What is the Best Health Insurance in Alberta for 2024?

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Did you know that over 30% of medical costs in Alberta are not covered by the provincial AHCIP? Most families end up paying this out of the pocket leaving them with a huge financial burden. That's why it's essential to have a good private health insurance.

Private health insurance also helps you cover essential yet expensive services like dental care, vision care and prescription medications, many of which are not covered or offered very limited protection by AHCIP.

But how do you know which is the best Alberta health insurance for you? In this guide, we take you through the best private insurances in Alberta, their coverage, pros and cons, prices, and even how to get covered by AHCIP if you are not already, and more. You can also compare plans and get quotes using our free comparator at the top of this page.

Alberta's Best Health Insurances for 2024

  1. Sun Life health insurance: Hassle-free policy access
  2. Manulife health insurance: The most comprehensive options
  3. Blue Cross health insurance: The most flexible choice
  4. GMS health insurance: Comprehensive coverage
  5. Green Shield Canada health insurance: Extensive options for every budget
  6. Desjardins health insurance review: Wide coverage
  7. CAA health insurance: The best bundling discounts
  8. Canada Life health insurance: Best guaranteed policies

Top 2024 best Alberta Health insurance plans

Sun Life health insurance: Hassle-free policy access

Sun Life offers three health plans, all with differing levels of coverage which allows you to find a plan that is tailored to your specific needs. It has a comprehensive online portal and an app that allows you hands-on access to your claims and benefits information even while on the go.

The policies of Sun Life personal health insurance are a sensible choice if you do not have benefits through your employer, you are losing your group coverage, or if you would like additional benefits not offered by your employer’s or province’s healthcare like AHCIP in Alberta, MSP in BC, and drug coverage.

Note that you must have provincial or territorial health and drug coverage to apply for personal Alberta health insurance coverage.

Pros of Sun Life

  • Submit claim online or via app
  • Quick and easy online quote
  • Option of having semi-private hospital room with all plans
  • Reimbursement for paramedical services

Cons of Sun Life

  • Emergency travel medical, vision not included in Basic plan
  • Each family member must have the same plan

If you would like to explore further and get a sun life health insurance quote that is personalised to meet your unique needs, you can do so below and get results in a few moments.

Manulife health insurance: The most comprehensive options

Manulife health insurance Alberta offers many comprehensive health insurance plans - whether you are looking for dental benefits, drug benefits, or a combination, you will be able to find a plan that works for your health needs.

There is a comprehensive online portal offered by Manulife health insurance for easy access to policy information and to submit a claim online. All health and dental plans have the option to add Manulife Vitality which gives you the opportunity to earn rewards and save on how much you pay.

Manulife Alberta health insurance is a choice for you if you do not have health benefits through your employer, you are losing your group coverage, or if you would like additional benefits not offered by your employer’s or province’s health and drug coverage such as dental or medication-only coverage.

Pros

  • Manulife Vitality rewards program
  • Submit claims online or via the app
  • Option to choose dental-only, medication-only, or a combination plan
  • Option of having private or semi-private hospital room with all plans

Cons

  • Some Manulife health insurance reviews note that hospital benefits are not automatically included
  • Basic traveller’s insurance only covers the first 9 days of a trip
  • No specific Manulife health insurance for retirees

If you would like to explore further and get a Manulife health insurance quote that is personalised to meet your unique needs, you can do so below and get results in a few moments.

Blue Cross health insurance: The most flexible choice

The Canadian Association of Blue Cross Plans is a federation of non-profit insurance providers operating across Canada since 1938. Its members collectively insure over 7 million Canadians under their federally licensed coverage.

Alberta Blue Cross Health Insurance offers Blue Assured® plans that can be customized to suit your needs. There are three plan options - Level A, Level B, and Level C, with varying degrees of coverage.

