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The Great-West Life Assurance Company, London Life Insurance Company and The Canada Life Assurance Company have become one company – The Canada Life Assurance Company. Discover the new Canada Life

The Great-West Life Assurance Company, London Life Insurance Company and The Canada Life Assurance Company have become one company – The Canada Life Assurance Company. Discover the new Canada Life

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Freedom 55 Financial is a division of The Canada Life Assurance Company and the information you requested can be found here.

Is personal health insurance worth it in Canada?

Key takeaways

  • Personal health insurance can be worth it if you aren’t covered under a workplace benefits plan.
  • That’s because government health care plans may not cover certain expenses, and without coverage, you’ll have to pay these out-of-pocket.
  • Personal health insurance like Freedom to Choose™ can help bridge the gap between what’s covered by government plans and what you pay out of pocket.

Understanding healthcare in Canada

There are 3 types of healthcare coverage in Canada:

Universal healthcare (provincial/territorial)

Provincial and territorial healthcare is funded by taxpayers and most basic healthcare and medical services are covered. 

Workplace benefits

Workplace benefits are provided by many employers or associations to help employees cover the cost of things provincial/territorial health care plans may not pay for including certain prescription drugs, dental, hospital, vision, paramedical and ambulance services.

Personal health and dental insurance

This insurance is most often used by people who are retired, who are self-employed or not eligible for workplace benefits, or who are losing their previous workplace benefits coverage.

What are some of the gaps in public healthcare? 

Prescription medications

Many necessary drugs aren’t covered by the public system, leaving you to bear the financial burden yourself. 

Dental care

Routine dental care, including cleanings, fillings, and other preventive measures, isn’t covered under public healthcare. This can be a considerable expense for you and your family. 

Vision care

Eye exams and corrective lenses, such as glasses or contact lenses, aren’t covered under the public system. If you require vision correction, the costs can add up quickly.

Paramedical services

Services provided by paramedical professionals, such as physiotherapists, chiropractors, and massage therapists, aren’t covered by public healthcare. These services can be crucial if you have a chronic condition or injury, and treatment sessions can be expensive. 

Mental health services

While mental health services are included in public healthcare to some extent, there are limitations. Access to psychologists or therapists may be restricted, and the coverage for certain mental health treatments may not be comprehensive.

Workplace health insurance plans offered through employers or associations can fill some of these gaps. These plans often provide more comprehensive coverage, including access to services not covered by public healthcare. 

When is it worth it to have personal health insurance?  

Personal insurance plans like Freedom to Choose™ health and dental insurance can bridge the gaps left by public healthcare systems and can be worth it for people who are self-employed, retired or who don’t have access to a workplace insurance plan.  

Health and dental coverage can include:

  • Routine dental services
  • Eye exams, glasses, contact lenses and laser surgery
  • Prescriptions drugs
  • Physiotherapy, chiropractor visits and massage therapy
  • Social workers and psychologists
  • Naturopaths, dieticians, acupuncturists, no referral needed like all our paramedical services

Personal insurance plans like this allow you to obtain comprehensive coverage that’s customizable, portable, and can provide quicker access to services with fewer wait times and out of pocket costs. 

Personal insurance could be with it if you are:

Let’s look at an example. Sarah is a self-employed graphic designer in Toronto who needs a dental cleaning but isn’t covered by a workplace insurance plan. A cleaning costs $220. Sarah purchases a Freedom to Choose Select plus plan that covers 80% of routine dental services. Now instead of paying the entire $220 out of pocket, she’ll only pay $44 with her personal insurance plan.  

The above example is for illustrative purposes only. Situations will vary according to specific circumstances.

Considerations when choosing personal health insurance

Picking personal health insurance is a big choice. Consider these things to make sure the plan fits your needs:

Whether you have a family 

If you have a family, choose a plan to which you can add your spouse and children as dependents. If your spouse has coverage through a workplace plan, you may be able to coordinate benefits.


Understand the financial aspects of the insurance plan, including monthly premiums, deductibles, co-payments, and any additional out-of-pocket expenses. Evaluate the overall cost against your budget to ensure affordability.

Coverage for pre-existing conditions

Ask about the coverage for pre-existing conditions. Some personal health insurance plans may impose waiting periods or exclusions for certain pre-existing medical conditions. With our guaranteed acceptance plans at Canada Life, you can still be covered if you have a pre-existing condition. 


Consider the portability of the insurance plan, especially if you move between provinces or travel frequently. Some plans offer flexibility, allowing you to maintain coverage regardless of your location.

Flexibility and customization

Look for insurance plans that offer flexibility and customization options. 

What’s next?

  • While determining your health coverage needs, look at other insurance coverage for your family as well, like life insurance or disability insurance.
  • Get covered with Freedom to Choose health and dental insurance. Get a quote online in 15 minutes or less.

This information is general in nature, and is intended for informational purposes only. For specific situations you should consult the appropriate legal, accounting or tax advisor. The information provided is accurate to the best of our knowledge as of the date of publication, but rules and interpretations may change. 

If you’d like to explore plans and see how much they could cost you, get a quote

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