Health Insurance

Health insurance protects you from the costs of unexpected health and medical services that aren’t usually covered by provincial health insurance like Manitoba Health.

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What? You mean that Manitoba Health Insurance don’t cover all my medical costs? I thought we have a Universal Healthcare Insurance in Manitoba?

Yes, the fact of the matter is we’re lucky to be living in a province that covers most of our healthcare costs but unfortunately there are some gaps in our provincial healthcare coverage.

Most preventative care and some medical costs that result from an illness or injury are not necessarily covered; this is the gap that a personal or group health insurance fills to complement Manitoba’s provincial health insurance thereby giving you coverage for medical costs that are not covered by our provincial health insurance.

Health Insurance Fills the Gap

If you were seen by a doctor either in a walk-in clinic, the emergency room or was admitted to a hospital due to an illness or injury; the medical services provided are usually covered but prescription drugs aren’t usually covered by Manitoba Health and if you don’t have a health insurance coverage, you usually have to cover 100% of the costs out of pocket.

The following are health and medical expenses that are not usually covered by provincial health insurance:

  • Ambulance transport
  • Prescription drugs
  • Preventative health practitioners such as physiotherapist, acupuncturist, registered massage therapist, chiropractors, etc.
  • Emergency services provided in another country
  • Vision and dental services
  • Mobility medical equipment(s)
  • Health supplies
  • Oxygen equipment
  • Blood pressure monitors
  • Foot orthotics
  • Orthopedic shoes
  • Ostonomy supplies
  • Casts and crutches

For a list of healthcare services that are and are not covered by Manitoba Health, please click here.

Who Needs Health Insurance in Winnipeg?

Most employers provide health insurance benefits to regular employees up to age 70.

If you’re not covered by your group health plan, you should get a personal health insurance to make sure you’re not missing on health insurance coverage.

You should also implement personal health insurance if you’re losing your group health insurance due to change of career or due to age.

and if you consider yourself self-employed or a small business owner, chances are you’re not covered by a group health insurance, so getting group or personal health insurance is adamant.

Self-Employed Health Insurance

I’ve been self-employed in the last 5 years and though I enjoy all the perks and flexibility that self-employment brings; I’m missing out on group health benefits that most employees enjoy and if you “work for yourself”, chances are we’re in the same boat!

If you’re working for a company but are employed as an independent contractor, you are considered self-employed and is not entitled to receive group health benefits/insurance; as such, you have to implement your own and if you have at least two people working for you, your group can actually qualify for group health insurance.

If you’re a “solo” operator, on the other hand as most self-employed professionals and tradespeople, you have to get personal health insurance to get similar benefits you would as if you’re working for a company even when you’re working for yourself.

Self-Employed Health Benefits / Insurance is for the solo-preneur such as:

  1. Independent Insurance Brokers
  2. Realtor / Real Estate Brokers
  3. Lawyers
  4. Doctors (who are not employed by clinics and/or hospitals
  5. Plumber
  6. Electricians
  7. Self-employed Mechanics
  8. Mortgage Brokers
  9. Business Consultants
  10. Credit Repair Professionals
  11. Immigration Consultants
  12. Registered Massage Therapists
  13. Physiotherapists
  14. etc.

Health Insurance Winnipeg Options

Most health insurance companies that operate in Winnipeg and the whole of Manitoba usually offers three health insurance options.

  1. Basic Health Insurance Plan
  2. Standard Health Insurance Plan
  3. Enhanced Health Insurance Plan

The names of these options vary by health insurance company and so does their benefits.

Basic health insurance plans, of course, offers you the minimum coverage, the standard, and enhanced health insurance plans offer you the standard and extensive coverage(s) that are comparable to most group insurance plans that you may be accustom to due to your group benefits at work.

What to Expect with a Health Insurance Plan

Depending on what level of benefits you choose, a health insurance policy entitles you the following:

  • 60% – 90% reimbursement (or directly billed) for preventative healthcare services
  • 60% – 90% reimbursement for prescription drugs
  • 60% – 90% reimbursement for dental services.
  • Vision care. Amount of coverage varies per plan, usually capped on a 24-month basis.


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