If you are Canadian or new to Canada, it’s likely no surprise to you that we have great healthcare. Our government-provided health insurance plan is actually considered one of the best plans in the world. If you’re sick, simply go to the doctor for free. If you need emergency surgery or are having a baby, it’s free!
Health Insurance Alberta
Many other countries require citizens to pay extortionate fees for any doctor or hospital visit. And while this page focuses on health insurance in Alberta, you can also find out more about the best health insurance in Quebec, British Columbia, and Ontario if you click on these.
As lucky as we are in Canada, the insurance plan does fall short in some areas. Thankfully, private health insurance plans exist to pick up the slack. Let’s take a deeper look at health insurance in Alberta!
How Health Insurance Works
In Canada, all citizens and long-term residents have access to a free health insurance plan. Each province has its own provincial health insurance plan. In Alberta, it’s called the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP). The plan covers most services from hospitals and physicians. This means you can visit any hospital or doctor with your health card and not have to pay for any treatment you receive.
While the health coverage provided by the government health insurance plan is great, it’s limited. For example, it doesn’t provide dental coverage, prescription drugs, or vision care. This is why many workplaces provide additional health insurance. If you are self-employed or don’t receive health insurance from your work, you can also take out private health insurance.
Private or semi-private health insurance should provide coverage for everything you lack from provincial health insurance. Most will provide coverage for dental, vision, prescription drugs, and medical equipment like hearing aids. Some will also provide benefits for services from physiotherapists or masseuses. We also let you take a look at all the top insurance companies in Canada, too.
To receive private health insurance, you typically need to pay monthly or annually. How much you pay will depend on the coverage you receive.
Is Health Insurance Necessary in Alberta?
To determine whether or not health insurance is necessary in Alberta or not, we need to look at what the provincial plan covers first.
- Medical services from a physician.
- Diagnostic services that are medically required.
- Psychiatrist visits.
- Oral and maxillofacial surgery services.
- Bariatric surgery for Albertans who are eligible under the Weight Wise program.
- Breast augmentation and mastectomy for transgender surgery.
- Nursing services that are medically required.
- Standard accommodation in the hospital with meals and necessary medications.
- Inter-facility transfer in Alberta by ambulance.
- Eye exams for those under 18 and over 65.
- Some dental surgeries.
The main coverage the provincial health insurance is lacking is for vision, dental, and prescription. The cost of vision and dental care can add up, especially if you require glasses or dental care such as braces.
In these scenarios, private health insurance may be beneficial. Similarly, if you require consistent prescription drugs, the cost of them can add up. Having private health insurance to provide this coverage would thus be the best option for you.
Ultimately, you need to think about whether the cost of the services you require that are not covered is more than private health insurance would be.
Benefits of Health Insurance
If you have always lived in Canada, you may be wondering what the benefits of health insurance are. Many of us don’t realize how lucky we are to receive health coverage from the government. In countries that don’t, like the United States, citizens and up paying thousands of dollars for medical services. So, one of the main benefits of health insurance is the money it saves us.
Another one of the great benefits of health insurance plans, especially private ones, is the peace of mind they bring. You never know when you or your family will require health coverage. Medical emergencies can happen in the blink of an eye, and you don’t want to have to worry about paying for the coverage on top of all your other stress.
Insurance plans can help take away that stress, especially ones that let clinics and hospitals bill them directly. This will save you the headache of having to pay upfront then make a reimbursement claim afterwards.
The main benefits of health insurance plans are thus the money you save and the peace of mind you receive from having coverage.
Best Health Insurance in Alberta Reviews
1. Alberta Blue Cross
Alberta Blue Cross is a health care provider created specifically for Albertans. More than 1.7 million people in Alberta are currently protected under Blue Cross Health Insurance.
They offer a variety of health insurance plans, including:
- Individual Plans
- Family Plans
- Government-Sponsored Plans
- Group Plans
You can get a quote online in seconds and it takes less than 15 minutes to purchase your plans. Customers have 24/7 access to benefits or assistance on the member site or app.
- The Blue Assured plan has no minimum or maximum age limit.
- There are three different individual health insurance plans. Choose the best one for you based on your age, budget, and coverage requirements.
