How will I cover my health care costs when I retire?

Retirement Financial Planning

How will I cover my health care costs when I retire?


If you’re developing a retirement budget, remember to factor in costs that your province’s health plan doesn’t cover, such as prescription eyeglasses.

Canadians tend to be proud of our government health insurance, but many of us think it covers more than it actually does. Research over the years has shown that while most Canadians expect to pay nothing for various health services, many of us actually pay a substantial amount for health costs out of our own pockets.

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, Quebec and New Brunswick offer prescription drug plans with geared-to-income premiums to all residents without workplace coverage. As of January 1, 2018, all children and youth aged 24 and under who have Ontario provincial health insurance coverage will be automatically covered at no cost for more than 4,400 prescription drugs. Unless they are on social assistance, however, adults in Ontario don’t qualify for the Ontario Drug Benefit Program until age 65, and deductibles and co-payments may apply.
Lower-income seniors in Ontario (singles with an annual income under $19,300; couples with an annual income under $32,300) pay up to $2 per prescription filled, with no deductible. More affluent Ontario seniors pay an annual deductible of $100 and up to $6.11 for each prescription filled.
Beyond the limited coverage provided by government plans, there are 3 main sources of health insurance available once you retire:

  1. Employer sponsored group plans
  2. Rollover plans
  3. Individual personal health plans

To read more about each of these sources of health insurance available once you retire, CLICK HERE. As always if you have questions be sure to contact Harry or David.