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Shannon Lebert

Do you wish you had access to a health insurance plan? Many part-time and casual hospital employees are in the same situation. Hospitals, like many other workplaces, usually reserve their benefits plan for full-time employees. If you’re not a full-time employee, you’re not eligible for their benefits plan.

Hospitals aren’t excluding their casual employees from the benefits plan simply to be cruel. Providing benefits for employees is expensive, and hospitals may not be able to afford to cover everyone. However, casual employees still need to get health coverage from somewhere. Where can you get the health insurance you need? Here’s what you need to know about the best health insurance plans for casual hospital employees.

Health Insurance Plans Designed for You

While you aren’t eligible for your employer’s health insurance plan, there are other options. In many hospitals, half of the total workforce can be made up of casual or part-time workers like yourself. Throughout the labour market, part-time work is becoming more common. This means there’s a lot of demand for health insurance coverage. Some companies are now offering group insurance plans for casual hospital workers.

Group insurance plans cover a defined group of people. In this case, they cover casual and part-time hospital workers from hospitals in Ontario. Employees from different hospitals can purchase coverage at an affordable rate  

As long as you’re actively at work, you can apply for group coverage. Actively at work means you’re not on parental leave or disability leave.

What Health Insurance Plans Cover

There are a few different health insurance plans that are available to casual hospital employees. Eligibility for the plans depends on how many hours a week you’re working and how old you are. If you have health coverage through a spousal plan or other group plan, that affects eligibility, too.

If you already have health coverage through another plan and work 18 or more hours a week, you can buy additional coverage separately. This coverage (HCP’s Plan 1A) includes core benefits like employee life insurance and employee long-term disability income. These benefits can easily be overlooked, but they’re just as important as coverage for health services.

If you work 18 or more hours a week and don’t have any spousal coverage, you can get a plan that covers extended health care and optional dental care. That’s in addition to the core benefits that were already mentioned, like life insurance. That’s HCP’s Plan 1. What if you work less than 18 hours a week? You’re eligible for a plan that provides extended health care and optional dental care, HCP’s plan 2.

Casual hospital workers who are 65 years of age or older are also eligible for health insurance. You can apply for a plan (Plan 65+) that provides you with extended health care, optional health care, and other benefits like out-of-country travel medical insurance.

How to Apply for Coverage

Applying for coverage is a lot easier than you might think. You just need to fill out a group enrollment form. On the form, you’ll need to select the plan you’re applying for, and indicate whether or not you want dental coverage. If you have any dependents, you’ll have to list their information on the form.

The great thing about group insurance plans is that coverage is guaranteed. As long as you’re an eligible applicant, you’ll be accepted into the plan. You don’t need to answer any medical questions, and people of any age can be accepted.

If you want more than the guaranteed level of coverage, you can apply. You’ll need to fill out a separate form about your medical history. By providing this information, you may receive a higher level of coverage. Of course, this completely depends on your health.

Shannon Lebert

Shannon is the Benefits Administrator and Medical Underwriter for HCP and HMA. She conducts research to determine plan members eligibility for higher levels of coverage and enjoys working with the hospital human resources staff to ensure their employees are informed of the unique HCP group benefit plans. Shannon loves being an HCP team member and takes pride in being detail oriented. Outside of work, she loves spending time outdoors at the cottage, backcountry camping, and biking. When not outdoors, Shannon can be found watching movies and snuggling with her dog.
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