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Healthcare in Canada

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Since its inception in Canada, our publicly-funded healthcare system has given this country an enviable position on the world stage. Canadians are in the very fortunate position of having our health care covered by a single-payer system in all ten provinces and three territories. For all its flaws, the public healthcare system provides universal coverage for medically necessary treatments based on need without consideration for the ability to pay for that treatment.

It could be argued that prescription drugs and other treatments are missing from the public healthcare platform. Thankfully, many Canadians are able to access these supplementary treatments like physiotherapy and medical supplies with private health insurance.

What is not covered

When people hear “Universal Healthcare” or “Provincial Coverage” they may be under the impression that all healthcare needs are covered in these government plans. Coverage is excellent and available to Canadian residents in Canada almost without exception. The standard of care remains very high no matter what province the patient calls home. However, there are many pieces of the healthcare puzzle missing from government insurance. Some of the medical treatments and equipment that are not covered include:

  • Dental Care
  • Most prescription drugs
  • Medical equipment and appliances (crutches, canes, etc.)
  • Vision care and testing for people aged 18-64
  • Ambulance Transportation
  • Hearing Aids
  • Home Support Workers
  • Registered Therapists (chiropractor, foot care specialist, naturopath, osteopath, physiotherapist, massage therapist, speech therapist, acupuncturist, etc.)
  • Semi-Private or Private Hospital Accommodation

As you can see, Canada’s healthcare system provides most of the care our citizens need, but it is by no means complete coverage for all health conditions and recommended treatments. For new Canadians or those not fortunate to have group health insurance through their employer, the exclusions from the public healthcare system are often an unpleasant surprise.

Bridging the Coverage Gap

Fortunately, there are many private health and dental insurance options available to Canadians hoping to round out the government coverage offerings. With packages for individuals, couples and families and different coverage levels to suit varying needs and budgets, there truly is a private healthcare coverage option available for everyone.

Once you have decided to purchase private health insurance, it can be difficult to know where to start. The answer is to work with an insurance broker to help navigate the process. Insurance brokers are knowledgeable professionals held to high professional and ethical standards. They are fluent in the sometimes complex language of insurance and bound by those professional and ethical standards to work in the best interests of you, their client.

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