Extended Health and Dental benefits are required to be added to your Blue Assured plans while prescription drug is an optional add-on. Notably, basic and preventive dental care is covered at Level A - 70%, Level B - 75%, and Level C - 80%.

Alberta Blue Cross offers a wide range of coverage for paramedical practitioners including physiotherapists, massage therapists, and psychologists among others. All three plans also include travel coverage making sure all your health needs are taken care of.

Pros of Alberta Blue Cross Blue Assured Plans

  • Mix and match plans as needed
  • Submit claims online or via the app
  • Discount for health and wellness products through Blue Advantage
  • Affordable plan options
  • Preventive dental care in all plans

Cons of Alberta Blue Cross Blue Assured Plans

  • No standalone dental plans
  • Dental care must be added to base plan - not optional

You can find the detailed coverage under each plan right here.

If you would like to explore further and get an Alberta Blue Cross Health Insurance quote that is personalized to meet your unique needs, you can do it right here.

GMS health insurance: Comprehensive coverage

GMS offers plans ranging from basic coverage to comprehensive health coverage, all of which have the option to add dental benefits and/or drug benefits. With GMS, you will be able to tailor a plan to fit your health needs.

They have a comprehensive online portal, My GMS, which allows for easy access to your benefit information and the ability to submit a claim online. Their travel plans for certain plans automatically adds Covid-19 treatment coverage.

GMS health insurance Canada is a choice for you if you do not have health benefits through your employer, starting your own business, or if you would like additional benefits not offered by your employer’s or province’s health and drug coverage.

Pros

  • My GMS portal access
  • Submit a claim online or via the app
  • Counselling and speech therapy is covered in some plans

Cons

  • Some GMS health insurance reviews have criticized the limited dental plan
  • Some GMS health insurance coverage reviews note that hospital benefits are not automatically included
  • Vision and travel insurance not included in the basic plan

If you think GMS is the right fit for you or would like to give it a try, you can now get a quote from GMS health insurance and get a policy that suits your unique health needs and budget the best.

Green Shield Canada health insurance: Extensive options for every budget

Green Shield Canada, also known as simply GSC, is a non-profit insurance provider. The GSC health insurance can be bundled with other policies to save money.

Green Shield offers more affordable packages than some of its competitors, especially for younger customers who are currently in good health. This could be a great economical choice for non-smoking young adults.

However, its dental insurance policy must be purchased separately for basic plans or as an add-on. But it is one of those rare insurances that covers pre-existing conditions and does not require medical questionnaire for its basic plan.

Pros of GSC

  • Excellent drug cover with an affordable price
  • Comprehensive cover for health professionals
  • Good deals for young people with low health needs needs
  • Mental health services coverage

Cons of GSC

  • Dental insurance is not automatically included in basic plans

If you would like to explore further and get a GSC health insurance quote that is personalised to meet your unique needs, you can do so below and get results in a few moments.

Desjardins health insurance review: Wide coverage

Desjardins is a leading provider of insurance in Canada with an illustrious history. It offers private health insurance to bridge the gaps in the provincial healthcare programs like the MSP in BC or the AHCIP in Alberta.

Desjardins health insurance plans can be bundled with other policies like travel, life, dental in order to save money. Compared to competitors, Desjardins premiums are slightly higher however they offer a wider range of coverages.

That said, in some ways the company is behind some of its competitors as it does not offer the ability to sign up for a policy online.

Pros

  • Dental, medical, vision and travel insurance included in the standard plan
  • Online health platform and 24/7 telephones assistance
  • High maximum coverage limits
  • Enhanced hospital care

Cons

  • A policy can only be issued on the 1st or 15th of the month
  • Lack of comprehensive online services
  • Plans not available after 70 years old

CAA health insurance: The best bundling discounts

The CAA, or the Canadian Automobile Associate, was founded more than 115 years ago. It is one of the largest not-for-profit automobile associations in Canada. It also offers CAA insurance packages, including private health insurance.

