With the recent Covid-19 pandemic, you are likely looking for more information about healthcare in BC. We don’t want you to worry, so we created a guide to quickly find information about the best health insurance in British Columbia.
Best Health Insurance BC
So, if you want more information about the provincial healthcare available or about private options, you’ve come to the right place! Let’s jump into this information-laden guide about your healthcare options in British Columbia.
BCAA provides insurance to a third of all BC households. Their BCAA Health and Dental Insurance is designed to fill the gaps that the BC Medical Service Plan (MSP) doesn’t cover. You can design and create your own insurance plan, tailor-made to your insurance needs and budget.
All plans include Extended Health Care. This covers vision care, hospital stays, ambulance services and more. You can then choose to add dental coverage and prescription drugs coverage.
All BCAA plans come with AKIRA by Telus Health. This gives you 24/7 access to healthcare practitioners online or via the mobile app.
There are no waiting periods, your coverage will begin on the first day of the month following your approval. If you ever need to make a claim, BCAA’s claims process is quick and simple. Claims can be processed instantly.
BCAA offers some discount options, including:
- Loyalty discounts.
- Discounts for families with three or more children.
- Multi-policy discounts.
BCAA also offers insurance policies deductible-free. This can help to save your family from being lumbered with expensive upfront costs.
The Follow Me Health and Dental Plan is available for individuals who are about to lose their group benefits.
Visit BCAA’s website today for your free, no-obligation quote.
2. Pacific Blue Cross
Pacific Blue Cross is the number one health benefits provider in British Columbia. More than 1.4 million people across the province have Pacific Blue Cross health insurance. There are more than 700 Pacific Blue Cross health care experts across BC, who can be contacted 24/7.
Pacific Blue Cross offers Personal Health Insurance that offers coverage for vision care, dental care, prescription drugs, massage therapy and more. You will also get 24/7 access to a doctor and care manager.
Pacific Blue Cross offers several different health insurance plans:
- Health and Dental Coverage.
- Dental Only.
- Group Conversion Coverage.
- Retirement Plans.
All customers will be given a Blue Cross membership card. This gives you access to a range of benefits, including:
- Discounts and offers on health and wellness products and services.
- Insta-Claim reimbursement from pharmacies across BC.
- Discounts on other insurance products.
- A quick and easy claims service.
Pacific Blue Cross also has a convenient mobile app. You can file claims, add additional coverage, and purchase other insurance easily.
Some of the insurance plans have guaranteed acceptance and do not require a medical questionnaire. To qualify for a Pacific Blue Cross insurance plan, you must be a resident of BC or the Yukon and at least 19 years of age.
Contact Pacific Blue Cross today for more information on their health insurance plans or visit their website for your free quote.
3. Sun Life
Our final recommendation is Sun Life, one of the most trusted health insurance providers in Canada. Sun Life is available in every Canadian province. To qualify for their health insurance, you need to be covered under the BC Medical Service Plan (MSP).
Sun Life offers three health insurance plans to BC residents.
|Prescription Drugs||60% reimbursement up to a maximum of $750 per year.||70% reimbursement for the first $7,000. 100% reimbursement for the next $93,000.||80% reimbursement for the first $5,000. 100% reimbursement for the next $245,000.|
|Dental Coverage||60% reimbursement for preventative dental care, up to $500 per year.||70% reimbursement for preventative dental care, up to $750 per year.||80% (up to $750) for preventative care. 50% (up to $500) for restorative care. 60% (up to lifetime maximum of $1,500) for orthodontics.|
|Supplemental Health Care||60% reimbursement.||100% reimbursement.||100% reimbursement.|
|Paramedical Expenses (per type of practitioner)||60% reimbursement, up to $25 per visit and $250 per year.||100% reimbursement, up to $300 per year.||100% reimbursement, up to $400 per year.|
|Vision Care||NONE||100% reimbursement up to $150 every 2 years.||100% reimbursement up to $150 every 2 years.|
|Semi-Private Hospital Room||OPTIONAL||OPTIONAL||OPTIONAL|
|Emergency Travel Medical||NONE||For the first 60 days – $1 million lifetime maximum.||For the first 60 days – $1 million lifetime maximum.|
Visit Sun Life’s website today to apply for one of their health insurance plans, or to receive your insurance quote.
