Health insurance
Medical doctor writing on patient personal health care record discharge form, or prescription paperwork in hospital office, clinic center for healthcare and life insurance concept

How much Health insurance cost for retirees and seniors?

Points to remember

  • While some retirees are fortunate enough to have their supplemental health insurance extended during retirement, most are not.
  • Fortunately, there are several retirement health insurance options. Find a plan that works for you.
  • Determining whether the cost of personal health insurance is justified for you should consider your medical condition, where you live, and how you manage the financial risk of not having insurance.

What will happen to your benefits when you retire?

If you are approaching retirement, an important question you may want to ask your employer is, “Will I have health and dental benefits when I retire?” » 

While some retirees are fortunate enough to have their supplemental health insurance extended during retirement, most are not.

Will you be able to keep your supplementary health insurance when you retire?

Most people will not have an employer-sponsored health care plan when they retire. 

Some will be able to keep their plan by paying the same amount as today. 

Others will be able to keep their plan by paying more for their insurance. 

Finally, some may join a separate continuity plan through their employer or association shortly after retirement. With this type of plan, you won’t have to answer any medical questions or pass a medical exam to qualify. The cost of insurance depends on your age, and you can choose the protection you need, from the most basic to the most comprehensive.

What does your provincial/territorial health insurance plan cover?

Provinces provide certain services and supplies to eligible residents, such as:

  • Consultations with the doctor
  • Care received in the emergency room
  • Hospitalizations
  • Stay and food in hospital
  • Prescription drugs in hospital
  • Dental surgery in hospital

Is personal health insurance worth it for retirees?

If your health and dental care needs don’t fit any of the situations described above, you may also want to consider personal health insurance. But is it worth it? It depends on various factors:

  • Where you live  – As what is covered by provincial/territorial health insurance plans varies by province or territory, what you might get in Ontario could cost you hundreds of dollars in New -Scotland, for example. Find out what is covered in the province where you live.
  • Your health  – If you currently have expensive prescriptions or need medical equipment, and these costs are not covered by your provincial/territorial plan, personal health insurance may be worth it.
  • Your mindset  – For some people, the benefit of knowing they are covered in the event of an unexpected medical condition outweighs the cost of insurance.

Who gets personal health insurance?

In general, people who take out personal health insurance appreciate the collective guarantees they enjoyed when they were working. 

William and Marie-Josée will soon be retiring and have always had supplementary health insurance. They take prescription drugs for chronic conditions, know they will need expensive dental care in the future, and use a lot of allied health services, including massage therapy and physiotherapy. They also plan to take vacations abroad. 

They know that the state will not cover all their health costs and that their health expenses will exceed the premiums for personal health insurance. They also don’t want to worry about qualifying for coverage or purchasing separate travel insurance.

What is the average cost of supplementary health insurance for retirees?

It can range from just over $100 to over $400 per month. The cost varies depending on your age, where you live and the protection you need.