Pacific Blue Cross debuts personal health insurance with flexible coverage for retirees

by Leo Almazora30 Oct 2017
Pacific Blue Cross has launched an individual health plan for retirees whose current plans do not offer retirement coverage. Aside from being the first and only carrier in the market to let retiree members adjust their levels of coverage as their health needs change, Pacific Blue Cross offers the most coverage for prescription drugs, dental and vision care, and medical aids.

According to claims data collected by the firm, prescription drug expenses tend to surge by 60% in retirement. Two-thirds of retiree extended health claims stem from such costs, while medical aids and equipment represent the next biggest contributor to expenses. Data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) also shows that in 2014, British Columbians aged 65 and older spent an average of more than $9,600 on health expenses.

"We tend to underestimate how much we will spend on healthcare in retirement, including dental services, vision care and hearing aids that are traditionally covered by private benefit plans," says Adrian Bois, director of Individual Plans at Pacific Blue Cross. “It is important for people to plan for their retirement and ensure they have a plan with appropriate coverage before the need arises.”

While the average life expectancy for British Columbians at 65 years old increasing from 15 to 22 years since 1950, less than half will retire with an employer-funded health plan. According to CIHI data, 75% of Canadians over 65 have reported having one chronic condition, and two thirds need five medications to manage long-term chronic conditions.

“Retirees may experience a decline in health and increased prescription costs, and preparing for these costs is important for your financial wellbeing in retirement,” said Anar Dossa, director of Pharmacy Services, at Pacific Blue Cross. “It is with these changing costs in mind that Pacific Blue Cross now offers the first flexible retirement plan for prescription drugs, health and dental coverage.”

For any member of any group plan from any carrier, transitioning to a Pacific Blue Cross retirement plan will not require a medical evaluation as long as it’s done within 60 days of retirement.

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  • by Wes 2017-10-30 1:01:02 PM

    Many carriers provide this option regardless of who you your group plan is with. SunLife, Manulife, IA and others so long as it is within the 60 days. Not sure if I’m missing something here? The article eludes to adjusting coverage but don’t speak to that?