Why do I need to worry about health insurance?
For residents of Alberta, the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) covers many things like doctor visits, diagnostic tests and hospital stays. However, it doesn't cover expenses such as prescription drugs, eye glasses, dental care, medical supplies or an ambulance trip. As these things can be very expensive, it is good to have additional health insurance to cover such costs.
Where can I get health insurance coverage?
- Your parents' may have a plan that covers you until your are 21, 25 or older, depending on your situation (you're going to school or have a permanent disability)
- The post secondary school you attend may offer students a group plan
- Your employer may provide benefits or a health insurance plan
- The Government of Alberta offers Alberta Blue Cross Non Group Coverage to ensure all Albertans have access to reasonably priced prescription drugs
- Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) offers health benefits to their clients
- The Alberta Adult Health Benefit Program supports low income Albertans
- You can purchase an individual health insurance plan through a private company. Private insurance companies will ask about pre-existing conditions, which they may not cover.
Not all plans cover the same expenses or pay the same amount. Therefore, it's okay to have more than one insurance plan to help cover the total cost.
What do I need to think about when choosing a plan?
- What medical expenses and supplies are covered (e.g. diabetic/ostomy supplies, dental care, eyeglasses, orthotics, etc.)
- Do you need to pay a monthly or annual fee
- Will you need to pay a percentage of the cost (e.g. 20% for prescription drugs)
- Is there a maximum amount the plan pays for certain items (e.g. $200 for eye glasses every two years)
What if my medical supplies aren't covered?
You may be able to obtain coverage through Alberta Aids to Daily Living (AADL).
Do I need extra health insurance to travel?
Many plans do not provide travel coverage. If you are going outside of Alberta, you may need to purchase travel insurance to cover emergency, hospital, or medical expenses.
REMEMBER: Plan ahead, don't wait until you need health insurance to apply for it, and read the fine print!