4 Best Health Insurance Companies Reviews in 2022 | For Your Peace of Mind

December 17, 2021 | Editorial Team

Personal health is a universal concern. And with events such as the COVID-19 global crisis, the importance of having health insurance is more critical than ever.

Health insurance plans differ in rates and features. To start with, most insurance companies offer a basic package, which is the most affordable and the most common.

Another insurance company may also offer group benefits or health and dental insurance in one plan. That can be appealing because dental coverage is excluded from most basic health insurance plans. It’s important to be clear about what’s covered because it varies massively.

Is Health Insurance Necessary for Me in Canada?

Canada provides Medicare benefits for its citizens. So some people think that health insurance is no longer necessary. Indeed, Canadian residents have free access to hospital and physician service, with no need to pay out-of-pocket. This is standard within Canada’s territorial and provincial health systems. These related pages dedicated to health insurance in Alberta, Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec will help you understand the differences from province to province. However, this public health insurance plan will not guarantee your expenses on services like:

  • vision care
  • prescription drugs
  • dental care
  • ambulance service, and
  • home care or independent living expenses

There are times when you don’t qualify for supplementary health insurance benefits. Generally provided by your territorial and provincial health care system. You’d have to use personal funds to pay for the expenses. But if you have taken out a plan from an insurance company, your needs may be covered.

What Are the Different Types of Health Insurance?

Health insurance comes as basic or expanded. Add-on or combination of plan coverage from other types of insurance fall under an expanded health insurance plan. Let’s look at these options more closely below:

Personal Health Insurance

Personal health insurance plans can be necessary. They pay for medical expenses your public health insurance doesn’t cover. Depending on the health insurance provider, your entitlement may include:

  • preventive care
  • prescription drugs you need for chronic or serious health ailments
  • emergency medical services received outside of Canada
  • wellness consults and therapy for injuries sustained, and
  • medical equipment for mobility or care

Group Health Insurance

This type of health insurance for employees is a benefit from company owners. Plan coverage may differ between companies. So you have to read the fine print once you get accepted at your new job. This way, you know what health insurance to take out. Some of the group benefits that employers may provide are a combination of the following:

  • life insurance
  • accidental death and dismemberment insurance
  • short-term and long-term disability insurance
  • dental insurance, and
  • prescription drugs

Expanded Health Insurance Plans

This is health insurance bundled with another type of insurance. Some of which are:

Health Plus Disability Insurance Plan

An increasing number of Canadians are taking out disability insurance. As of 2018,12 million people have taken out this plan in addition to health insurance.

Note that these plans cover loss of income in case of one’s disability and inability to work. But you need health insurance to cover long-term care and other essential medical care. If you are self-employed, you need to look at the detail.

Health Plus Travel Insurance Plan

The Health Plan Plus covers expenses incurred from medical services while you travel. Both internationally or just between local provinces.

Health and Dental Insurance Plans

Dental insurance plans cover services like unlimited tooth fillings, dental x-rays and root canals.

Health Plus Life Insurance Plans

The insured benefits from a health insurance plan plus extends benefits to your beneficiaries in the event of your death. Note that some insurance plans exclude pre-existing conditions.

Best Health Insurance Companies in Canada

There are several providers headquartered across Canada. You may even be able to take out a plan online. Here are some companies to check out:

1. Blue Cross Canada

Our first offering is Blue Cross, a popular health insurance provider for more than 70 years. Blue Cross provides health insurance to millions of Canadians every year. Health insurance plans are available in every Canadian province and territory. Blue Cross offers flexible plans for both individuals and employer benefits plans.

Blue Cross member plans operate on a not-for-profit basis. Member plans operate independently. However, they are closely associated with the Canadian Association of Blue Cross Plans (CABCP). The CABCP is made up of seven independent Blue Cross member plans operating across Canada. The CABCP ensures the highest possible standards and quality of service. They do this through careful monitoring.

