Question for Canadians

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Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 4/6/2010 11:14 AM (GMT -7)   
Is this true and does it apply to IBD drugs

6. Canada's care plan only covers the basics. You're still on your own for any extras, including prescription drugs. And you still have to pay for it.
True -- but not as big an issue as you might think. The province does charge a small monthly premium (ours is $108/month for a family of four) for the basic coverage. However, most people never even have to write that check: almost all employers pick up the tab for their employees' premiums as part of the standard benefits package; and the province covers it for people on public assistance or disability.

"The basics" covered by this plan include 100% of all doctor's fees, ambulance fares, tests, and everything that happens in a hospital -- in other words, the really big-ticket items that routinely drive American families into bankruptcy. In BC, it doesn't include "extras" like medical equipment, prescriptions, physical therapy or chiropractic care, dental, vision, and so on; and if you want a private or semi-private room with TV and phone, that costs extra (about what you'd pay for a room in a middling hotel). That other stuff does add up; but it's far easier to afford if you're not having to cover the big expenses, too. Furthermore: you can deduct any out-of-pocket health expenses you do have to pay off your income taxes. And, as every American knows by now, drugs aren't nearly as expensive here, either.

Filling the gap between the basics and the extras is the job of the country's remaining private health insurers. Since they're off the hook for the ruinously expensive big-ticket items that can put their own profits at risk, the insurance companies make a tidy business out of offering inexpensive policies that cover all those smaller, more predictable expenses. Top-quality add-on policies typically run in the ballpark of $75 per person in a family per month -- about $300 for a family of four -- if you're stuck buying an individual plan. Group plans are cheap enough that even small employers can afford to offer them as a routine benefit. An average working Canadian with employer-paid basic care and supplemental insurance gets free coverage equal to the best policies now only offered at a few of America's largest corporations. And that employer is probably only paying a couple hundred dollars a month to provide that bene

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 4/6/2010 7:17 PM (GMT -7)   
I live in Ontario and most if not all big ticket items - like hospitalization, surgery, office visits and in-patient care is covered by the provincial government plan. Some smaller ticket or elective items aren't covered completely or in rare instances at all. Extra items like prescriptions or complimentary medical care - like dental, vision, hearing, chiro, physio etc - are covered for the vast majority of Canadians via employer policies or affordable private insurance and in the case of society's vulnerable, by social assistance. We don't have access issues owing to expense smile but on occasion we lack resources for timely carecry.  Safe to say imo, that everyone is guaranteed a mid range level of care, usually within a decent timeframe. With respect to IBD drugs, I think I am pretty typical in that my employer covers 90% and I assume the remainder. With big dollar drugs like Remicade or Humira, the pharmaceuticals will subsidize the a portion of the 10% based on the patient's income. My 2 Humira pens a month cost $1600 of which $50 comes out of my pocket. I consider myself fortunate. I notice that you are collecting information for a term paper.....I would be interested to hear from other nationalities how their respective systems work - for or against them.
  • CD dx '86. Re-section '93. Dx Crohn's Colitis '98.
  • Participation in Remicade trials (fistulae) late 90's.
  • Manifestations of fissures, fistula, scleritis, polyarthralgia and erythema nodosum.
  • Presently on Imuran, Cipro, Flagyl
  • Remicade (2nd attempt - after 10 yrs - failed).  
  • Fistulotomy (Oct 2009) - failed miserably - now healing resistant wound tract (4+ months)
  • Humira (March 2010)

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