Answers to all your benefit questions - in plain language

Whether you’re retiring, changing jobs or starting your own business, losing the health coverage you’ve enjoyed under your previous employer’s benefits plan can be stressful.

You want to make sure your family’s basic health and dental needs will be covered and that you’ll be prepared for any unexpected health issues. But it’s difficult to know what’s covered – or not covered – under the public health plan in your province.

We’ve created this guide specifically for people who are losing health coverage previously provided by a group benefits plan. We’ve provided answers – in plain language – to the most common questions.

Read on, or download our PDF guide

What's covered by my provincial health plan?

The services covered by your provincial health plan depends on where you live since each province has its own health insurance plan. While these plans are required to cover "medically necessary" physician and hospital services, it's up to each province to determine what other services they cover.

Find out what's covered in your province or territory by clicking on the appropriate link below.

British Columbia Quebec Newfoundland and Labrador
Alberta New Brunswick Northwest Territories
Saskatchewan Nova Scotia Yukon
Manitoba Prince Edward Island Nunavut

How much do health services cost?

Services not covered under a provincial health plan can vary widely in cost, from $50 for paramedical services such as massage therapy or physiotherapy, to $4,000 for dental procedures or laser eye surgery.

These examples of common health services can help you understand your unique needs and the costs you would incur without health coverage.

Prescription drugs are often the most significant out-of-pocket health expense for people without private health coverage. The cost of drugs varies widely, and most provincial plans only cover medication administered outside of a hospital for certain groups, such as seniors, children, or people on social assistance.

What will my annual out-of-pocket health care costs be?

If you're no longer covered by a workplace health benefits plan, your out-of-pocket health care costs will depend on numerous factors, such as where you live, how many dependents you have, and your individual health needs. The profiles below may help illustrate what your annual costs may look like. Click on the links to learn more.

Roger Retiree

A new 60-year-old retiree, Roger has high blood pressure and high cholesterol. His wife Joyce was recently diagnosed with diabetes.

Patricia Parent

Patricia is a single mom with three kids. Her son Kyle is asthmatic and suffers from eczema. Kyle recently turned 25 and is no longer eligible for coverage under Patricia's plan.

Troy Transition

Troy was recently laid off and wants to go to school part-time to improve his job prospects. He has two daughters, and his wife doesn't have coverage through her employer.

Ellie Entrepreneur

After 10 years with a large firm, Ellie is starting her own business and no longer has coverage through her employer. Ellie manages depression and pain through medication and therapy.

Do I need coverage?

Determining whether you should purchase coverage when losing your workplace benefits can be difficult. That’s because everyone’s needs are different. It depends partly on what’s covered under your provincial plan and whether your spouse has coverage through their employer.

Most importantly, you need to consider the individual health needs of you and your family.

User our Annual Health Cost Estimate Worksheet to estimate the anticipated annual health costs for you and your family.

Coverage Options

How much do health benefits cost?

The cost of personal health coverage will depend on many factors, including:

  • Your age and province of residence;
  • Whether you're applying for health coverage only, or health and dental coverage;
  • Whether you're applying for single or family coverage;
  • What level of coverage you're applying for.

Get a quote by using our online quote calculator to confirm just how affordable personal health and dental coverage can be through Equitable Life.

Do I qualify for coverage?

Whether you're retiring, changing jobs, or moving to a career with no group benefits, Coverage2go from Equitable Life allows you to purchase health and dental coverage that is affordable and reliable.

There are no medical questions if you apply within 60 days of losing health coverage under your group benefits plan. You automatically qualify for coverage if you:

  1. Had group health benefits within the last 60 days;
  2. Have registered provincial health coverage; and
  3. Are less than 75 years of age.

Learn more about how personal health coverage from Coverage2go can protect you and your family.