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Can't afford a drug/dental plan? Read this

Friday, May 09, 2014   by: Staff



GHC Wellness Initiative offers Algoma affordable supplemental insurance

The Group Health Centre is making history again today with the launch of the new “GHC Wellness Initiative” – an innovative partnership with Manulife that will see the Centre

offering affordable supplemental insurance at exclusive group rates.

This move happens less than a month after Statistics Canada released a new study showing that Canadian households are spending an ever-increasing percentage of their total household income on health care.

The new data supports a piece published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal stating that approximately 24 percent of Canadians have no drug coverage, and about two-thirds face some form of out-of-pocket spending for prescription drugs (sometimes due to inadequate coverage).

That piece also estimated that as many as 27% of Canadians without prescription drug coverage don’t fill prescriptions because they simply can’t afford them.

While a variety of coverage options are available through the Wellness Initiative (including

prescription drug and dental), all plans will include coverage for key medical expenses like vision

care, registered specialists and therapists (eg. physiotherapy), and more.

Premiums will start as low as $70/ month for combined health and dental coverage, and plans will be available to anyone who expresses a need.

“We know how important it is for our patients to have access to the medical services and supplies that will help them live happier, healthier lives,” said Grant B. Walsh, president and CEO of the Group Health Centre. “That’s why it was so important to us to be able to offer affordable supplemental insurance: we don’t want the small business owners, the part-time or contract workers, the retirees and others who don’t have enough insurance coverage to skip the care they need because of cost.”

Though group insurance rates are sometimes available through other affinity programs, such as CAA, the Group Health Centre’s program has an extra incentive for Sault and rea residents: for every person that signs up for coverage, an ongoing contribution will be made to Group Health Centre Trust Fund – helping purchase medical equipment and defray capital costs.

For more information on the Wellness Initiative, or to enroll for coverage, visit, call (705) 910-1124, or email

The Group Health Centre serves over 71,000 Sault Ste. Marie and Algoma District residents, and is the leader in providing quality outpatient service and care with high patient satisfaction.


Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
wandering 5/9/2014 11:14:20 AM Report

I am sure if someone cannot afford dental and other stuff they wont be able to pay $70 a month it is still big money for someone on welfare odsp old age pension or mother allowance
edz 5/9/2014 11:21:52 AM Report

the amount you pay in premiums will always be more than the amount available as benefit, always.
crashed13 5/9/2014 11:38:00 AM Report

@ wandering

A person on ODSP already has drugs and dental covered why would they want it?
B Boy 5/9/2014 12:10:40 PM Report

For people with more significant health issues the cost of prescriptions & services would far outweigh the cost of premiums. I know of some employees who are forced to pay over $100 per pay for group health benefits through our employee.
Depending on the specific sof the GHC plan, this could be a great deal and a relief to some.
saultbie25 5/9/2014 12:38:33 PM Report

I have no coverage but I won't spend $70 a month on coverage when my prescriptions don't even cost that a month! And dental, its not full, it would porobably only cover 50% if that!
crashed13 5/9/2014 12:52:23 PM Report

Its for people with issues I would think.

I paid my dentist out of pocket $90 for a filling 5 years ago.
B Boy 5/9/2014 1:00:38 PM Report

If you don't want it or need it, no one is forcing you to buy it. But for those that need it then it's a nice option to have. This is a city with fewer options and it's nice to see some options available. I'm fortunate to have decent coverage between my spouse & I.

If complaining were an olympic event, the Sault would bring home all the gold medals.
Mr. Poster 5/9/2014 1:50:37 PM Report

Dental work is very expensive...been wondering id Soo Michigan dentists offer better pricing...have to check that out.
Koss 5/9/2014 2:21:31 PM Report

Those already on expensive prescription drugs will not have those covered by this plan. The insurance company will exclude them. I hope they have a licensed individual on site to explain this to the consumers.
ThinkAgain 5/9/2014 4:39:23 PM Report

ODSP has basic coverage, doesn't include much and dental coverage is a joke, nobody wants you as a patient.
If you mention that your on ODSP, your told, you could not afford services, have to look for someone else..

Its terrible to live on disability (I think the financial stress) is worse then the disability itself..

This coverage is not affordable, at least not for this guy.
Gurpy 5/9/2014 10:07:09 PM Report

You are so right! Trying to find a dentist on odsp is near impossible! No one wants you as a patient because government wants them to work for almost free! Drug coverage is another story.
SAPHIRE 5/10/2014 8:00:28 AM Report

Dentists should be mandated to service 10% of their patient load to those who are disabled or poor.
stakeholder 5/11/2014 7:33:41 AM Report

Is this Privatization? or Profiteering?
stakeholder 5/11/2014 7:38:47 AM Report

@ sapphire
why should “Dentists should be mandated to service 10% of their patient load to those who are disabled or poor.”?
wandering 5/11/2014 3:21:06 PM Report

this thing is good for rich peoples only like usual
trout lily 5/11/2014 5:28:53 PM Report

"That piece also estimated that as many as 27% of Canadians without prescription drug coverage don’t fill prescriptions because they simply can’t afford them."

A friend of mine works there and has to pay out of pocket for prescriptions (glasses - @$600) and then submit the receipt(s) to Manulife THROUGH THE MAIL.

If this is the case and the plan doesn't have the provider e-claim feature, then I'm wondering how people would find this plan attractive since they would be required to pay out of pocket in the first place. Many people don't have this kind of money up front to begin with.

Only if the plan also had the provider e-claim feature would this be a very sensible and helpful plan for the population at large.

trout lily 5/11/2014 5:40:03 PM Report

Also, @ B Boy - this is a reader Comment section. Maybe they sound like complaints to you because everything is sunshine & lollipops in your world. Maybe you like the dictatorship world where someone says this is good, so it IS good, end of story, don't care about your opinion....we still have freedom of speech don't we?
Frio 5/12/2014 7:43:58 AM Report

The Manulife plans have always required the customer pay up front for services used and then the paper bill was sent to them and they issued a refund cheque less deductables etc. by mail. Dentists submit the bill electronically, but the amount billed has to be paid by the customer by cash, debit or credit card and amount covered by insurance is sent to you by cheque in the mail within a week.
SPascall 5/12/2014 11:01:10 AM Report

Bahahahaha! So I just went on the website to see how much this would cost. I entered our family info (2 adults and 3 children) and the dental only plans go for the low, low price of $171 to $400 PER MONTH!!! Hey thanks for all that help! lol If I could afford that, I would just go to the dentist!!!
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