to know about health and dental insurance

We all know health and dental insurance is important. However, choosing the right insurance plan can be daunting, especially with complex terms and various options available. 

According to the Government of Canada, 64.6 per cent of Canadians have dental insurance to cover all or part of their expenses. Those without insurance were about three times as likely as those with insurance to avoid seeing a dental professional because of the cost 39.1 per cent versus 13.7 per cent. 

It’s important to understand health and dental insurance to make an informed decision for you and your family. If you need health and dental insurance or want to review and update your current coverage, here is what you need to know. 

What is health and dental insurance?

Health and dental insurance offers protection from financial risks associated with medical expenses. It helps cover routine health and dental-related costs, such as check-ups and cleanings. Additionally, it can cover special services, including nursing and ambulance services, wheelchairs, and other special medical equipment. 

Individual plans are a voluntary choice. After you acquire it, you can typically extend it to encompass your family members when needed. One significant advantage is that it offers more customization to tailor coverage to your exact needs. 

Some popular add-ons include dental coverage, drug coverage, and vision care. Individuals can explore various providers and customize their coverage options according to their preferences. 

Why do I need health and dental insurance?

Health and dental insurance will ensure your family (including spouse and children) have the necessary coverage for any medical needs that may arise. It is crucial for anyone retiring or otherwise at risk of losing coverage through your employer. 

This type of insurance will cover out-of-pocket expenses related to medical care, like doctor visits or hospital stays. At the same time, healthcare costs are not covered by OHIP. Optionally, it can help reduce financial barriers for access to preventative and restorative dental care and can helps cover prescription drugs. 

What does OHIP cover?

The Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) covers medical services like doctor visits, hospital stays, and specific medical tests. Additionally, OHIP covers some dental care services for those under 18 years old or receiving social assistance through the Ontario Disability Support Program. However, OHIP does not cover prescription drugs, adult dental care, vision care, or long-term care services. 

A supplemental individual insurance plan can fill these gaps in coverage and provide financial protection against unexpected medical costs. Therefore, it is important to consider how to supplement your OHIP coverage with a comprehensive health and dental insurance plan that meets your individual needs. 

person holding eyeglasses
David Travis | Unsplash

What’s the difference between group and individual plans?

Your employer may provide a group plan that covers supplementary health needs, such as prescription drugs, dental care, and vision care. But the company owns these plans, and the coverage stays with them when you leave. Your employer may cover a portion or all your premiums, making it affordable for large groups, but they decide what is included, so it may not cover all your needs or extend to your family. 

Unlike a group plan, you own an individual plan, so you keep it even if you change jobs. They are highly customizable and can be extended to cover your spouse and kids. Individual health and dental insurance plans, like CAA Protect, offer crucial protection by supplementing public insurance and employer benefits. They safeguard your physical and financial health, covering all your medical and dental needs. 

What should I look for when selecting health and dental insurance?

When looking for health and dental insurance, some key things you should look for: 

Flexibility with addons

The ability to add additional coverage options is an essential part of choosing a plan that works for you. Add-ons can provide extra protection in case of unexpected medical costs or access to specialized care. Depending on your current lifestyle and healthcare needs, specific add-ons could be especially beneficial. 

No age limit on coverage eligibility

Everyone should be eligible for health and dental insurance, regardless of age. When reviewing insurance policies, make sure to check there are no age limits on coverage eligibility. 

No maximum limit on dental or drug coverage annually

When choosing an insurance provider, opt for one without annual limits. You should be able to receive the care you need without worrying about running out of coverage for specific services.

Find out more about CAA Protect

With CAA Protect, you can get a flexible policy with no age limits on eligibility and no price increases as you age, all in a plan that fits your needs. Speak with a licensed insurance advisor to find the right coverage at the right price. Learn more. 

Do you have a health and dental insurance question? To speak to a professional who can guide you to the right coverage from the right insurer at the right price, call us at 1-800-709-5809 or email us at 

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