The Basics of Canadian Healthcare
Often, in the media or news we hear about Canadian healthcare being free for everyone. For many people who are new to Canada, it’s very likely that they believe this to be the case. However, did you know that healthcare is Canada is actually not free? In fact, most people actually pay for it in the form of mandatory monthly premiums to their provincial government. Canada utilizes a form of healthcare commonly known as universal healthcare; this means that everyone who lives here pays into the system.
Universal healthcare is a fantastic system which has been adopted by most of the developed world, minus the United States. The major benefit of universal healthcare is that in the cases where someone suffers some sort of catastrophic health event, they will not have to ruin their financial lives because of it. Surely, you have heard of some horror stories, mainly from the United States, regarding people who go into financial ruin simply because they developed a disease.
How do we pay for it?
In Canada, healthcare is governed by the individual provincial governments. The rates you pay are determined by your net adjusted income. The less you earn, the less you have to pay!
What does provincial healthcare cover? What doesn’t it cover?
As mentioned before, it’s a great system which covers all required medical services, such as “medically necessary services provided by physicians and midwives, dental and oral surgery performed in a hospital, eye examinations if medically required and some orthodontic services”, among others. The good thing is, regardless of which province you call home, the health coverage is the same 99% of the time.
More importantly, however, is learning about what provincial health does NOT cover. As this means you’ll have to pay out of pocket. We won’t be going through them all today, but we would like to point out some non-covered items that we believe are extra important, which applies to most provinces.
Dental services are not covered. If you have cavities or need a root canal, those won’t be covered! The only sort of dental work that is covered will be extreme damage which requires in hospital surgery.
Eyeglasses are not covered or eye exams. The upkeep of your eyes is up to you.
Prescription drugs aren’t covered either. This is a pretty important one as there are plenty of health matters which can require a long-term basis of drug usage.
What should you do about these noncovered services? This is where you could make use of private extended health insurance or plan these expenses into your budget. Lastly, provinces have individual programs for helping those with less income to afford expensive prescription drugs. As always, it will help if you do more research to make sure you’re prepared for any possible medical expenses!
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