Critical Illness Insurance The Non-Disclosure Problem


 Critical Illness Insurance The Non-Disclosure Problem

Critical Illness Insurance: The Non-Disclosure Problem

Have you ever had this happen? It's the time of the year when your company hands out a list of options for critical illness insurance. I mean, who doesn't love getting a new pool that actually has their name on it and adding a fun chair to their home office? The problem is, all the shiny options can be hard to resist.

Couple this with the fact that your company is likely to force you to pick a company they have an agreement with and its just enough to make someone excited about the other pool in their backyard.

The fact is, when you are given these options, you are agreeing to take out a policy. Should you decide not to purchase this option at the end of the year, the insurance company will require all premiums paid during the year be returned. That's right, if you decide not to buy it, everything goes back in your pay cheque.

What's interesting about this whole thing is that depending on where you live and how much information is required on this form varies from province to province. While for example in Alberta, you do not need a medical condition to qualify (just a definition) in Ontario, OHIP only covers $5,000 per claim. So while one province may cover everything and the other doesn't cover anything at all, the actual options you are required to take are quite similar.

Why this is an issue is that when you give someone a choice, they tend to focus on what they want while ignoring the option that could be an actual solution to their problem. In fact, if you ask people what their biggest health risk is and those in Alberta are least likely to name obesity or smoking. Obesity and smoking are actually more common than auto-immune diseases or cancer.

The lack of attention is even more problematic as a workplace issue. The belief is that if you impose these mandatory forms, people will be more informed and pick the right insurance options. This isn't the case, quite the opposite happens in fact. For example, a study out of Toronto found that drivers who do not have new cars insured are twice as likely to die in an accident than someone without insurance!

The idea behind this concept is that employers should require all employees to buy health insurance but this doesn't work as well as it should. The reason for this is that the employees are required to take employment action days to apply for these policies and then pay for them.

It is actually a lot easier for an employer to force employees to pick a provider the company already has a relationship with and pay for some small perks like more flex time or longer breaks. I mean who doesn't love getting paid to stay home, right?

The issue is that this isn't actually what benefits the employees and shouldn't be the way of looking at things. The big reason employers should be mandating insurance is because its cheaper than having their employees go without coverage. In fact, it was found that companies lose less money when they pay for this insurance than having their employees use free care in hospital ER's.

Another problem is that the insurance companies are aware of the fact that these mandatory forms are being used as a "perk" by employers and they don't offer the most competitive rates. In fact, studies done here in Ontario, showed that Health Care Professionals across Canada were paying $12 more per month for insurance on average than others not working in the profession.

The more important point is that you should not be looking at these little forms as something to spend your money on. They are there to provide you with choices and help you get a cheap policy if you do not have one already. The problem with this is that it isn't made clear what exactly is covered by these policies and what isn't.

Remember when you first applied for a job and they asked you if you had any pre-existing conditions? You could say no, but the company was still required to provide you with the term insurance. The same concept should apply here. Don't just sign because the company is forcing you to. There are a lot of people who turn down insurance just because they feel their doctors will look at their medical history and decide not to sign up. This is exactly why these policies need to be made clear when your applying for one.

The best way around this is that while I would never tell someone what policy or coverage to buy, I would encourage them to do a bit of research on what they are getting into. This means that if you are buying a policy just because your employer is forcing you to, then its likely that you aren't paying the most competitive price. Without getting into details of each policy, I would highly encourage all new applicants to look at the summary of benefits and any exclusions before applying.

Another option is to go with an independent insurance agent and ask them what they can offer for a given rate. You can also look online at some independent companies or compare rates from several different providers by comparing the CCSG (Canadian Community Services Guarantee) program in Alberta and Ontario with Health First in Nova Scotia. If they are offering this program it means that they have good rates and don't require monthly payments.

Either way, the key to this whole situation is that you need to know your options. You don't need to be pushed into buying a plan by your employer, but if your employer forces you, then you should be able to get a cheaper option at least. If you choose not to buy insurance, I would recommend shopping around locally and making sure that whatever coverage you have doesn't leave gaps in your coverage. For example, if it only covers cancer then its not really worth the money unless its covered 100%.

Again, while this may seem like a slight issue, it can really affect you if you don't take steps to protect yourself. I know that the absolute last thing I would want to do is suffer an accident but better safe than sorry!

To read more about this topic, head on over to and check out the article entitled: 5 health issues that might prompt your employer to force you into medical insurance.

To find out what plans are available in your area for various levels of coverage and compare rates with Health First in Nova Scotia or the CCSG program in Alberta and Ontario, go online at or www.csgservicescanada.


A lot can be said about the quality of health care in Canada but there is a lot to be commended on as well. I had some great experiences both with the health care professionals and with my medications. I took over two months off work to recover from my surgery and all of my surgeries have been covered 100% by my employer which was great.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post