When you turn 65, you are automatically registered with the public plan. No action is necessary. However, if you are also eligible for a private plan, you have a choice to make.
Choice of insurers if you are eligible for a private plan upon turning 65
Insurers provide 2 types of coverage: basic coverage (equal to the coverage afforded under the public plan) and supplemental coverage (which supplements the public plan coverage).
If you have access to a private plan providing basic coverage, you have to choose the type of insurance you wish to have. Before reaching a decision, find out what options your private insurer provides and the cost of these options.
Depending on what your private insurer offers, you may decide to be insured:
- by the public plan only
- by the private plan only, if it provides at least basic coverage
- by the public plan (basic coverage) and a private plan (supplemental coverage)
Under certain insurance contracts, the decision to give up private plan coverage is irrevocable, meaning that you cannot change your mind later. To find out more, get in touch with your private insurer.
Joining the public plan only
You don’t have to contact us in order to join the public plan; you will be automatically registered when you turn 65. You will be paying the annual premium when you file your income tax return. By completing Schedule K of your tax return, you will know the amount of the annual premium corresponding to your situation.
Joining a private plan only
Before joining a private plan only, make sure that it provides coverage at least equal to public plan coverage. In your tax return, you will have to indicate that you have been covered during the entire year under a private plan. In this case, you will not have to pay the public plan premium.
Contact us before you turn 65
Let us know before you turn 65 that you are retaining your private insurance. This will avoid you being automatically registered with the public plan.
Joining the public plan and private plan
Usually, the private plan premium increases when you turn 65 if you continue being insured under this plan. Because of this, many people decide to join the public plan for basic coverage. Some will add the supplemental coverage provided by a private insurer.
Should you decide upon this combination, you have will have to pay the annual public plan premium just as a person registered with the public plan only. This is because you benefit from the same services covered by this plan.
Supplemental coverage does not replace the basic coverage of the public plan. It only supplements it by paying, for instance, the cost of prescription drugs not covered or the portion of the cost not reimbursed under the public plan.