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No one wants to think about their child getting sick, but as parents, it’s important to have a plan in the event that they do. Without insurance, a childhood illness can take a huge financial toll on families. And trust us, in moments like these, finances are the last thing you’ll want to be thinking about. Securing insurance ahead of time means that if the worst happens, at the very least, you’ll be able to put your family first.
In today’s post, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about choosing and purchasing insurance for children in Manitoba.
There are many different types of insurance policies available to children. By reducing financial stressors and freeing up mental space, insurance policies benefit children, parents, and families alike. Here’s how children’s insurance helps:
Health can change at any time. Insuring your child while they’re young and healthy means guaranteeing their coverage well into their adult years — no matter what. And, having early life insurance coverage lets you purchase additional insurance in the future, without requiring medical evidence (which is a big deal!).
Purchasing a permanent life insurance policy for your newborn, baby, or child means setting them up for life. Life insurance policies provide death benefits that grow over time to offer a bigger and bigger payout. They also offer “cash surrender values” which means they can be accessed whenever your child needs financing in the future (for example, when they want to put a down payment on a home).
A children’s critical illness policy provides the financial freedom you need to access pricey medications and additional treatments that might not be within reach without it. It also pays for you, as your child’s parent or guardian, to take time away from work to be with and care for them, without facing a loss of income.
Child health insurance policies protect your family from many unexpected or unforeseen costs related to a child’s illness. Depending on your budget and concerns, you can choose coverage ranging from basic to advanced to help ensure that you can afford everything your child needs to get better.
There are several options available for children’s insurance. We’ve broken them down here to help you decide which one is best for your family.
The Manitoba Health Services Plan is available at no cost to all Manitoba citizens (which includes newborns, babies, and children), as well as permanent residents and work permit holders (and their spouses/dependents) who physically live in the province for at least six months a year.
This plan offers basic, essential coverage, like:
This is a free plan provided by the government. It ensures that all Manitobans have access to, at the very least, the essential healthcare services. It does not cover anything above and beyond the basics. For things like extra or different treatments, loss of income, or other illness-related expenses to be covered, you’ll need additional, private insurance.
As a parent or guardian, you have the option of purchasing life insurance for your newborn, baby, or child. There are two options for children’s life insurance: term or permanent.
Term insurance allows you, as the parent or guardian, to add your child to your own insurance for an extra monthly cost. It offers your child coverage until they reach the age of 25, or until you, as the parent/guardian reach the age of 65. In order to secure term life insurance for your child, they must be under the age of 17 when you add them to your plan.
This option is the least expensive, but it has no cash value or long-term financial benefit, and the coverage it offers is generally limited.
Cons: Limited coverage and no cash value.
Permanent life insurance, also known as whole life insurance, is an independent policy that you purchase for your child, which covers them for their entire life. This option is more costly, but it’s also more beneficial. It builds up a cash value over time which your child can draw from, and it offers a larger coverage amount.
Pros: Extensive coverage and a cash value that increases over time.
Cons: More expensive.
Critical Illness Insurance offers coverage for a variety of life-threatening illnesses that extend into adulthood. Unlike other types of insurance, when you access your Critical Illness coverage, you’ll be paid a lump sum which you can use however you need to. You can choose to cover expenses not included in your provincial or private insurance (like travel for medical purposes or additional treatments and medications) or use the money to replace the income you may lose from taking time off to care for your child. The real value of critical illness insurance is that how you spend your payout is completely up to you!
We recommend Critical Illness Insurance to many of our clients because its flexibility and extensive coverage is so unique and important for families dealing with an illness. But worth noting is that because this coverage is so extensive, it can come with a high premium.
We receive a lot of questions about how and when to add a child to an existing insurance policy. Here’s what our Insurance Consultants have to say:
Q: When should your child be added to your health insurance plan?
A: It’s important to add your child to your plan as soon as possible — preferably when they’re still a newborn. Sadly, if you wait until your child becomes sick to secure the insurance your family needs, you could run into complications or be refused.
Q: Will my newborn be automatically added to my insurance?
A: No, you’ll have to register and add them yourself.
Q: How do you add your newborn to your health insurance?
A: Shortly after your baby is born, the hospital will provide you with forms that add them to your provincial insurance plan. You’ll need to complete these forms, and then mail them in yourselves. If you have private benefits through work, you’ll also want to request a form through your employer to add your new baby to your group benefits.
Q: When should you buy insurance for your new baby?
If you’re purchasing life or critical illness insurance for your baby, you’ll want to secure your policy as soon as possible. Depending on the insurer and the type of plan, there are different timelines. Some require the baby to be 15 or 30 days old, whereas some let you register at birth. It’s worth deciding on the plan you want to purchase ahead of time so that you can finalize any paperwork within the appropriate timeline.
Q: What are the risks of not having insurance for your newborn/child?
A: No one wants to think about the idea that their child could get sick, but it’s important to realize that childhood illness can take a massive financial toll on families. Costs like hospital stays, medication, testing, and treatments that aren’t covered by the government add up quickly.
If your child did become ill, the last thing we’d want you to have to worry about is money. Securing insurance ahead of time means that if the worst should happen, at the very least, you’ll be able to focus on what matters most and put your family first.
If you have questions about childhood insurance, get in touch with us. Our Insurance Advisor will walk you through your options, and help you secure the right coverage for your family.