Healthy living Insurance

Why you need more than provincial health coverage when you retire

Canada has universal health care, but it doesn’t cover all the procedures, treatments and prescriptions you may need. One of the decisions you’ll make as you prepare for retirement in Canada is whether to join a retirement insurance plan.

Here are seven reasons to join a retirement insurance plan when you retire

1. Coverage for paramedical services

Provincial plans cover medically necessary physician services and diagnostic procedures. They don’t cover paramedical practitioners like registered massage therapists, chiropractors, naturopaths, dieticians, social workers, psychologists and more. Our extended health plan covers 17 different paramedical practitioners. If you have access to coverage, you may be more likely to access these services. These services are important to overall physical and mental well-being. They can also help you recover from an injury, illness or challenging life event so you can maintain the quality of life you want.

2. Additional drug coverage

We’re advocating for universal public pharmacare – Canada is the only county in the world with universal health care that lacks universal drug coverage. Sadly, Canada’s system is a patchwork of more than 100 drug plans provided by the 13 provinces and territories. Retirees need health insurance for prescription medication because there are many hidden costs and gaps in our health care system. Public plans in Canada limit coverage through formularies, deductibles and coinsurance/copayments.

3. Homecare and mobility aids

No one wants to be hospitalized, to need home care or to rely on a mobility aid, like a walker or cane. Having proper, reliable care and equipment can help to reduce stress and speed recovery. Most provincial health plans provide some coverage for homecare following an injury or illness, but it’s not usually enough, so you will be paying out of pocket if you don’t have insurance.

4. Unexpected illnesses and injuries

While your health insurance will help offset the costs of things you plan for (for example, you might want to have a massage every month), the ultimate purpose of insurance is for those things you don’t plan. You aren’t planning to get sick or injured. You likely take steps to stay healthy. Insurance provides peace of mind that you’ll be protected financially should something unexpected happen.

5. Dental coverage

Your oral health is vital for your overall health and well-being. Research shows the connection between dental health and conditions ranging from heart disease and diabetes to osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s Disease. You may be willing to budget to cover regular cleanings, but having access to dental coverage may make you more likely to access additional preventative care and quickly deal with unexpected dental issues. Our dental plan is separate from our extended health plan, allowing you to customize the kind of coverage you want. There are different things to consider when deciding if dental coverage is worth it in retirement.

6. Travel

Most retirement insurance plans include travel coverage. With our plan, you’re covered for up to 93 consecutive days of travel, plus you can add more coverage. If you plan to travel a lot in retirement, consider the cost to purchase private coverage for each trip, especially as you age or your medical situation changes.

7. Automatic approval

As you transition from work to retirement, you have the opportunity to join an insurance plan with automatic approval as long as you join within 60 days of your previous group insurance plan ending. That said, if the 60-day window already passed, you can still receive coverage. Learn more about our late applicant process. RTOERO’s retirement insurance plan is unique from other options because it’s a non-profit group insurance plan, similar to your coverage at work.


Once you decide you want insurance coverage for retirement, the next step is to evaluate the different options available. Here’s a checklist of what to compare when looking at insurance options for retirement to help. If you’re ready to join our plans, you can complete the application today. You can join before your retirement date and avoid any gaps in coverage.