A big piece of our overall wellness that’s often overlooked is our financial wellness. As we mentioned in our post from 2021, financial wellness is about having a healthy and balanced approach to your finances. It’s a feeling of security and confidence in your financial future, while also allowing you to enjoy life now.
In this blog, we’re revisiting this topic of financial wellness and how health insurance helps in the larger context of our world now. How does health insurance planning fit into our financial wellness in 2023?
Increasing Cost of Living
We’re facing a significant higher-cost-of-living situation, with inflation stemming from pandemic pressures and other global factors impacting our budgets and spending. A number of key products are more expensive now, primarily gas and groceries. And the cost of food is expected to increase another 7% in 2023.
While housing prices are decreasing in some major markets across the country, this trend isn’t being felt everywhere. Housing affordability remains a major concern for many Canadians. Increasing interest rates are putting pressure on new and existing homeowners, and many are having a hard time qualifying for mortgages or facing increased monthly payments.
This paints a bleak picture, but it’s a reality for many of us right now. Among these pressures, we’re still faced with ongoing costs and challenges that we need to plan for. Our ability to work towards or maintain our financial wellness has been pinched given this economic scenario. But there are ways to use insurance planning to ease some of the stress and help you find more balance.
Health Care in Canada
We’re lucky to live in Canada and have a health care system that provides coverage for many of our health needs. While provincial health care coverage differs by province, many things are covered: from doctor visits, to eye exams for kids, trips to specialists with referrals, preventative and diagnostic screenings and tests, surgeries and more.
But there are still health costs we need to cover on our own. These include: prescription drugs, dentist visits, adult eye exams and corrective lenses, and health care specialists like psychologists and physiotherapists, and more. These may not be covered under provincial health care, but they’re critical to your health and can be costly too. This is where insurance planning comes into play and can help ease the financial stress of covering these bills.
What’s Insurance Planning?
Insurance planning is investing in different types of insurance to protect yourself from financial losses. There are many types of insurance that play a part in a good insurance plan. These include life insurance, mortgage insurance, vehicle insurance and health insurance. Our focus is on health insurance planning.
Health insurance planning may look different for everyone. It depends on your situation: you may have a health insurance plan through work, access through a spouse, or you may be looking for additional or independent coverage through a provider. Either way, it’s important to consider what your health needs are, as well the needs of your spouse and dependants. Also, take into consideration other aspects of your financial situation. What kind of monthly payments can you afford? What kind of regular coverage are you going to need?
Given the different scenarios we all face, it’s important to research and plan your health insurance to make sure you not only have adequate coverage, but it also fits your budget. A good health insurance plan should alleviate some of your financial concerns, not add to it.
Another aspect of insurance planning is making sure you read the details of your plan: do you have to pay up front or can bills be submitted directly to your insurance provider? What kind of deductibles does the plan include and how much is this? What percentage of total cost does the plan cover and how much will you need to pay? What’s the maximum amount of coverage available for a particular area or service? In researching the details of a plan’s coverage, you might even find perks like wellness coverage for things like gyms that will help you cover costs on memberships.
Consider these elements in the context of your health needs, your family’s needs, and your financial situation. The goal is to find a plan that works for your needs and helps you find balance in your finances.
How Health Insurance Helps Financial Wellness
While we can cut costs in some areas of our lives, health care isn’t really one of them - our health is just too important. That’s where insurance planning and finding the right health insurance plan can help you save money at a time when you’re feeling like your expenses are tight.
Your financial wellness in 2023 may look like cutting back on eating out or sharing a car with your partner, but it doesn’t have to mean skipping a visit to the dentist or cutting back on therapist visits. GMS offers a number of health insurance plans that help you stay on track with your health and wellness.