CAA has partnered with Manulife health insurance for over 20 years, allowing them to offer pre-packaged plans mix and match plans tailored to your specific health needs. They have a 30-day guarantee where if you are not satisfied with the coverage, you may request a refund within 30 days of receiving your policy.

This provider is a choice for you if you do not have health benefits through your employer, you are losing your group coverage, or if you would like to mix and match prescription and dental coverage. Note that you must have provincial or territorial health and drug coverage to apply for personal health insurance

Pros

  • Ability to mix and match plans
  • Discounts are available when you bundle health and dental
  • 30-day refund policy
  • Partnership with Manulife

Cons

  • No online claims submission
  • Some CAA health insurance reviews have cited long wait times for dental treatment

Canada Life health insurance: Best guaranteed policies

Founded in 1847, Canada Life is the country's first home-grown insurer and today has more than 12 million clients. Canada Life offers a variety of levels of health insurance, all with differing levels of coverage which are designed to suit your needs, including prescription drugs, dental care, vision care and more.

They have comprehensive optional add-ons for you to further personalize your health plan. They also offer a ten-day look-and-see period. You can cancel your policy with no penalty during the first ten days.

Canada Life health insurance is a choice for you if you do not have medical benefits through your employer, you are losing your group coverage, or if you would like additional benefits not offered by your employer’s or province’s health and drug coverage like the Ontario Health Insurance Plan or the MSP in BC.

Pros

  • Multiple plans that offer guaranteed acceptance
  • Quick and easy online quote and application
  • Comprehensive optional coverage add-ons

Cons

  • Travel medical insurance is not automatically included in their plans (it is an optional add-on)
  • Some Canada Life health insurance reviews have noted long callback times

What's the health insurance system in Alberta?

Alberta has a publicly administered and funded health care system that allows eligible residents to access medically-necessary hospital and health care services. This plan is called the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan. So what does the Alberta health care insurance plan provide? Also referred to as AHCIP, it covers health care costs such as medically-necessary physician’s visits, diagnostic services (like labs tests and x-rays) and hospital accommodation.

However, comprehensive cover and access to dental care, vision care and prescription medications are not covered under the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan. You will need supplemental insurance (a private health insurance plan) to cover these needs and avoid substantial out-of-pocket expenses.

How to get AHCIP?

All eligible Alberta residents must be registered for the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) to receive insured hospital and physician services. To file an Alberta health insurance application for the AHCIP, you will need to complete the AHCIP application form and submit it along with supporting documents.

The required supporting documentation is:

  • Proof of Alberta residency
  • Proof of identity
  • Legal entitlement to be in Canada

Once you have completed the application and have your supporting documentation, you can submit your application either in person or by mail. If you opt to submit your application in person, the processing time is as quick as five days. Otherwise, application processing time can take up to six weeks. Your coverage will begin once your application is approved and you are registered.

What does the AHCIP cover?

What is covered by Alberta's health care system

  • Physician visits
  • Psychiatrist visits
  • Diagnostic services including laboratory, radiological (x-rays)
  • Oral and maxillofacial surgery services
  • Bariatric surgery for Albertans who are eligible under the Weight Wise program
  • Breast augmentation and mastectomy for transgender surgery
  • Hospital visits and stays
  • Nursing services
  • Medications during hospital stay
  • Operating room, care room, radiotherapy, physiotherapy and anesthetic facilities
  • Inter-facility transfer in Alberta by ambulance

The AHCIP provides partial coverage for podiatry, optometry, and some specialised dental services only in Alberta. These services have benefit limits or maximums per benefit year:

Service typeCoverage
Optometry

  • Children 18 years old and under, and seniors 65+ years are eligible for 1 complete eye exam, 1 partial exam and 1 diagnostic procedure per benefit year
  • full coverage, if you are 19 to 65 years old, for an eye exam your optometrist deems is medically necessary as a result of trauma, a medical condition or an episode of illness

*Optometrists cannot charge you for services covered by AHCIP, but you are responsible for additional costs incurred at the time of treatment.
Dentistry
  • some specific dental, oral and maxillofacial surgical services
Podiatry
  • partial coverage for some podiatry services, to a maximum of $250 per benefit year
Health insurance Alberta coverage under AHCIP

When the charge for a dental, optometry, or dentistry service exceeds the benefit limit, you must pay the difference in cost. These services can be expensive which can lead to unforeseen financial stress.