How Health Insurance Works
In Canada, public health insurance is available to all citizens and residents. Each province has its own health care policies, and coverage in BC is no different. On that note, here you can also find out whether there are significant differences between the best health insurances in Alberta, Quebec, or Ontario.
Personal health insurance, BC, comes from the medical services plan, which we’ll touch on in more detail next. Once you have an insurance card, you can bring it with you to visit the doctor or a hospital in Canada for free.
Here are a few of the services you will receive coverage for with your health insurance, BC.
- Medical service from a physician and/or midwife
- Maternity care.
- X-rays and lab services.
- Non-cosmetic surgery.
- Dental or oral surgery that is medically required.
- Eye exams when you’re under 19. If you are over 19, eye exams will only be covered if they are medically necessary.
- Prescription drugs (if you are eligible for prescription drug coverage).
- Ideal if you are self-employed.
- Supplementary benefits are available if you’re eligible. This includes acupuncture, chiropractors, massage therapy, naturopathy, and physical therapy.
If you require coverage or benefits beyond this health insurance plan, private insurance is also available. This is when you pay a private insurance company for more comprehensive insurance. You will typically pay a monthly fee to be covered privately, while the government health insurance is now free in BC.
Is Health Insurance Necessary in BC?
Personal health insurance is mandatory in British Columbia. This is good news because the government provides a great plan. British Columbia’s Medical Services Plan (MSP) is available for both British Columbians and temporary residents. This includes refugees, students, and temporary workers who reside in British Columbia for longer than six months.
The BC MSP covers most doctor services and medical tests. Some residents may also be eligible to receive coverage for their prescription drugs as well. Things like dental services, cosmetic surgery, eye care, and ambulances are not covered by the MSP, BC.
There used to be a monthly premium for the MSP. Medical services are now available for free in British Columbia. As of January 1, 2020, eligible residents don’t have to pay a premium. This has made it easier to receive treatment and testing for health disasters such as Covid-19 in British Columbia.
Even though the medical services plan is free, it is still mandatory that residents register for it. Registering is easy and can be done online as soon as you arrive in the province. Adults will also be required to visit an Insurance Corporation of BC office to finalize the enrolment for their health insurance and get their medical services card.
Benefits of Health Insurance
One of the main benefits of health insurance in BC and Canada, in general, is that it is free. As the government no longer requires you to pay a premium, you will simply receive personal health coverage at no cost.
This gives you access to medical care and hospitalization, so you don’t have to pay extortionate fees when you’re sick or in need of emergency care.
If you want private health insurance/ insurance for additional services, there are plenty of benefits to that as well. Private health insurance will cover things that the government does not. Anything from prescription drugs to eyewear, dental care, and therapy could be in your coverage.
Paying a monthly fee to receive inclusion for these services tends to be less than paying for them out of your pocket. There are plenty of great private insurance/ health insurance providers out there that can provide more specific information to you.
Ultimately, having health coverage either from the government or private companies, won’t hurt you. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, and health insurance will keep you protected.
The Bottom Line
As Canada offers free healthcare to its citizens, why wouldn’t you get it? In BC, you don’t have a choice anyway, as registering for healthcare is mandatory. Once you do, you can pop into any doctor’s office (typically with an appointment) or hospital and receive state-of-the-art treatment for free.
This guide is only a brief look into healthcare in BC. If you want more information, the government’s medical benefits website goes into great detail. The only information you really need to know is that healthcare in Canada is free. So, if you haven’t already applied for it, what are you waiting for?