Casual hospital workers may think it’s not possible for them to get healthcare coverage. After all, they’re typically excluded from their employers’ group benefits plans. They may not be able to qualify for individual benefits plans or may not have the budget for them.
Fortunately, there are other options available for casual hospital workers. They can sign up for voluntary group benefits and get the coverage they need.
The Advantages of Having Healthcare Coverage
Healthcare coverage isn’t just nice to have. It can help you pay medical care that isn’t included in your provincial health plan. Without insurance, the costs of care can be out of reach. In Canada, one in ten people have trouble paying for their prescription medications. They avoid filling prescriptions due to cost or skip doses to save money and stretch the medications. Often, people in this situation don’t have insurance to help pay the costs.
With the help of private healthcare coverage, casual hospital workers don’t have to be in this situation.
Options for Casual Hospital Workers
Casual hospital workers have two plan options, depending on their ages. Workers who are under 65 can apply for HCP’s Plan 2, while those who are 65 or older can apply for HCP’s Plan 65+.
Plan 2 provides coverage for extended health care, and coverage is available at the Essential, Complete, and Optimum levels. Extended health care includes prescription drugs, paramedical services, vision care, audio care, and other services. It also includes access to an Employee Assistance Plan (EAP), which provides short-term, confidential counselling services.
You can also choose to add optional dental coverage. At the basic level, dental coverage includes recall examinations, fillings, and other minor services. At the enhanced level, it includes dentures, crowns, bridges, and other major services.
Plan 65+ provides coverage for similar services, though there are some differences. For example, some levels of the plan include prescription drugs while others don’t.
Who’s Eligible for Coverage
As a casual hospital worker, you need to be actively at work to apply for coverage. Actively at work means you’re not on disability or maternity leave. You also need to be employed by a hospital in Ontario. If you meet these simple criteria, you’re eligible to apply.
Some health insurance plans exclude applicants based on their health, but that’s not the case for HCP plans. You’re guaranteed coverage at the Essential level, no matter what your medical history is. If you or your family members have pre-existing conditions, you can still get coverage. Don’t let your medical history hold you back from applying for coverage.
How to Apply for Coverage
Applying for coverage is a simple process. To get started, you just need to fill out a group enrollment application form. On this application form, you’ll provide basic information like your name, address, and date of birth. Information about your dependents, if you have any, is also required. Employment information, such as the average number of hours you work per week and which hospital you work for, is also needed. This form can be filled out online, but since an original signature is needed, you’ll need to print the form. Then, the completed form can be mailed.
Casual hospital workers who want to be considered for a higher level of coverage can fill out the Statement of Health form. You’ll answer questions about your own medical history and the medical history of your dependents. Based on the information you provide, you may be able to get more coverage for the same price.
Healthcare coverage can help you pay for the medical care you and your family need. To get started, determine which HCP plan you’re eligible for and send in your application forms.