What is not covered by Alberta Health Care?

There is a sizeable number of treatments that the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan does not cover:

  • Complementary or alternative medical treatments, such as a chiropractor, massage therapist, naturopath, nutritionist or social worker
  • Psychologist and therapy
  • Routine surgical equipment and supplies
  • Accommodations at a standard level and meals
  • Cosmetic surgery (e.g. tummy tuck), unless medically required
  • Prescription medication, drugs other than those prescribed during a hospital stay
  • Eye examinations for adults aged 19-64, unless medically necessary
  • Eyeglasses, contacts or laser eye surgery
  • Medical appliances or mobility devices, such as wheelchair
  • Hearing aids
  • Dental treatments
  • Ambulance services unless transferred from one medical facility to another
  • Most contraception

Therefore, private health insurance can help you not only access better care when you need it while providing greater peace of mind. We highly recommend getting private health and dental care in Alberta. You can compare health insurance Alberta plans using our comparator at this top of this page to make the best decision based on your unique needs.

While the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan is available to many individuals, they are some exceptions to who can get coverage. Non-eligible residents include:

  • refugee claimants
  • refused or failed refugee claimants
  • people with expired immigration documents

If you find yourself in one of those categories, it is recommended to get a private health insurance policy as you will have to pay for your own medical expenses. If you are travelling to Canada, you should purchase travel insurance from a private insurance company before arriving in the country.

Watch out!

Not all Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) permits qualify the permit holder for health care insurance coverage in Alberta. Those who are not eligible people should purchase the best health and dental insurance Alberta plans. You can explore Alberta health insurance companies using our comparator at the top of this page and get free quotes in no time.

What is covered under Alberta health care for seniors?

The Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) covers several health services for seniors in Alberta:

  1. Physician Visits: Alberta Health Care provides coverage for medically necessary visits to physicians and specialists.
  2. Hospital Services: Coverage includes hospital stays, nursing services, laboratory tests, and diagnostic procedures.
  3. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery: Coverage is provided for certain oral and maxillofacial surgical services.
  4. Eye Exams: Seniors are eligible for coverage for eye exams.
  5. Specific Medical Conditions Treated by Optometrists: Coverage includes treatment for certain medical conditions provided by optometrists.
  6. Dental Services: Routine dental care is not covered for adults, but some specific dental, oral, maxillofacial surgical services may be covered for seniors.

It's important to note that AHCIP does not cover certain health services, such as prescription drugs outside of hospital stays, eyeglasses, hearing aids, cosmetic surgery, and most dental treatments.

Does AHCIP cover international students?

International students in Alberta are required to have health insurance coverage. AHCIP provides healthcare coverage to eligible Alberta residents, but it doesn't generally cover international students. International students in Alberta are typically required to purchase private health insurance to cover their medical expenses while studying in the province.

Many educational institutions in Alberta provide health insurance options for their students, particularly international students. The specific requirements and details of health insurance for international students can vary, so it's essential to check with your educational institution and relevant authorities in Alberta to ensure you have the correct and up-to-date information on health insurance options and requirements for international students.

Does AHCIP cover visitors to Canada?

AHCIP is designed to provide healthcare coverage to eligible Alberta residents, which generally does not include visitors to Canada. Visitors to Alberta, whether from other provinces or from abroad, are not typically covered by AHCIP.

