The notion that health care in Canada is free or paid by taxes might also be responsible for lulling us into a deeper state of complacency. But this too is a false comfort. The average Canadian household spends $2000 on health care costs and $4000 on private insurance premiums. 65% of Canadians have some form of private health insurance most often provided through their employers.
Government health insurance plans give you access to basic medical services. You may also need private insurance to pay for things that government plans don’t fully cover. The most common types of plans are extended health plans. These cover costs for:
- prescription medications
- dental care
- ambulance services
- prescription eyeglasses
If you work, you may get extra coverage from the company or organization you work for but with conditions. Unless your employer’s insurance plan is priced right, private health insurance is more competitive in both cost and services, whether you’re buying as an individual or family. Coverage that includes prescription drug plan, eyeglasses and eye examination, and health professional services such as visits to a massage therapist and psychologist.
A private medical insurance plan in Canada usually covers paramedical health care services and prescription medication that provincial government plan (or your employer’s plan) does not. When you apply for private health insurance, you can get coverage for a wide range of services, depending on the type of plan you select.