Canada’s health care coverage is one of the country’s most well-known benefits. Many of your hospital visits in Canada will be completely free of cost. Meanwhile, the same hospital visit can cost you hundreds or thousands in other countries. This is one of the many benefits of being a Permanent Resident in Canada. Today we will explain how this system is funded, what it covers, and who can access it.
How Health Care is Funded in Canada
Canada’s Health Care, or Medicare, was introduced in 1967. The purpose of Medicare is to ensure that every Canadian has access to necessary health care regardless of their income. Thus, Medicare is publicly funded. This means that everyone contributes a little so that no one must pay when it is needed. However, health care is privately provided despite being publicly funded. Therefore, the government pays doctors and hospitals instead of patients.
Medicare is a provincial program, even though it seems national at first glance. Thus, every province and territory controls its fundraising for Medicare. Therefore, many provinces have additional systems like sales tax and payroll taxes to fund Medicare. In fact, Canadians are technically part of their province’s health care system instead of a single national program. Finally, the quality of health care is the same throughout Canada, even if details change between provinces.
You can use this page from the Retail Council of Canada to check each province’s current sales tax rates.
Who Qualifies for Health Care?
Every Permanent Resident and Citizen of Canada can qualify for Medicare. Requirements are not set by income or financial standing. However, there are a few things to remember. First, you must obtain a health insurance card. Additionally, you must use this card as ID every time you receive medical attention.
Additionally, the only way to lose your Medicare privilege is to not meet residency requirements. You are usually required to live in the province for at least half of the year to qualify for Medicare. However, the time requirement is subject to change between provinces.
Also, it should be noted that additional services are available to certain individuals. This includes First Nations and Inuit people, members of the Royal Mounted Police, Canadian Forces, veterans, refugees, and federal inmates.
What Does Health Care Cover?
Canada’s Medicare covers most hospital and clinic visits. In fact, it is more efficient to list what Medicare does not cover. However, be assured that most essential and emergency services are included.
Services that are not included in Medicare:
- – Dentistry (unless it is medically necessary, like surgery)
- – prescription drugs
- – prescription glasses
- – psychologists
- – ambulance transportation
- – other non-necessary services
Some provinces cover these services at additional cost. Alternatively, you can look for private health insurance that covers more services. Remember that many employers offer health insurance. This is one of the benefits of working in Canada. Private health care might be a good option for many immigrants and that do not qualify for Medicare.
Become a Permanent Resident
Only Permanent Residents can enjoy the benefits of Canada’s health care coverage. Gentium Immigration can help if you would like to migrate to Canada. We can assess your profile and show you the best options you have available with a free pre-consultation. All you need to do is fill out this simple survey and wait for a agent’s response within 48 hours. We hope to hear from you soon!