Canada is prominent for its free healthcare system, even though many of these services are available only to Canadian citizens and permanent residents. Still, Canada’s free healthcare doesn’t quite cover all medical needs. So, being insured or having an insurance plan is a significant flex for many Canadians as it gives them a more reliable support system.
Currently, there are tons of medical insurance companies available in Canada, and each has prominent features that make them stand out. This article will be reviewing ten of the best medical insurance company in Canada, based on research and existing user reviews.
Medical Insurance in Canada – An Overview
In Canada, the healthcare system pays for essential services for citizens and permanent residents. These services include a doctor’s visit and emergency care. You can access this coverage through your provincial healthcare provider. While universal healthcare is compulsory at the Federal level, provinces in Canada have their healthcare programs. Hence, the details of coverage vary per province.
Medical insurance can come in handy in any of these situations:
- Prescription medications
- Dental care
- Ambulance services
- Prescription eyeglasses
Medical insurance can save you money depending on your situation as there are different insurance policies available. So, you can choose one that suits your medical situation.
Medical Insurance for Non-Resident/Citizens
Universal Canadaian healthcare covers only the basic service; thus, persons without a permanent resident or citizen status should expect to pay for medical services out-of-pocket.
Alternatively, they can use the services of private health insurance. Conversely, as a temporary resident, your provincial law might require that you secure private health insurance for the duration of your stay in Canada.
Healthcare is not entirely free in Canada, your provider still requires that you pay out-of-pocket or get privately insured. So, temporary residents can access medical care via the options below:
- Purchase private insurance through an insurance company
- Receive health insurance from their employee (for workers)
- Register for insurance via school (for student)
Nonetheless, in case of an emergency and regardless of whether you have a government-issued health card or not, your province will provide free services to you.
However, you should note that there might be some restrictions on the level of services your province will provide you with in this case. And this will be dependent on your immigration status.
Provincial Medical Coverage in Canada
As mentioned above, every province in Canada has a law governing medical coverage. Below are links to the details on health coverage in each province in Canada.
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Northwest Territories
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
Types of Medical Insurance
Below are some of the types of insurance available in Canada:
- Personal health insurance
- Group health insurance
- Disability insurance
- Critical illness insurance
- Long term care insurance
- Travel medical insurance
10 Best Medical Insurance in Canada
Below are our top picks for the ten best medical insurance in Canada. These options are based on in-depth research and reviews by users.
1. Sunlife Health Insurance
Sunlife is one of Canada’s largest life insurance companies. It offers basic medical insurance coverage that comes in four different plans. In addition, each of these plans includes prescription, dental, and paramedical coverage. Also, you can purchase disability and critical illness insurance from Sunlife; however, you cannot include them as an add-on to your plan. There are other extras they offer, such as:
- Semi-private hospital stays
- Preventative dental
- Restorative dental
Note that the availability of these extras depends on your insurance policy plan.
Sunlife Health Insurance Plan
- Whole Sunlife Health Insurance Plan
Whole Life insurance is one of the few insurance companies that offer permanent medical coverage that spans your whole lifetime. Also, this insurance company helps policyholders build cash value that grows at a fixed interest rate.
In addition, once the cash value attains the desired balance, you can withdraw a part of the money and utilize it as a personal loan. Conversely, you can choose to repay the loan with interest or be deducted from your death benefit.
- Term Sunlife Health Insurance Plan
Term life insurance is suitable for individuals and families who are seeking affordable insurance coverage. It provides medical coverage for some years and offers premium coverage and guaranteed death benefits to some extent.
In addition, if a policyholder passes on during the term, their beneficiaries will receive the death benefit. However, when a policyholder outlives the term, they can convert their term policy into a permanent policy. Else, your insurer will terminate your coverage when the term ends.