Blue Cross offers supplementary individual health insurance coverage and group benefits. They pride themselves on their affordable, quality insurance plans and their trustworthy service. Their available insurance plans are:

  1. Individual Life and Health Plans
  2. Group Life Insurance and Health Care Benefits
  3. Travel Health Insurance

A complete line of supplementary health, dental, travel, and life insurance are available. Blue Cross also offers disability income plans.

For health coverage, you can choose from a basic, regular, or enhanced health benefits plan. Some benefits you can purchase include ambulance service, dental care, and nursing care. You could also purchase accidental dental of up to a maximum of $2,000 per calendar year.

Blue Cross offers a wide range of coverage options. Their flexible, comprehensive coverage options allow you to customize your insurance plan to meet your specific needs.

  • Prescription drugs, vision, and hospital benefits
  • Dental benefits
  • Employee assistance services
  • Health spending accounts
  • Wellness spending accounts
  • Out-of-province emergency medical care
  • Group life coverage
  • Accidental death and dismemberment coverage
  • Life insurance
  • Critical illness coverage
  • Short term and long term disability coverage

If you are interested in Blue Cross health insurance, you first need to select your region. You will then be directed to the dedicated Blue Cross website for your region. You can then request an insurance quote online or be connected to an insurance specialist in your region.

Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of choosing Blue Cross health insurance.

Pros

  • Blue Cross offers several coverage levels based on your insurance needs. You can choose your maximum coverage amount and the types of benefits you receive.
  • Members will have access to virtual health care for no additional cost. You can speak to a doctor online, receive a personalized care plan and renew prescriptions.
  • Specialized plans are available for retirees.
  • The Blue Advantage program offers members the chance to save on medical and vision care. You can also receive discounts on other products and services. For example, dental care, hearing, pharmacy, and nursing services.
  • The Serenity Service offers exclusive discounts on health and wellness products and services.
  • Blue Cross is known for its great customer service and customer support.
  • The insurance plans are competitively priced.
  • Blue Cross is a market leader for designing benefits packages for Canadian businesses.
  • To qualify for health insurance you simply need to be a Canadian citizen and the age of majority in your province.
  • Emergency medical care is offered outside Canada.
  • Group plans can be tailored to meet the specific needs of your business and employees.
  • Government-sponsored plans are available.
  • Blue Cross offers resources to support you and your loved ones in the event of a chronic illness or disease.
  • Blue Cross’ online blog offers health tips, travel tips and tips relating to Covid-19.

Cons

  • Secondary benefits have a lower coverage amount compared to some of Blue Cross’ competitors.
  • Blue Cross is not Better Business Bureau (BBB) accredited.

2. Sun Life

Sun Life has been providing insurance to Canadians for more than 150 years. They are an industry leader with millions of customers across the country. Sun Life has more than 2,700 insurance advisors in more than 1,100 communities across the country.

Sun life gives you four health insurance products:

  1. Personal Health Insurance

This provides coverage for health expenses that are not covered by your provincial plan. This could include prescription drugs, emergency medical services when abroad, medical equipment and access to practitioners. Two personal health insurance products are available:

  • Personal Health Insurance – Offers high levels of coverage, although you will need to be medically underwritten.
  • Health Coverage Choice – If you have left your group plan in the last 60 days.

2. Critical Illness Insurance

This helps you to pay the costs associated with a life-altering illness. After the waiting period has elapsed, you will receive a lump-sum payment that can be spent however you or your family choose.  Two critical illness insurance options are available:

  • Sun Life Critical Illness Insurance – Covers a broad range of critical illnesses. Plans are available between $25,000 and $2.5 million.
  • Express Critical Illness Insurance – Covers up to 7 critical illnesses. Plans are available between $25,000 and $50,000.

3. Long-Term Care Insurance

This helps cover the costs when you require substantial assistance from others. It covers you if you need care due to ageing, an accident, illness, or deterioration in mental abilities. You will get an income style benefit.

4. Disability Insurance

This helps protect your income if you become disabled and cannot work. This covers both short-term and long-term disabilities. There are different types of disability insurance available. Your options include individual and group insurance plans. Government plans, such as workers’ compensation and benefits are also available.

