Are you concerned about health care for the elderly in Canada? If you know someone who needs health insurance at 50+ and they are considering going to private insurance or the US for care, this article is for you.
The Canadian healthcare system gets a lot of flack in the media. If you're curious whether you or your loved one will get the care you need, read on for six myths debunked.
A common misconception is that with Canadian healthcare, wait times are excessive. Having to wait for a medical procedure can compromise care. The longer a person waits, the sicker they get.
The sicker they get, the less likely the treatment will work. And sometimes, people die if they don't get prompt care.
But is this what happens in the Canadian healthcare system to the elderly?
The Canadian Health Act set about to make care accessible and affordable for everyone. They wanted to "protect, promote, and restore" the health of its citizens. The wait times aren't long for procedures that are necessary to this goal.
If someone, especially an elderly someone, needs treatment, they get it. For elective procedures, wait times can be longer. But not if the patient needs the surgery or treatment.
People often call Canadian healthcare "socialized medicine." But it's not.
The healthcare system in Canada is actually socialized insurance. So what's the difference?
In a system of socialized medicine, the government employs the doctors. They pay their salaries, and so they have more control over who gets care and who doesn't. For the elderly, this can be very detrimental.
Instead, Canadian healthcare is actually a single-payer system, which would be like the US having everyone be on Medicare. The doctors don't work for the government. Most own their own practice and submit claims to the government for payment.
It's like working with one insurance company. In the US, doctors have to submit claims to any number of companies, which turns into a huge headache.
Another false claim about Canadian healthcare is that they don't have enough doctors. News outlets often cite this as the reason for the long wait times debunked above.
It's true that there aren't as many doctors in rural areas. This is the same as other countries like the US.
If an elderly person lives in the country, they will have more trouble finding a doctor accepting new patients, like any other person who lives in the country will.
Yet the Canadian government thinks health matters. They will pay for someone's trip to a doctor, even if they have to fly. They recognize that there are fewer physicians in the rural areas and have built in a way to work around the problem.
Some say that Canadian healthcare is more expensive than the US, but the truth is it's only by a small margin. Elderly Canadians do pay a bit more in taxes to help afford the single-payer system, but they also aren't paying for health insurance. In most cases, they end up paying less than elderly Americans for medical care.
Naysayers also say that Canadians are going to the US for care because it's so expensive. It's simply not true.
For things like cataract surgeries and hip replacements, procedures most often performed on elderly people, Canada doesn't deny them. The elderly aren't forced to go to another country for the care they need.
While routine visits and emergency care aren't always covered, even with supplemental insurance, Canadian healthcare has comparable costs.
While it's true that doctors in Canada do not make as much as doctors in other countries like the US, this fails to take into account other things that affect profits.
Doctors may have lower salaries, but they also have less overhead. They spend less time arguing with a ton of insurance companies since they only handle one. The paperwork doesn't need extra staff people to handle, and they file claims online with ease.
They also have better working conditions. All these things coupled together means that they don't need as much as American doctors, who have to worry about the other problems on top of caring for their patients.
Some say that Canadian healthcare means rationed care for the elderly. In actuality, the elderly have better care, living longer than the elderly in other countries.
In fact, other places have rationed care. It doesn't always appear that way, but it's rationed in a different way.
Place like the US ration care by making it too expensive. People opt to stay home instead of going to the doctor when they are sick or try home remedies instead of paying for a prescription.
In Canada, most people go to the doctor if they are sick or need medical attention. They know they will have their care covered and they will get well without having to pay more than they can afford.
For elderly Canadians, it's clear that the myths you hear about every day aren't true. Providing care they need is part of the single-payer system.
While supplemental health insurance at 50+ is a good idea, elderly people living in Canada and using the socialized insurance needn't fear someone denying them the procedure they need.
Even pre-existing conditions can be eligible for supplemental insurance. For help finding out which supplemental insurance company can help you cover costs like routine care and emergency medical treatment, request a quote today.