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Retirement Health Benefits not What They Seem

Updated on Aug 21, 2015 older_couple_bench1.jpg.size.xxlarge.letterbox

Many Canadians believe they will be provided by the government when they retire. This is a myth and probably never has been true. “In retirement, most of us will be getting the basics, but beyond that we’ll be faced with escalating out-of pocket expenses.”

Access to doctors and acute care in hospitals is still available in retirement, but job provided benefits like physiotherapy, regular dental checkups and drugs will come with a price.

“Statistics Canada says the average cost of medical extras for those between 18 and 80 is $1,561 a year in Ontario. However, the average offsets higher spending by seniors against lower spending by young adults.”

Sun Life Canadian’s latest health index looks at Canadian attitudes toward health and the costs of healthcare in retirement. Canadians have bought into the cradle-to-grave myth and only 22% of individuals have saved for future health concerns.

“That’s because there’s a huge misunderstanding about what our healthcare system will cover. The study finds that 44 per cent of Canadians expect to pay nothing for drugs, 50 per cent nothing for eye care and 78 per cent nothing for hearing aids.”

Basically, healthcare is going to be more expensive after you retire and many people are not prepared for that.

Here is what you can do:

  1. Start with your employer. Some companies offer extended health benefits to retirees at no cost. If not, you may be able to pay to continue the same coverage.
  1. Your union or professional association may have a group plan. You may also get a group rate through your university affiliation. Asks friends and colleagues what they’ve done.

 

  1. Call insurers directly and compare packages.

 

You can read the full article at The Star.

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