Government or public plans provide comprehensive coverage of core
health care services such as wardlevel hospital acute care and most
physician services. Supplementary plans, the subject of Canadian health insurance, focus on non-core services that are not covered–or not fully covered–by government plans. They may be group plans sponsored by employers, unions and associations or individual plans that consumers purchase for themselves.

What Is Covered?
Coverage varies considerably, partly because coverage of noncore
services by government plans varies from province to province, and partly because group plan sponsors and individual plan purchasers choose varying kinds and levels of benefits. So it is important to carefully review the features of your group plan or an individual plan you are considering purchasing.

Extended health and dental plans
They are the most common kinds of supplementary health insurance
plans. To the extent that such services are not covered by your government plan, the health care services insured by extended
health plans commonly include:
• prescription drugs/medicines;
• semi-private or private hospital accommodation;
• special nursing services;
• ambulance services;
• hospital and medical expenses incurred outside Canada;
• artificial limbs, prostheses and medical appliances;
• wheel chairs and other durable equipment;
• specified medical or paramedical services that fall outside
government plans (e.g., services from chiropractors, physiotherapists, podiatrists, osteopaths and optometrists);and
• vision care (eyeglasses and contact lenses).

Expenses for dental services are often covered under a separate
supplementary insurance plan. Coverage depends on the plan that is purchased.
Typically, dental plans cover expenses for:
• basic preventive and maintenance services such as regular checkups or examinations, cleaning, fillings, extractions and x-rays; and
• root canals, periodontal cleanings and scaling.
Your dental plan may also pay for major restorative work, such as
inlays and crowns, bridgework and dentures, as well as orthodontic