Since many Canadians never see a bill for medical care, they may believe they are receiving care for free. Unfortunately, this simply isn't the case.
In fact, Canadian health care insurance has almost doubled in cost in the past 10 years, with the average family paying more than $12,000 per year.
Have you wondered, "what does health insurance in Alberta cost?" If so, then you may need to delve a bit deeper into the system. Doing so can help you learn how everything works from the inside out.
The Canadian Health Care System: How it Works
The Canadian health care system was created around the idea that every citizen is entitled to receive the "medically necessary physician and hospital services." While that is the case, each of the 10 provinces and three territories in Canada run and finance a statewide health insurance program.
There's no cost-sharing for the health care services that are guaranteed by federal law.
It's true that Canadians are guaranteed access to physician and hospital services. However, it's actually up to the individual provinces if "supplementary" benefits are going to be covered. These include benefits such as drug coverage and dental care.
It has been estimated that as many as two-thirds of Canadians take out supplemental, private insurance policies. If they don't do this, they have an employer-sponsored plan for covering these services.
Overcoming Misconceptions About Canadian Health Insurance
it's true that Canada has a publicly financed health insurance system. However, spending on supplemental benefits results in 30 percent of all health spending coming from private sources. In fact, it was recently found that Canadian spending on coverage for dental care was from non-government sources of funding.
There are some Canadian legislators who are making a push to increase the scope of the public health plan in place, so it covers additional services. Unfortunately, their efforts have been unsuccessful.
Even though the health care system in Canada is publicly financed, there are many providers who aren't government employees. Rather, doctors receive reimbursement from the government at the fee-for-service rate, which has been negotiated. The typical primary care doctor earns $125,000.
Health Insurance in Alberta Cost: Explained
Canada spent 11.4 percent of the total Gross Domestic Production health care in 2009. This put it on the higher end of the OECD countries. This likely has to do with the lower unit cost of health care in this country.
On average, $1,200 is paid for an MRI in the US, while in Canada it costs $824. It also has to do with the lower administrative costs. For example, Alberta doctors spent approximately $22,205 annually dealing with single payer agencies, compared to $82,975 spent by American doctors dealing with the private insurance companies, Medicaid and Medicare.
The Cost of Employee Provided Health Care Plans
Due to many Canadians needing supplemental insurance, many buy into the plans provided by their employers. However, it's not only clear how much is being paid into these plans.
Due to factors such as automated payroll processing, many workers don't even bother to look at this. The truth is though, the costs add up. And, with up to 65 percent of Canadians having some type of private insurance, it's important to know what this is costing.
The insurance plans offered by employers vary in price and quality. This is true for any product in the free market. The health plan provided by an employer is chosen at their discretion, with the employee having no choice in the matter.
It's important to note, workers may be able to save hundreds of dollars per month just by going out and comparing costs.
The Effectiveness of the Canadian Health Care System
The Canadian health care system receives higher marks from the OECD regarding overall international health care systems. After all, the colorectal and breast cancer survival rates are some of the highest in the world.
Canada also scores well in primary care, which can help to prevent costly admissions to the hospital due to chronic conditions such as uncontrolled diabetes and asthma.
Some of the areas where Canada doesn't score as well as on the wait times. It's reported that the wait times are longer than in other countries, especially for those who are seeing specialists or undergoing elective surgery.
In fact, it was shown in 2010 that over 59 percent of respondents to a particular study waited for over four weeks to receive an appointment with a specialist. This is more than double the number in the U.S.
How Canada is Improving their Health Care Efforts
Recently, Canada has begun to take steps to address the issues mentioned above. For example, in 2005 the country had every province create evidence-based benchmarks for the wait times for certain procedures.
Due to this, many provinces (including Alberta) have seen progress in regard to reducing wait times. Some of the areas where wait times are reducing include in diagnostic imaging scans, cardiac surgery, sight restoration, and joint replacement.
Getting Quality Health Care in Canada: What are the Real Costs?
As you can see, there are several factors that make up the health insurance in Alberta cost. Canadians need to look into what they are paying, and even if they never receive a bill, realize that these services aren't actually completely "free."
If you are ready to purchase health insurance in Canada and would like to compare the prices of the coverage you need, then get a quote from us today. At Insurdinary, our goal is to provide you with the health plans you need and help you find a price you can afford.