Insurance News and updates

What’s the difference between group and individual insurance for retirees?

Your health and dental coverage from work is likely group insurance. You and your colleagues have access to the plan because you’re part of a group – your workplace.

RTOERO’s health and dental insurance for retirees is group coverage too. We can provide group coverage because we’re a membership organization.

Once retired, our members pay a small annual fee to be part of the group. Your membership is free until you retire or join our Entente Group Insurance Program. The option to join our group insurance is one of the benefits of membership.

Differences between group and individual insurance for retirees

Group health insurance plans are often organized by an employer. They are preferred because they typically offer superior coverage at a lower cost and with far more stability. Group health plans are for larger groups, which reduces the risk by spreading it across many plan participants.

Individual insurance products are purchased directly from an insurance company. Individual health plans are typically less comprehensive and carry more risk. This is because the plan is often offered publicly, and the policyholder is insured individually yet shares the risk with an unknown group.

RTOERO is unique because we offer group health insurance plans to a retiree demographic and we self-insure most of our plans. Rather than simply purchasing an off-the-shelf fully-insured product from an insurance company, RTOERO manages our members’ premiums on a not-for-profit basis.

Here are some other ways RTOERO is unique:

  1. With RTOERO’s group health insurance, the risk is controlled by only allowing retirees from the broader education community to join the plan. We are the largest health insurance plan for education sector retirees, insuring more than 100,000+ people across Canada.
  2. RTOERO’s group insurance provides you with flexibility. With group insurance, you can always switch to any other group or individual plan with guaranteed acceptance. This is not always true upon termination from an individual plan.
  3. There are other benefits to being part of RTOERO beyond the group insurance coverage. Here are the top reasons to join RTOERO.
  4. RTOERO’s Benefits Committee is made up of our members. They’re responsible for reviewing and making recommendations to the board on plan design and premiums informed, in part, by the feedback of our members. Delivering a high-quality, cost-effective benefit plan that meets the needs of the majority of the membership is the primary objective.
  5. The price for RTOERO’s insurance coverage is the same for all group members, regardless of their current health or changes with their health.

How to choose retirement insurance coverage

Does being part of a group matter to you? It’s one of the factors you might consider when making decisions about insurance for retirement. Download our retiree health insurance comparison shopping checklist to help you with your decision.

If you’re gearing up for retirement, check out our retirement planning checklist to help you prepare for retirement in Canada. If you (or someone you know) are already retired from the broader education community and have an individual insurance plan, you still have options. Contact us at 1-800-361-9888 to learn about how you can join our group plan.

If you’re ready, you can apply for your insurance today.

Get your guide to
insurance and membership

Download our information guide for:

  • Retirement insurance plan details
  • Overview of RTOERO member benefits
  • Tips to help you get retirement ready

Discover what membership could mean for you!

Estimated Retirement Year*
Please use your personal email address to make sure our emails get to you! We'll never share your email with anyone else.