For visitors to Canada, including those visiting Alberta, it's recommended to have private health insurance to cover medical expenses during their stay. Travel insurance is a common option for visitors, as it can help cover unexpected medical costs, emergency medical treatment, and other health-related expenses. Health insurance Alberta for visitors plans are available under several popular providers like Blue Cross, Sun Life, and more.

What does Alberta private health insurance cover?

Private health insurance covers the gaps that the Alberta Health Insurance Care Plan leaves. The AHICP will cover minimal services which your physician needs to deem medically necessary. Unfortunately, these services are usually limited to doctor’s visits, laboratory work, and very minimal dental coverage.

Private health and dental insurance Alberta covers a much broader umbrella of services spanning health, dental and prescription drug coverage:

TreatmentAHCIPPrivate Health Insurance
Health Care
  • Medically necessary physician’s visits
  • Hospital stays in public hospitals
  • Diagnostic services (labs, x-rays, etc.)
  • Preferred hospital accommodations (semi-private or private rooms)
  • Hospital cash
  • Hospital beds
  • Home nursing
  • Auxiliary care
Paramedical Services
Not Covered
  • Chiropractic visits
  • Massage therapists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Psychologists
  • Traditional Chinese medicine (with some plans)
Prescription Drugs
  • Medications only dispensed in a hospital
  • Covered, limits will be dependent on plan/provider
Dental (waiting period may apply)
  • Some specific dental, oral and maxillofacial surgical services
  • Basic/preventative (check-ups, cleanings, fillings)
  • Dentures, periodontics, orthodontics
Vision
  • Children 18 years old and under, and seniors 65+ years - one complete eye exam, one partial exam and one diagnostic procedure per benefit year
  • 19 to 65-year-olds- eye exams an optometrist deems medically necessary resulting from trauma, a medical condition or an episode of illness
  • Covered, limits will be dependent on plan/provider
Travel
Not Covered
  • Covered, limits will be dependent on plan/provider
Health insurance Alberta coverage vs private health insurance

As you can see, private individual health insurance Alberta plans add additional services coverage and more generous financial assistance on hospital stays with nursing services and semi or fully private rooms.

Paramedical services are also generally covered by Alberta private health insurance:

  • Chiropractic visits
  • Massage therapists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Psychologists

Some providers and plans also cover traditional Chinese medicine. Vision, dental and prescription drug coverage are also available through a private health insurance plan.

Can you combine health and dental insurance in Alberta?

You can combine health and dental insurance in Alberta. This process is called Coordination of Benefits (COB). It is standard practice for insurers across Canada. If you are covered by another extended health and/or dental plan, you can combine plans to maximize your overall coverage and reduce or even eliminate your out-of-pocket costs.

How do I get private health insurance in Alberta?

For full comprehensive health coverage beyond what the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan covers, you will need to purchase private, supplemental health insurance. It can help you not only access better care when you need it but also offer peace of mind that you will be covered for large, unexpected expenses.

The cost of these services not covered by AHCIP can quickly escalate leaving you with a huge financial burden. Therefore we recommend you consider a private Alberta health insurance plan.

While finding the right insurance plan might be time-consuming we've made it simple for you. Use our comparator below and get quick personalised quotes in no time from the best health insurances in Alberta.


Compare The Best Health Insurance Plans and Rates on the market!

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How much does private health insurance cost in Alberta?

Private health and dental insurance Alberta plans costs depend on individual health, lifestyle, and medical conditions. But if you're wondering, how much is health insurance in Alberta? On average, basic private health insurance for an individual in Alberta might start from around $50 to $180 per month. For a more comprehensive coverage with extensive dental and drug protection, the premiums are usually $250 and higher.

Take for instance, a 30-year-old Alberta resident with no pre-existing conditions and including comprehensive hospital, dental and prescription drug coverage, the premium for a Blue Cross Alberta health insurance plan would be around $97.67.