- Coverage includes health, dental and prescriptions.
- Life insurance is included in some plans.
- Travel coverage is included in all plans.
- A medical questionnaire may not be required.
- Vision care is not included.
- Extended benefits are only available on some plans.
Sunlife has been a respected insurance provider for more than 150 years. They provide a variety of insurance products to millions of Canadians.
Sunlife currently offers four different health insurance products:
- Personal Health Insurance
- Critical Illness Insurance
- Long Term Care Insurance
- Disability Insurance
Customers can choose from three different coverage levels: basic, standard, and enhanced, depending on the level of coverage they require and how much they are willing to spend.
You can choose to include your spouse or any children under the age of 21 in your health care plan.
- Plans cover a variety of medical expenses. This includes prescriptions, dental care, vision, and paramedical expenses.
- It is possible to get coverage without a medical exam.
- Coverage includes emergency medical services abroad.
- You can convert to a Health Coverage Choice plan within 60 days of your workplace coverage ending.
- You can talk to an advisor on the phone, on Zoom or online.
- If your child is in full-time education, they can be included in your plan up to the age of 25.
- The online platform is less developed than its competitors.
- Maximum age limit of 69 years old for the personal health insurance plan.
3. Manulife Flexcare
Manulife is a leading international insurance provider. They have more than 130 years of experience providing quality products and financial services.
Flexcare has an impressive seven plans to choose from. You simply need to choose the health and dental plan that is best for you and your family.
All plans include prescription drugs, dental and vision care and extended health care. You just need to decide the level of coverage you require.
There are no minimum or maximum age requirements.
- 24/7 access to healthcare professionals using the app.
- Claims can be submitted electronically.
- Earn rewards and save on premiums with Manulife Vitality.
- You can choose optional add-ons if you require additional coverage.
- Free home security and home monitoring with all plans.
- Receive a discount if you have three or more children on your plan.
- Save 5% on your first-year premiums and 10% in future years.
- You may not need to complete a medical questionnaire.
- Hospital coverage is not included.
- Travel insurance is not included.
Surehealth is the only not-for-profit health and dental benefits specialist in Canada. They pride themselves on their excellent customer service and comprehensive plans. All plans are provided by Green Shield Canada (GSC).
Surehealth offers six different plans, with a variety of coverage levels. They offer a variety of health coverage including prescriptions drugs, dental care, vision care, extended health care and travel.
- All plans include BEACON online Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (iCBT) for up to 12 weeks.
- Multi-trip travel protection is included.
- Many expenses can be paid directly by the company, meaning you do not have to pay out of pocket.
- Access to the Change4Life rewards program.
- 24/7 access to a Canadian licensed doctor within minutes.
- Access to Pocket Pills online pharmacy with free delivery.
- Unlimited free telephone legal assistance.
- Three of the plans have a guaranteed acceptance.
- There is a digital self-service option.
- There is a maximum age limit of 80 years old.
- The app and digital services may be difficult to access for older customers or those who are less tech-savvy.
AMA is an Albertan insurance provider that believes they can offer the best insurance advice and coverage to other Albertans. Operating since 1926, they now have 235 insurance experts in Alberta.
You can book an in-person appointment or organize your insurance via email or over the phone.
AMA is in partnership with third-party insurers all over Alberta. Once you purchase your policy, you will have access to your own advisor to assist you with any questions or insurance requirements.
- They offer extended coverage based on your needs.
- Coverage included dental care, vision care and extended health coverage.
- Obtain access to physiotherapy, massage therapy, chiropractic treatment and psychological therapy.
- They also offer health insurance for businesses.
- AMA can help design a custom policy depending on your personal requirements.
- Routine dentist appointments are covered by the policy.
- The insurance plans are not provided by AMA directly.
- You cannot purchase the insurance online.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, the health insurance provided by the government is great. Canadians don’t need to worry about visiting the doctor or extended stays in the hospital. This saves citizens thousands of dollars. In fact, it’s estimated that the government spends over $7,000 on healthcare per citizen! Think of how much money that would be in your lifetime, especially if you have a family.
Although the government health plan is great, it doesn’t cover services like dental care or vision care. If you need additional coverage, see if your work offers an insurance plan. If not, private health insurance is a great option.