- Universal Sunlife Health Insurance Plan
Universal life insurance is similar to whole life insurance; it builds cash value which policyholders can use as a loan. In addition, it has a flexible death benefit package and adjustable premiums. In most cases, you can use your cash value reserves to lessen your premium.
- Guaranteed Sunlife Health Insurance Plan
Unlike other plans, the guaranteed life insurance does not require a medical examination to qualify. So, regardless of health conditions, anyone who applies will get approval. However, guaranteed life policies are generally more pricey than other plans. Also, its coverage is usually low and premiums high because of the lack of medical exams.
Pros of Sunlife Medical Insurance
- Online access
- Availability of no-medical-examination coverage
Cons of Sunlife Medical Insurance
- Non-availability of quotes online
- Limited policy details online
2. Manulife Health Insurance
Manulife Health Insurance is an Ontario-based insurance company that provides consumers with a comprehensive life policy. These policies are created to suit different situations ranging from having a child to retirement. Regardless of the type of policy, you are looking for, whether personal or commercial insurance, Manulife got you covered.
Manulife Medical Insurance Types
- Family Term
- Business Term
- Family Term with Vitality
- Quick Issue Term (Online plan)
- CoverMe Easy Issue (Online plan)
Manulife Medical Insurance Coverage
Manulife has different products and services available to policyholders. Some of this coverage include:
- Health insurance for families
- Dental coverage for families
- Disability insurance for individuals and businesses
- Long-term illness or injury coverage
- Critical illness protection
- Combination insurance – this allows policyholders to combine the Manulife health insurance products into one program.
Pro of Manulife Medical Insurance
- Availability of short-term products
- Online access
- Availability of cash advance
Cons of Manulife Medical Insurance
- Limited-term options
3. GreatWest Life
GreatWest Life is one of the insurance companies that offer excellent long-term and permanent life insurance products. Aside from the medical product they offer, GreatWest Life also offer financial products, annuities, critical illness, etc.
GreatWest Life Types
- Term Life Insurance
Term Life Insurance is a temporary insurance plan that covers individuals and families during emergencies. This plan is the most affordable type, and it is suitable for families on a budget.
Below are some of the perks that come with this plan:
- Accidental Death Benefit
- Business Growth Protection Rider
- Waiver Of Premium Benefit
- Guaranteed Insurability Rider
- Child’s Term Life Insurance Rider
In addition, there are two sub-types under the Term Life Insurance – Summit Term Life and Essential Term Life.
- Permanent Life Insurance
Permanent life insurance is suitable for individuals whose focus is on wealth transfer, estate planning, charities, etc. Generally, people who want to leave funds behind leverage this plan. In addition, there are two sub-types under permanent life insurance – Whole Life Insurance and Family Legacy Single Premium Universal Life.
Pros of GreatWest Life
- Availability of both term and permanent life insurance
- Add-on perks
- Availability of financial products
Cons of GreatWest Life
- No digital access
- Lack of quotes online
4. Blue Cross’s health insurance
Blue Cross’s health insurance is a prominent insurance provider in Canada that offers several different plans. These plans are customizable and have different modules you can select to add on at your convenience. Some of the available extras include:
- Critical illness insurance
- Hospital cash
- Assured access
However, to qualify for any of Blue Cross’s health insurance, you must have some health coverage.
Blue Cross’s Health Insurance Types
- Basic Blue choice
- Blue Choice balance
- Basic Plus
Pros of Blue Cross’s Health Insurance
- Availability of multiple plans
- Large network providers
- Transparent pricing
- Availability of discounts
Cons of Blue Cross’s Health Insurance
- Lack of joint plan
5. Group Medical Services Insurance (GMS) Health Insurance
GMS Health Insurance is an insurance company that focuses on extended health care. There are several different programs available to policyholders. In addition, their healthcare insurance coverage is to be paid out-of-pocket as it is not government-funded. Some of these costs include prescription drugs, ambulance services, private duty nursing, etc.
