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Normandin Beaudry

Health Insurance at Retirement


There, in black and white

NB Bulletin Vol. 12 N. 3, January 2009

Since accounting standards applicable to post-retirement group insurance plans were introduced, organizations offering these types of benefits have been required to report their accounting cost in their financial statements. This accounting cost, added to the current and expected significant increase in health care costs, to the increase in the number of retirees associated with the aging of the population and to the increase in the life expectancy of these retirees, have led numerous organizations to question the future of this coverage.

Some organizations have reduced the coverage offered to retirees or limited the premium paid by the employer, while others have decided to completely eliminate their post-retirement group insurance plan for all future retirees. Only a rare few have recently decided to introduce these types of plans.

Some organizations that do not offer or are no longer offering a post-retirement group insurance plan would still like to assist their employees when they retire and ensure that their insurance needs are met in spite of their age and state of health.

Alternatives to post-retirement group insurance benefits

Most insurers offer individual insurance products to retirees who were covered under their group insurance plan before retirement, with no evidence of insurability or medical questionnaire required. Most insurers offer their products to all new retirees who enjoyed group insurance coverage before retirement, regardless of which insurer was providing the coverage.

This privilege, offered to all interested members of your plan, allows them to obtain coverage, for themselves and their family, in addition to that offered by the provincial health care and prescription drug insurance plans.

Coverage offered and cost

Each insurer offers different products with specific features and restrictions. Several insurers offer multiple options, including hospitalization, prescription drugs complementary to the provincial plan, paramedical care, travel insurance, vision care, various medical supplies and dental care.

As a general rule, the products are lifetime products, with the exception of travel insurance, which is subject to more restrictions.

To benefit from this privilege, new retirees must submit their enrolment application within 30 to 90 days (based on the insurer) following the termination of their membership in the group insurance plan as an active employee. Because this is an individual product, the retiree is responsible for determining which insurer and which option best meets his or her needs, and for paying for the selected coverage (premiums vary based on age, province of residence and option selected).


Organizations can plan communication activities to inform future retirees about the different options available to them and the steps to take to take advantage of this privilege. The organization can also elect to refer employees to one or several pre-selected insurers to make their search easier.


Please feel free to contact us for additional information.

630, René-Lévesque Blvd. West, 30th floor
Montreal, Quebec, H3B 1S6