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Transitioning from an employer health plan

What happens when my employer health plan ends?

Whether you’re retiring or not, there are many options for health benefits plans in Alberta for those transitioning off an employer-sponsored group benefits plan.

First, you want to determine at what age your current group health benefits plan will end and if you’ll have coverage through your employer after retirement.

Next, you want to understand what’s covered through the provincial government when you retire. Once you know what will be covered, you can determine what you might need to supplement your individual needs for things like prescription drugs, dental, vision, extended health and travel.

It’s important to explore your options early as you typically need to apply for an individual benefits plan 30 to 60 days in advance of your employer health plan ending. For example, Alberta Blue Cross® individual plans require applicants to apply within 30 to 60 days of leaving an employer health plan.

When it comes to researching retiree insurance, you’ll want to compare individual retirement benefit plans and understand how they differ from your employer group benefits plan.

Learn about health and dental benefits
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Flexibility

While your employer selects benefits coverage for you, you have the flexibility to design or modify a retiree benefits plan to suit your individual needs. If you want to move to another province after retirement, it’s important to ensure you can take your plan with you. For example, Alberta Blue Cross® individual health plans allow you to select the exact levels of coverage to suit your needs. You can even take your coverage with you wherever you move in Canada on our retiree plan.

Learn how to design your coverage
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Cost

Your employer may have paid more of the premium as part of your employment, so your out-of-pocket expenses may increase to accommodate the premium for your individual plan. You also may be eligible for a discount through your current employer benefits provider—check with your employer to see if any discounts are available. Employees who already have Alberta Blue Cross® group coverage are eligible for a discount on our retiree plan.

Understand the cost of your coverage
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Travel

No matter where your adventures take you, within or outside Canada, travel insurance gives you peace of mind—it provides protection from financial hardships associated with medical emergencies and trip disruptions.

Learn how travel insurance provides protection
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Coverage

Most individual plans don’t include health spending accounts, which is important to consider when selecting your levels of coverage for vision and paramedical (chiropractic, physiotherapy, acupuncture, etc.) expenses within your retirement health plan.

Learn more about choosing
your coverage

Learn more about Alberta Blue Cross® health and dental plans

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Go to the next page: What is covered by the government?

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