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 How will I cover my health costs when I retire?

Posted by on Jul 17, 2014 in Health, Sun Life | 0 comments

By Sheryl Smolkin, BrighterLife.ca

If you’re developing a retirement budget, remember to factor in costs not covered by your province’s health plan, such as prescription eyeglasses.

The 2013 Sun Life Canadian Health Index found that most Canadians expect to pay nothing for many health services – but survey participants reported they actually paid an average of $1,354 in out-of-pocket health costs in the previous year.

Government health-care plans vary from province to province, but generally do not cover:

  • Dental services
  • Paramedical services (e.g., massage therapy, physiotherapy, chiropractic care)
  • Glasses or contact lenses

British Columbia and Quebec offer prescription drug plans with geared-to-income premiums to all residents without workplace coverage, and New Brunswick’s drug plan will become mandatory in 2015. In Ontario, however, residents who aren’t on social assistance don’t qualify for the Ontario Drug Benefit Program until age 65.

Lower-income seniors in Ontario (singles with an annual income under $16,018; couples with an annual income under $24,175) pay $2 per prescription filled, while more affluent Ontario seniors pay an annual deductible of $100 and $6.11 for each prescription filled.

Beyond the limited coverage provided by government plans, there are three main sources of health care insurance available once you retire:


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