Despite Canada's universal healthcare system, many still require supplemental health insurance to ensure access to specialists, or to protect against the high cost of prescription drugs.
The Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association has announced a plan to help Canadians retain their supplemental prescription drug coverage by sharing the risk of high-cost claims. Many drug plan beneficiaries, especially those who receive their benefits through a small or mid-size employer, run the risk of losing coverage in the event of a high-cost claim, according to CLHIA.
CLHIA said it would pool the resources of its 23 participating members to set premiums for employer drug plans without including high-cost drug claims – a move that would protect Canadians from potentially losing their insurance.
"The ability for insurance companies to pool the costs of very expensive drugs represents a win-win scenario for all participants in fully insured plans," said Frank Swedlove, president of the CLHIA. "Employers get a more financially sustainable drug plan, employees benefit as they will continue to receive coverage from their employer plans even in the face of a high cost drug claim, and insurers are able to spread the cost of high cost claims amongst the participating companies."
Up to one third of employers say they would likely make changes to their supplemental prescription drug plans if premiums were to rise by 25 percent. A recent poll from Toronto Dominion Bank revealed that 38 percent of Canadians have no plan in place to deal with the unexpected costs associated with sudden prescription drug or medical bills.
Those potentially high costs can add up if an individual doesn't receive prompt medical attention, so to further reduce the risk of crippling medical expenses, Canadians might want to investigate supplemental Medical Access Insurance.
The average Canadian could expect to wait 19 weeks for treatment during 2011, according to the Fraser Institute. This is roughly 50 percent longer than a decade and a half ago, and the longest recorded wait time in almost 20 years. Some studies have shown, however, that recovery times can be up to 75 percent shorter when a person receives care within three weeks for certain conditions.
Supplemental health insurance can guarantee prompt access to a medical professional by finding available physicians around the country, or even in the United States. The insurance company also pays the travel costs associated with the physician visit, and will often make travel arrangements on the beneficiary's behalf.