What kind of private health insurance can I buy?

Your employer may have an insurance plan that you can buy. Insurance companies can also sell you a plan.

If your employer has an insurance plan that you can buy, the plan can pay for some costs not covered by OHIP. You pay for this plan by paying a fee each month. Your employer will pay for part of the cost and you pay the rest.

Sometimes unions and professional associations have plans for their members.

You can also buy insurance from a private company.

What does private insurance cover?

Many private health insurance plans pay for:

  • Extended health care (prescription drugs, medical supplies, hearing aids, vision care, semi-private or private room in hospital, chiropractic and registered massage therapy)
  • Dental services
  • Disability income if you develop a serious health condition and can no longer work
  • Critical illness coverage (for illnesses like cancer)
  • Mental Health support services and counselling
  • Speech Therapy services
  • Travel insurance
  • The cost to have your body returned home if you die
  • The cost for a prosthetic device if you lose an arm or leg

This Guide to Supplementary Health Insurance booklet, produced by the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association, will help you decide what kind of private health insurance you should buy. Read the guide to better understand the different types of plans and options, when to make a claim and identify questions to ask your group benefits administrator or agent. 

For More Information

  • OmbudService for Life & Health Insurance (OLHI) - An independent complaint resolution and information service for consumers of Canadian life and health insurance products and services.
  • Insurance Finder - A list of insurance providers organized by type of insurance. From the OmbudService for Life & Health Insurance.
  • Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) - Represents more than 80 private insurance companies in Canada. The CLHIA website describes the different types of insurance products, services, and CLHIA publications.
  • OHIP Coverage Waiting Period - Information about the 3-month waiting period for Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) coverage. From the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
Last updated: February 6, 2023 4001253