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How health coverage works in Alberta

Understanding how health coverage works can be challenging. We want to help explain it to you in an easy-to-understand way.

In Alberta, some health expenses are covered by the government while others are not—and those costs must be paid out-of-pocket. A benefit plan is health coverage that protects you from health expenses that the government does not cover for most individuals. Some examples include prescription drugs, dental services and eye exams.

The concept is simple: a large number of people pay premiums (set monthly amounts) for supplementary benefit coverage, and when they have expenses, they are reimbursed through their plan. This not only helps individuals budget for everyday health-related expenses, but provides valuable financial protection in the event of an unexpected injury, illness or medical condition.

Understanding the difference between government and Alberta Blue Cross® coverage

Alberta has a publicly administered and funded health care system that ensures Albertans receive universal access to medically necessary hospital and health care services. This plan, called the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP), covers health care costs such as doctor-provided medical services, diagnostic services (for example x-rays), and hospital accommodation. To view a list of what AHCIP covers, or to apply for an AHCIP card, visit the Government of Alberta website.

Acquiring extended coverage through a benefit plan helps to off-set costs which AHCIP does not cover. By signing up for a benefit plan with Alberta Blue Cross®, you receive total or partial reimbursement for health expenses which fall outside of AHCIP coverage. Learn more about Alberta Blue Cross® plans.

How to choose the right coverage

Making a decision on health coverage should be based on more than just the monthly premium. Each individual or business has unique needs in terms of what coverage works for them.

There a significant difference among plans and plan providers, but choosing the right health coverage is not as difficult as it seems.

What kind of coverage are you looking for?