Family in a kitchen

Most of the time, illness is unexpected.

Thankfully, group plan members don’t usually have to worry about overwhelming out-of-pocket costs.

But what if a retired employee or their spouse becomes ill or gets injured in an accident? They may no longer be covered under their group benefits plan, and provincial health care plans may not provide coverage for all of the services required.

A retiree and their family could suddenly find themselves with devastating expenses for prescription drugs, ambulance service or in-home nursing care.

With our products, help your plan members secure coverage with no cost to you.

What we offer


Prelude offers guaranteed lifelong health insurance to retiring employees and their families, providing them with additional medical coverage not covered under their provincial plan. Unless you choose to pay all or part of your plan member’s premium, there is no cost to your organization. You don’t have to worry about administering the plan and your plan members can feel at ease knowing that they have protection in their retirement years.

How it works

Prelude is an individual health insurance plan, which means your plan members are responsible for the cost and we take care of all plan administration for you. It’s an easy, inexpensive way to support your plan members as they prepare for retirement.

For plan members residing in provinces outside of Quebec, if you choose to contribute at least $100 per month or 50% of monthly premium, per plan member, your plan members will qualify for Prelude coverage without having to provide medical evidence. Otherwise, their policies may contain an exclusion related to medical conditions with high drug costs. The contribution level must be the same for all plan members.

For plan members residing in Quebec, contributions on behalf of your plan members will not be accepted due to certain provisions of an act respecting prescription drug insurance. Prelude coverage for Quebec residents will be subject to medical evidence.

Your retiring plan members can choose the plan design most appropriate for them and their families, along with coinsurance and deductible options. All Prelude plans offer valuable coverage, including:

  • A lifetime benefit maximum of $1 million or $2 million
  • Out-of-country emergency travel medical coverage
  • Prescription drug coverage
  • Coverage for dental accident treatment
  • $25,000 per person, per 12 months, for in-home nursing care
  • Coverage for air and ground ambulance services

Applying for coverage

Applying for Prelude is easy for your plan members. They simply visit our Prelude website and complete their applications online.

After we receive your application, you’ll be sent an email asking for the plan member’s current coverage, the expiry date of the coverage under your Great-West Life group healthcare plan and, if applicable, confirmation of your contribution toward the premium. Coverage begins on the first day of the first month following the date your application is approved.

Prelude is not a continuation of your group benefits plan; it is an individual insurance plan. Although they have up to 60 days to apply, retiring plan members should apply for Prelude coverage before their retirement to avoid a gap in coverage after their retirement date and before Prelude coverage begins.

The Health & Wellness Site

Be informed. Be healthy.

The Health & Wellness Site, accessed through GroupNet, offers current, reliable health information that your retiring plan members and their families can use anytime.


Like Prelude, PlanDirect provides valuable health insurance to your retiring employees, but it also offers health and dental benefits to those who leave your organization and lose their group coverage.

PlanDirect covers the treatment of pre-existing health conditions and has no lifetime maximum, which means more coverage when people need it the most.

Plan members under age 74 are accepted for a PlanDirect plan at guaranteed acceptance rates, without providing medical information, so long as they meet the following criteria:

  • Has coverage under a group health and dental plan
  • Is covered by the government plan in his or her province or territory of residence
  • Applies for PlanDirect within 60 days of losing his or her group coverage

If you choose to offer PlanDirect to your plan members, learn more about its features.

Looking for more information?

We have specialists around the country who can help develop solutions that fit your needs.

Contact us