If you are like most people, you know that relying solely on your government health coverage can leave you with medical bills for prescription drugs, dental care, vision care and therapy that pile up when you least expect it. And in today’s flexible work environment or as you face retirement, you know that employer health benefits won’t always cover what you need.
As an educated consumer, you are ready to apply for supplemental private health insurance to fill the gap and protect you from out-of-pocket costs.
It’s easy – but just to make sure you are fully prepared before you start, read on.
When you go online to SBIS.ca to apply for health insurance you will need to
- select Manulife as your insurer
- select your plan
- complete the information on the provider’s online application.
Then just click on the Apply button and you may be insured! Coverage will begin the first of the following month.
As the insurance applicant, you will need to provide your
- First and last name (your middle name or initial is optional)
- Birth day, month and year and current age
- Full address including your postal code
- Phone number (cell number can be used)
- Email address (required)
- Previous or current group plan health insurance coverage (including your partner’s plan) including insurer’s name, plan number, ID number and the date your benefits end
- Government Health Card number
- Height and weight (including weight change in last year and reason)
- Number of cigarettes smoked per day, if you are a smoker
- Number of insured dependents
- Beneficiary for any accidental death benefits included in the plan
- Optional benefits you select
- Chosen payment method and appropriate banking or credit card information.
When filling out your insurance application, be honest and accurate. Incomplete information can delay the process, so be sure to look over everything before you hit submit.
It depends. Unlike health insurance through a group plan (like an employee benefit plan), you may be required to answer medical questions based on the type of health insurance plan you select to apply for.
- Guaranteed Issue Health Plans
Guaranteed health insurance plans, unlike medically underwritten personal health plans, never involve answering medical questions. Acceptance is guaranteed, regardless of a person’s current or previous health.
If you have one or more serious medical conditions and want coverage for those conditions (and any associated medications) then the only option is a guaranteed issue plan.
The amount of coverage offered by guaranteed plans is less than medically underwritten plans (especially true for prescription drug coverage).
There is an important exception: if you have recently left an employer benefit plan and have a pre-existing condition, no medical questions will be asked if you apply within 90 days for your new private health insurance policy.
- Medically Underwritten Plan
If you are in good health and do not have any pre-existing conditions (health conditions that existed prior to applying for coverage) the best option is an underwritten plan.
If you have a pre-existing condition but do not care about coverage for that condition because you are able to pay the out of pocket expenses for it, you can apply for a medically underwritten plan, in which case coverage for that condition will be excluded.
Medically underwritten plans ask medical questions. You will be asked to provide the following information (or more):
- The name of your physician, address, when you last visited and the reason
- What prescriptions you (and all others covered by the policy) currently take
- Past injuries for which you have received medical care
- Past hospital stays and whether you expect to be hospitalized in the relatively near future
- Medical conditions for which you are currently being treated, or were recently treated, such as high blood pressure or cancer.
If you are unsure of what to include in your medical history, think back over the years; perhaps you had an accident when you were much younger. Check with your physician and see your records to be sure. If your information isn’t accurate, it may cause problems with your insurance later. You will be asked for permission to access your medical records. Medical records consist of any and all records recorded by a personal physician, a medical clinic and visits to a hospital.
You can expect communication directly from the insurer after you submit your application. The insurer will
- Check for errors
- Contact you to obtain any additional information required
Remember, choosing the right plan to apply for takes a lot of thought. You have to look at your options and decide which plan suits your needs. Maybe you only need a plan that covers a few services, or perhaps you need something broader that covers more things you may need.
If you don’t fully understand all of your options or want to find out about coverage for certain services, ask us at SBIS! Our professionals are here to help you choose your plan, complete your application and give you any additional information you need.