GMS Health Insurance Types
- BasicPlan Health Insurance
- PremierPlan Replacement Health Insurance
- GMS Essential Plan
Pros of GMS Health Insurance Types
- Extensive coverage
Cons of GMS Health Insurance Types
- Lack of control over policy terms by individual members
6. Green Shield Canada
Green Shield Canada is one of the insurance companies in Canada prominent for offering extended healthcare coverage. It provides Canadians with supplemental healthcare services and dental coverage at affordable rates. These services are accessible via the different plans they have available for policyholders. In addition, Green Shield Canada offers user-friendly and swift service to policyholders.
Green Shield Canada Insurance Type
- Green Shield Canada Zone
The Green Shield Canada Zone plan is suitable for individuals new to the world of private healthcare coverage.
- Green Shield Canada Link
The Green Shield Canada Link plan, on the other hand, is a transition plan. This plan allows policyholders to switch plans from private health insurance to another—for example, retiring individuals, freelancers, contract workers, etc.
However, within the categories mentioned above, there are several plans in them.
Pros of Green Shield Canada
- Medical & Dental coverage
- Excellent user-interface
- Swift and accessible customer service – multichannel support
- Easy to access data and tools
- Availability of several coverages
- Deductible premiums
Cons of Green Shield Canada
- Online sign-in issues
7. TD Insurance
TD insurance is one of the insurance companies in Canada that specializes in personal insurance. It is suitable for people who are looking to have control over their coverage plan.
In addition, TD insurance provides several options of coverage and risk protection to their policyholders. Hence, policyholders can build an insurance package that suits their medical and financial needs.
Also, TD insurance provides policyholders with Accident and Sickness Hospitalization coverage.
Pros of TD Insurance
- Customizable Packages
- Customer-First Policies
- Unlimited options for personal coverage
- User-Friendly Technology
Cons of TD Insurance
- High premiums
8. Desjardins Health Insurance
Desjardins has tons of coverage and term available to policyholders and potential consumers. They are prominent for offering coverage for more illnesses than other insurance companies. However, they require a partial payment that serves as an advance against your overall payout.
In addition, Desjardins offers some term life insurance options that span for a fixed term. These plans cover needs such as mortgage coverage, lifestyle protection, children’s education coverage, etc.
Pros of Desjardins
- Availability of online access
- Plan conversion – from shorter-term products to longer-term products
- Multi-policy discounts
- Availability of add-on riders
- Flexible plans
- Multiple applicants can be on the same policy
- Extensive coverage for critical illnesses
Cons of Desjardins
- Limited-term options
9. RBC Health Insurance
RBC Life Insurance is one of the oldest and most prominent insurance companies in Canada. This company offers term coverage for people looking for affordable insurance policies. In addition, they offer term lengths for as long as 40 years. Some of their health plans include:
- Disability insurance
- Critical illness insurance
- Hospital insurance
Pros of RBC Life Insurance
- Comprehensive coverage
- Practical insurance solutions
- Convertible plans
Cons of RBC Life Insurance
- Unresponsive customer service
Ivari is a healthcare insurance company that offers exceptional coverage to policyholders. Their primary focus is on critical care that is suitable for people with critical illnesses. In addition, Ivari offers multiple individual coverage products, although premiums will differ.
Ivari Insurance Types
- Universal Life Insurance
- Term Life Insurance
- Ivari TERM 30 with SelectOptions
- Term 10 Exchange Program
- Ivari Insurance “Critical Illness”
Pros of Ivari Insurance
- Availability of optional riders
- Multiple term options
- Unique coverage
Cons of Ivari Insurance
- Higher premiums
- Terms are not flexible
- No online access to policy
Summarily, there are tons of insurance companies available that offer different coverage and policies. However, it is left for you to carefully choose a company that suits your health and financial situation. Conversely, you can always check out any company you intend to use. Also, it is advisable to read the terms and conditions governing any policies you are considering before signing the dotted lines.