For full comprehensive health coverage beyond what the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan covers, the cost depends on several factors:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Lifestyle including smoker status
  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Specific coverages (i.e dental, prescription drug cover)
  • Provider

You may be asking yourself what benefits you would be eligible for under a similar comprehensive plan and price. Here is an example of what to expect:

TreatmentLevel B Plan
Health Care
  • 12 Individual Assistant Program (IAP) sessions
  • $75 per psychologist visit
  • $450 maximum
  • $35 per chiropractic visit
  • $50 per massage visit
  • $50 per physiologist visits

*(combined maximum $350 for chiropractic, massage, physiologist visits)
Prescription Drugs
  • $500 maximum
Dental (various waiting periods apply)
  • 75% reimbursement for basic/preventative (check-ups, cleanings, fillings)
  • 50% reimbursement for dentures, periodontics
Vision
  • $200, including eye exams every 2 years
Hospital Stays (semi-private or private)
  • Up to $2,000
Private health insurance Alberta

5 tips to get the cheapest health insurance in Alberta

Here are 5 tips to help you find the most affordable private health insurance Alberta plan:

  1. Compare Multiple Plans: Research and compare health insurance plans from different providers. You can use the HelloSafe comparator to compare prices, coverage, and even get quotes from best health insurance Alberta plans to help you make the best decision.
  2. Assess Your Needs: Opt for plans that cover essential services and treatments you're likely to use, excluding unnecessary extras that increase costs.
  3. Consider Higher Deductibles: Choosing a plan with a higher deductible often leads to lower monthly premiums.
  4. Utilize Government Programs: Check if you qualify for any government-sponsored healthcare programs or subsidies. These programs can help reduce your overall insurance costs to get the cheapest health insurance Alberta plans.
  5. Bundle Policies: If you need other insurance types like dental or vision coverage, consider bundling them with your health insurance plans Alberta. Many insurers offer discounts when you combine multiple policies.

Watch out!

But before you get a private health insurance Alberta plan, it is mandatory to be covered by AHCIP. Yes, private insurance is not a replacement for the provincial healthcare, rather it's a supplement to fill the gaps in the public healthcare. So, if you haven't yet registered for ACHIP or do not have an Alberta health insurance card (AHCIP) yet, read on to find out how.

How do I contact AHCIP?

If you need to contact for Alberta health care insurance plan coverage, you can call the Alberta health care card phone number 1-800-232-7215. A representative will be able to help you Monday through Friday from 8:15 am to 4:30 pm.

Make sure you have your personal health number ready when you call. For general inquiries or non-personal questions, you can contact Alberta Health Services at: [email protected].

How to cancel your personal health insurance plan?

If you need to cancel your private health insurance Alberta plan, contact your specific provider directly. Each provider will have different requirements in regard to what steps to take to cancel your policy.

If you are leaving Alberta permanently and need to cancel your Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan, you can do so by contacting the AHCIP office:

  • By phone at 1-800-232-7215, Monday through Friday from 8:15 am to 4:30 pm
  • By fax to 780-422-0102
  • By mail:

Alberta Health
Attention: Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan
PO Box 1360
Station Main Edmonton
Alberta T5J 2N3l

Good to know

Make sure to include your full name, personal health care number and forwarding address. You can also cancel your AHCIP account in person at an authorized registry agents office.

Did you like this article?
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Alexandre Desoutter
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Alexandre Desoutter has been working as editor-in-chief and head of press relations at HelloSafe since June 2020. A graduate of Sciences Po Grenoble, he worked as a journalist for several years in French media, and continues to collaborate as a as a contributor to several publications.

1 comments
Corey
on

Looking for health and dental insurance for two children who are no longer eligible under parents coverage. What are my options

author-profile-picture Alexandre Desoutter Our expert

Hi Corey,
You can find a list of some of your options in the "Which are the best individual health insurance plans in Alberta?" section of this article.

Have a nice day,
The HelloSafe Team