June 22, 2022
By Sun Life Staff

Read time: 2.5 minutes

Do you know how much your government health insurance covers? Chances are, it doesn’t cover all the medical, dental or other health-care costs you might face throughout your life. 

Perhaps you know someone who’s had a serious accident or illness and hasn’t been able to earn income or provide for their family. Or, maybe you have family members with various health conditions. In any case, this means they may have had to: 

  • pay out-of-pocket to cover various health-care costs, 
  • ask loved ones or family members for money or 
  • dip into their savings to cover the costs of an illness or injury. 

None of these options seem like an ideal solution. But what can you do to help protect your family, your income and your savings from unexpected health-care expenses? Luckily, there are various types of health insurance that can help. 

Comparing health insurance plans for you and your family 

Here's a quick comparison of the four kinds of health insurance. We’ll look at what they cover, when and how they pay, who should consider them, and how to get a quote. 

Type of health insurance Personal health insurance* Disability insurance* Critical illness insurance* Long-term care insurance*
What it covers Medical, dental and other healthcare expenses not covered or not fully covered by your provincial or employer plan. Replacement of part of your income if you can't work. You decide how to spend the money. If you want, you can use it for expenses related to coping with and recovering from a covered critical illness. Cost of your care over an extended period.
When it pays a  benefit When you incur eligible expenses. When you can't work (as defined by your policy). When you're diagnosed with one of the illnesses listed in your policy** and your claim is approved. When you need: 
  • Constant supervision by another person because of deteriorated mental ability 
  • Substantial physical assistance with at least 2 activities of daily living 
  • Stand-by assistance to perform the daily activity of bathing and transferring.
How it pays a benefit Reimbursement for eligible expenses that you submit. A regular monthly payment.

A lump-sum payment.

A regular payment to help cover the cost of care. 
You should consider it if…

You're a small business owner, self-employed or a contract worker. 

You're leaving your group plan because you've retired or been let go. 

You don't have group insurance. 

You're a working-age adult who relies on your income.

You want to help protect your assets during recovery from a critical illness. 

You want to provide protection for your children. 

You want options for your care and treatment. 

You want to protect your assets for retirement and/or to leave to your heirs. 

You want flexibility and control so you won't have to rely on the government or depend on family members for your care. 

You want the freedom and ability to choose the level of care you need. 

How to get a quote

Get a quote online 


Talk to an advisor for a customized quote

Talk to an advisor for a customized quote

Get a quote online 


Talk to an advisor for a customized quote

Talk to an advisor for a customized quote

*Please note: To qualify for any of these insurance plans, you must meet the policy’s requirements. 

** Diagnosis of a critical illness must occur after the effective date of coverage, you must complete a survival period (usually 30 days). 

Not sure which health insurance plan is right for you?  

A Sun Life advisor can help you understand the different products available. They can also explain how these products fit together and the protection they provide against specific financial risks.

This article is meant to only provide general information. Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada does not provide legal, accounting, taxation, or other professional advice. Please seek advice from a qualified professional, including a thorough examination of your specific legal, accounting and tax situation.