When choosing an insurance plan, you will be connected with a Sun Life advisor in your area. The advisor will ask for some basic information, such as your income, assets, and liabilities. You may also be asked to complete a health questionnaire. The Sun Life advisor can then recommend the policy that will be best for you.

Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of choosing Sun Life for your health insurance.

Pros

  • There are multiple coverage options available to suit your health insurance needs.
  • You can choose the coverage amount that best suits you.
  • You can quickly and easily get an insurance quote or find an insurance provider in your local area.
  • Sun Life provides an insurance calculator on their website.
  • Some of the plans offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  • You may not have to pay a deductible for your insurance plan.
  • Sun Life offers some great tools and resources on its website. This includes information about health and wellness and money and finances.
  • Some insurance plans do not require you to undergo a medical exam or complete a medical questionnaire. You can replace your group insurance with no medical questions asked.
  • Optional insurance riders are available, including life insurance for children and disability waivers. Accidental death benefits and guarantee of future insurability are also available.
  • Sun Life also offers life insurance, mortgage protection insurance, family insurance, workplace insurance and business owner insurance.

Cons

  • Some of the Sun Life insurance policies are more expensive than the industry average.
  • You may not be able to receive your health insurance electronically.
  • Policies are only renewable up to the age of 70, 80 or 85.

3. CAA

CAA has been helping Canadians stay protected for 115 years. They have been providing health insurance in partnership with Manulife for more than 20 years.

Whether you’re self-employed, unemployed, or retiring, CAA can supplement your provincial health insurance plan. You can choose a pre-packaged plan or build a health insurance plan tailored to your specific needs.

CAA offers two main health insurance plans. You can then customize these plans to suit the insurance needs of you and your family.

  1. Basic Extended Health Care

Coverage includes:

  • Vision care – Years 1 and 2 – $250 per year, Years 3 and 4 – $200 per year, Years 5+ – $300 per year.
  • Hospital benefits – Including preferred hospital accommodation up to a maximum of $1,200 per year.
  • Registered specialists and therapists – Including Acupuncturists, Chiropractors, and Osteopaths. Registered Dietitians, Naturopaths, Chiropodists, Registered Massage Therapists, and Physiotherapists are also included.
  • Paramedical services – Up to a maximum of $400 per year.
  • Psychologist visits – $60 per visit and up to 10 visits per year.
  • Accidental dental services – Up to $3,500 per year.
  • Orthotics – $225 per year.
  • Hearing aids – Up to $400 every four years.
  • Accidental death and dismemberment – Up to $25,000 per year.
  • Homecare, nursing, and medical equipment – Up to $3,000 per year.
  • Survivor benefit – Lifetime maximum of $250,000.
  • Ambulance services.

2. Enhanced Extended Health Care

This is the most comprehensive plan. Coverage includes:

  • Vision care – Years 1 and 2 – $350 per year, Years 3 and 4 – $400, Years 5+ – $500.
  • Hospital benefits – Including preferred hospital accommodation up to a maximum of $1,200 per year.
  • Registered specialists and therapists – Including Acupuncturists, Chiropractors, and Osteopaths. Registered Dietitians, Naturopaths, Chiropodists, Registered Massage Therapists, and Physiotherapists are also included.
  • Paramedical services – Up to $850 per year.
  • Psychologist visits – $60 per visit and up to 20 visits per year.
  • Accidental dental services – Up to $3,500 per year.
  • Orthotics – $225 per year.
  • Hearing aids – Up to $600 every four years.
  • Accidental death and dismemberment – Pay-out of up to $75,000.
  • Homecare, nursing, and medical equipment– Up to $9,500 per year.
  • Survivor benefit – Lifetime maximum of $350,000.
  • Ambulance services.

There are also three optional drug plans and three dental plans to choose from.

Visit CAA’s website for more information, or to receive your insurance quote. You can also book a phone appointment with a CAA insurance advisor.

If you are still unsure, take a look at the pros and cons of CAA’s health insurance plans below.

