Often, in the media or news we hear about Canadian healthcare being free for everyone. And it’s very likely that many people who are new to Canada believe this to be the case. It’s not free, however. In fact, most people pay for it through mandatory monthly premiums to their provincial government. Canada’s system is commonly known as universal healthcare, which means that everyone who lives here pays into the system.
Universal healthcare is a fantastic system that has been adopted by most of the developed world, except the United States. Its major benefit is that when people suffer some sort of catastrophic health event, they won’t have to ruin their financial lives because of it. Surely, you have heard of some horror stories, mainly from the US, regarding people who go into financial ruin simply because they developed a disease.
Rates are determined by your net adjusted income. So the less you earn, the less you have to pay. Healthcare is governed by the individual provincial governments, so these rates vary from province to province.
As mentioned before, it’s a great system which covers all required medical services, such as “necessary services provided by physicians and midwives, eye examinations if 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 your pocket. We won’t go through them all, but we would like to point out some non-covered items that we believe are extra important, and applies to most provinces.
Dental services are not covered. Only extreme damage which requires in hospital surgery will be covered.
Eyeglasses or eye exams are not covered. The upkeep of your eyes is up to you.
Prescription drugs aren’t covered either. This is pretty important as plenty of health matters can require a long-term drug usage.
To take care of these uncovered services, you can use private extended health insurance, or plan these expenses into your monthly budget. Additionally, provinces have programs for helping those with less income to afford expensive prescription drugs that can benefit you. Finally, do your own research to make sure you’re prepared for any possible medical expenses!
Finjoy Capital is not a financial advisory firm.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for individualized professional advice.