What are the advantages of signing up with Living Freelance’s benefits plan?
We are excited about this plan because it includes six levels of coverage; it’s very easy to enroll in; and the provider is known for having the best technology, user experience, and customer service in its field.The other advantages of this plan is that it provides different pricing options for individuals, couples, and families; as well, with this plan, you can join or opt out when you need to.
Is this plan the best value for my money? If I shop around will I find a similar plan for less monthly cost?
We purposely sought out a plan that would be affordable for freelancers. What sets Green Shield Canada (GSC) apart from competing providers is that it is a not-for-profit organization, whose board mandated that its products remain profit neutral. While comparing benefit plans is never a sure bet, we can guarantee that this plan provides significant value over price. Learn more about GSC’s mission
Who is Green Shield Canada (GSC) anyway?
Green Shield is Canada’s only national not-for-profit benefits carrier. They provide the plans to many Canadian unions. Their specialty is health and dental benefits, and in recent years, they have been on the leading edge of benefits administration technology. In fact, Ontario, British Columbia, Newfoundland, and Quebec provincial health plans all use GSC’s technology.
What is Green Shield Canada's Health Assist program?
It is an online self-service tool that makes comparing plans and applying for health coverage secure and hassle-free. We use the services of Heath Assist to enable you to directly manage your healthcare benefits.
What’s the difference between Green Shield Canada's Link and Zone plans?
GSC Zone offers six different plans within with varying levels of health, dental, drug and travel coverage – these plans are available to all freelancers.GSC Link offers four similar bundled healthcare packages, but it is targeted to people who had benefits but are now going out on their own and require a new provider. If you apply to a Link plan within sixty days of leaving your initial group plan, you will be guaranteed coverage (there’s no medical required).
If I sign up when does the coverage start? What happens if my circumstances change and I want to change plans, add family members, or even cancel?
Coverage begins the first of the month after your application is reviewed for accuracy and approved. Green Shield Canada will send notification with all pertinent information. At any time you may change your plan, add a family member, or even cancel if necessary.
Are there limitations on eligibility for this plan? Do I need to take a medical?
As long as you are covered by your provincial healthcare and are between 18 and 74, you will qualify for this plan. Three of the Zone options require you to complete a medical questionnaire, but GSC assure us it’s simple to do.
Is life insurance included in any of the plans?
One of the reasons that we chose to work with Green Shield Canada is precisely because their plans do not include life insurance. Many of the freelancers we talked to told us they were looking for a health and dental plan but that cost is a big factor in their decision making. For this reason we searched for a plan that de-coupled life insurance, so that people would not have to pay for this unless they specifically want it. We continue to search for other offerings that would be a good compliment to GSC’s health and dental benefits. Stay tuned!
Why do none of these plans cover smoking cessation and other lifestyle drugs?
Smoking cessation and other lifestyle drugs are often viewed as optional in nature. With the intent to keep costs manageable, they are generally excluded from plans designed for individuals.
How does couple and family coverage work?
Certain plans include maximum amounts the provider will pay for a service in a given year (e.g. Accidental Dental – $5000). These maximums apply not just to the couple or family as a whole, but to each individual within the couple or family.
What is Living Freelance’s role in creating a benefits platform for freelancers? Is LF profiting from this?
Living Freelance is partnering with Green Shield Canada because we believe that access to healthcare benefits should be quick, easy, and affordable for freelancers who want them. This is not a money maker for us. The small fee we receive for enrollment subsidizes the Living Freelance website and support staff.