Pros

  • CAA offers growing coverage. This means your coverage amounts will increase over time to meet your evolving needs.
  • All plans offer basic Extended Health Care (EHC). This covers you for vision care, registered specialists and therapists, and home care and nursing.
  • You can mix and match different coverage levels for drug and dental coverage. This means you are only paying for the coverage you need.
  • You can take out different plans from this provider. Besides travel insurance, you can also purchase coverage for your pet, auto, dental care, health, life, and home.
  • CAA offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you are not satisfied, you can request a complete refund within 30 days of taking out the policy.
  • CAA’s customer services are available 24/7.
  • If you are a CAA member, you could receive a discount on your policy. You may also receive a discount if you bundle your health insurance with another insurance type.

Cons

  • You may be required to fill in a medical questionnaire before you qualify for some policies.
  • Insurance claims cannot be submitted online. Instead, you have to call CAA or submit your claim via post.

4. Canada Life Assurance Company

Founded in 1847, Canada Life, Great-West Life and London Life came together in January 2020. They provide insurance in Canada, the UK, Isle of Man and Guernsey. With more than 170 years of experience, Canada Life Assurance Company is one of the most trusted and stable insurance providers in the country.

Canada Life Assurance Company offers a broad range of plans that provide different benefits to the insured. Their Health and Dental plans are designed to suit different needs and budgets.

Canada Life Assurance Company’s main health insurance plan is the PlanDirect. This helps to fill the gap between your provincial plan and what you pay. PlanDirect coverage has three plans available that are ideal for those who are self-employed or do not get employee benefits:

  1. Core – This is the most basic plan and offers guaranteed acceptance.
  2. Core Plus –This offers more comprehensive coverage. You will receive higher maximums and co-insurance rates, compared to the Core plan.
  3. Elite – This is the highest coverage level with higher benefits and optional dental coverage.

PlanDirect coverage has three more available health insurance plans. These plans are recommended for those who are retiring or losing their coverage. No medical examination is required.

  1. Basic – This covers your basic healthcare needs plus prescription drugs.
  2. Comprehensive – This offers a wide range of benefits including dental coverage and prescriptions.
  3. Premier – This offers high coverage levels for health care, prescription drugs and major dental coverage.

The amount of coverage you will receive with your health insurance plan will depend on the plan you choose. The PlanDirect plans offer the following coverage:

  • Prescription drugs – Between 70%-90% reimbursement
  • Hospital stay
  • Paramedical service
  • Eyecare
  • Hearing aids
  • Ambulance service
  • Nursing care at home or in a centre
  • Eligible dental expenses
  • Medical supplies

You can get a quote quickly and easily on Canada Life Assurance Company’s website. Visit their website today for your quote or to be connected to an insurance advisor.

If you are still unsure whether Canada Life Assurance Company is the best insurance provider for you, below is a list of some of the pros and cons.

Pros

  • Some plans have guaranteed coverage, even if you have pre-existing medical conditions.
  • Plans are customizable, based on your insurance needs and financial requirements.
  • You will have access to Best Doctors, a consultation service that gives you access to the best medical specialists in the world.
  • You will also have access to Consult +. This is healthcare that can be accessed online or via an app. Consult + is available 24/7.
  • Canada Life Assurance Company has a Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating of A+ which is the highest possible score.
  • They have an AM rating of A+. The AM rating shows the financial stability of insurance companies. This shows that Canada Life Assurance Company has a good long-term outlook which is an important factor for insurance pay-outs.
  • Insurance rates and monthly premiums are competitive.
  • Canada Life Assurance Company also offers life insurance. Their life insurance is highly regarded within the insurance industry.

Cons

  • Online account features are more limited than many competitors.
  • There are some limitations and exceptions that you should be aware of. For example, expenses from self-inflicted injuries or attempted suicide are not covered. Some congenital defects are also not included.

The Bottom Line

Canada offers Medicare for its residents, but not every health and medical expense is covered. Consider taking out personal health cover with add-ons. This is vital if you want to cover expenses like prescription drugs, vision care, semi-private room accommodation, and physical or wellness therapies.

Health insurance providers offer a variety of plans at different rates. So make a careful estimation of the essential plan benefits you need at a price you can regularly pay for. This way, you ensure continued plan coverage all year.