Did you know that over 70% of small business owners in Canada don't have a group benefits plan? That's right, it seems like we're all just winging it when it comes to healthcare! But fear not, fellow improvisers! In this article, we're going to explore some alternatives to private health insurance that can help you keep your business and your health in tip-top shape.
Private Health Insurance
First off, let’s talk about private health insurance. As a business owner, you have the option to purchase private health insurance for yourself and your employees. These plans can vary widely in terms of coverage, premiums, and deductibles. Private health insurance can cover everything from prescription drugs to dental care to mental health services.
However, there are some downsides to private health insurance. For one thing, the premiums can be quite expensive, especially if you’re looking for comprehensive coverage. Plus, there may be limitations on what services are covered, and there may be deductibles that you have to meet before your coverage kicks in.
Health Spending Account (HSA)
So, what are some alternatives to private health insurance? One option to consider is a Health Spending Account (HSA). An HSA is a tax-free account that you can use to pay for a wide range of healthcare expenses, from dental care to vision care to prescription drugs. With an HSA, you have more flexibility in terms of how you spend your healthcare dollars, and you don’t have to worry about meeting deductibles or dealing with co-payments. Even private health insurance premiums can be claimed through an HSA. Plans start at $249 per year with Olympia Benefits.
Group Benefits Plan
Another option to consider is a Group Benefits Plan. This is a plan that you can set up for your employees, and it can cover everything from prescription drugs to dental care to vision care. Group Benefits Plans can be a more affordable option than private health insurance, especially if you’re able to negotiate a group rate with the insurer. However, it largely depends on how many employees you have. Savings don't really occur until 10+ employees.
Now, let’s talk about some specifics when it comes to private health insurance. According to a 2018 report by the Canadian Institute of Health Information, the average monthly premium for a family in Canada was $183. This can add up to thousands of dollars a year, depending on the level of coverage you’re looking for.
The cost of premiums for individual private health insurance plans can range from a few hundred dollars per month to well over $1,000 per month, depending on the level of coverage you choose. The type of coverage you choose can also affect the cost of your premiums, with more comprehensive plans costing more than basic plans.
For example, Manulife offers a variety of individual health insurance plans with premiums ranging from around $200 per month for basic coverage to over $1,000 per month for more comprehensive coverage. Sun Life offers a similar range of plans, with premiums starting at around $300 per month for basic coverage and going up to over $1,200 per month for more comprehensive coverage.
In terms of coverage, private health insurance plans can vary widely. Some plans may cover only basic medical services, while others may cover a wide range of services, including prescription drugs, dental care, and mental health services. It’s important to carefully review the coverage details of any plan you’re considering, to make sure that it meets your specific healthcare needs.
Another thing to consider when it comes to private health insurance is that there may be limitations on what services are covered. For example, some plans may not cover certain types of prescription drugs or may have limits on how many visits you can make to a specialist. It’s important to carefully review the policy details to understand what is and isn’t covered.
Finally, it’s important to consider the deductible when it comes to private health insurance. The deductible is the amount of money you have to pay out of pocket before your coverage kicks in. Some plans may have high deductibles, which can be a burden for some people. Make sure you understand the deductible requirements of any plan you’re considering, so that you can budget accordingly.
In conclusion, private health insurance can be a good option for some people, but it’s important to carefully review the costs, coverage, and limitations before making a decision. Alternatives such as Health Spending Accounts and Group Benefits Plans may be more affordable and flexible options for entrepreneurs and small business owners. Whatever you decide, make sure that you prioritize your health and wellness, so that you can continue to run your business successfully for years to come.