The national labour market is growing, but most of the job growth is coming from more part-time jobs. That means more people are working in part-time jobs, and the healthcare sector is no exception. Hospitals rely on hardworking part-time and casual employees in many departments. Nurses, administrators, service staff, and other hospital employees may now be working part time.
Canadian companies have to seriously invest in health benefits, so they usually restrict coverage to full-time employees for budgetary reasons. Many part-time hospital employees may not be able to get coverage from work. If you’re in that situation, you may be feeling frustrated. You work hard in the hospital, and you deserve to not have to worry about your health expenses. Fortunately, you don’t have to go without health insurance.
Benefits Plans for Hospital Employees
Since so many hospital employees are part-time or casual workers, there’s a lot of demand for more benefits options. Voluntary group benefits are now available for hospital employees like you. Hospital employees can choose to join the voluntary plan and pay the costs of their health insurance. While you’ll be paying for the plan yourself, you’ll get a group rate. That means you won’t spend as much as you would if you paid for an individual benefits plan.
How to Quality for a Benefits Plan
Are you worried you won’t qualify for a benefits plan? There’s no need to worry. The eligibility requirements are very simple. You just need to be actively working at a hospital in a part-time or casual basis. Actively working means you’re still on the schedule and aren’t on disability leave, parental leave, or some other type of leave.
As long as you’re an eligible applicant, you’re guaranteed approval for the Essential level of coverage. Your medical history and health aren’t considered. That’s a big relief for people who have pre-existing conditions, or who have dependents with pre-existing conditions.
Types of Coverage Available
Now you know that benefits plans are available for part-time hospital employees, you’re probably interested in more details. There are a few different plans you could qualify for, depending on your age and the average number of hours you work each week.
Hospital employees under 65 who work an average of less than 18 hours a week can apply for HCP’s Plan 2. This plan includes extended health care and optional dental care. Extended health care includes coverage for prescription drugs, private duty nursing services, and paramedical services. Paramedical services refer to treatments by practitioners like physiotherapists, podiatrists, and psychologists.
If you work more than 18 hours a week and are under 65, you have two options. Which option you choose depends on whether or not you have coverage through a spousal plan or other group plan. If you have health coverage from another plan, you can apply for Plan 1A. This plan provides life insurance, long-term disability insurance, and access to an employee assistance program. It’s easy to overlook these types of benefits, but they’re just as important as extended health care coverage.
Your other option is Plan 1. This plan provides extended health care coverage and optional dental care. It also includes accidental death and dismemberment insurance, life insurance, and long-term disability benefits.
If you’re a senior, there’s a plan for your needs, too. Hospital workers who are 65 years or older can apply for Plan 65+. With this plan, you get extended health care coverage with optional dental care coverage. Some coverage levels include prescription drug coverage, while others don’t.
How to Get Coverage
When you’re ready, all you need to do is submit your application form. If you have dependents, make sure to include their information on the form, too.