How Does Private Health Insurance Work?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

How Does Private Health Insurance Work?
Canada's health care system is based on the principle that all citizens will have access to medically necessary and hospital physician services. As a result, all provinces and territories insure their citizens for this care for free. Some provinces also cover their residents' dental work and medication. Those who want additional health coverage, and those who want to insure themselves for medication and dental work in provinces that do not provide it, register for private health insurance.
Canada's health care system is rated as one of the top health systems in the world by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). This is primarily due to the fact that its free primary health care insurance prevents costly hospital admissions for conditions like asthma and diabetes. It also has one of the highest survival rates for certain types of cancer, because it does not treat only patients who can afford health insurance.
The downside of free universal health insurance is, however, that waiting lists for surgery and specialist consultations can be long. In fact, some Canadians in provinces that ban private health insurance get so annoyed with the long waits that they go to the United States for surgery instead of waiting in Canada. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in 2005 that Quebec’s ban on private health insurance was unconstitutional while the province struggled with long waiting lists. Two Albertans who went to the United States for surgery due to their province's long waiting lists are currently challenging Alberta's ban on private health insurance in court.
For those who can afford it and live in provinces that allow it, private health insurance is an option. Employers often provide it as a benefit to their employees. In fact, 70 per cent of all Canadians have some form of supplemental private health insurance. Private plans cover anything from basic prescription medications and dentistry, to optometry and private hospital rooms, to chiropractic and other non-mainstream care.
Private health insurance policies vary greatly by what they cover and by how much they cover. Basic policies tend to pay a lower percentage of the care than comprehensive policies. Basic policies also have a lower maximum yearly amount for which patients are allowed to claim.
Private health insurance policies generally do not make use of deductibles. They cover only a fixed percentage of the first $5,000 claim, after which they pay 100 per cent of the remainder.
The federal government regulates private health insurers heavily, so they are usually not allowed to exclude persons with pre-existing conditions from their plans.

How Does Private Health Insurance Work?

Private Health InsuranceCanada's health care system is based on the principle that all citizens will have access to medically necessary and hospital physician services. As a result, all provinces and territories insure their citizens for this care for free. Some provinces also cover their residents' dental work and medication. Those who want additional health coverage, and those who want to insure themselves for medication and dental work in provinces that do not provide it, register for private health insurance.

Canada's health care system is rated as one of the top health systems in the world by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). This is primarily due to the fact that its free primary health care insurance prevents costly hospital admissions for conditions like asthma and diabetes. It also has one of the highest survival rates for certain types of cancer, because it does not treat only patients who can afford health insurance.

 

The downside of free universal health insurance is, however, that waiting lists for surgery and specialist consultations can be long. In fact, some Canadians in provinces that ban private health insurance get so annoyed with the long waits that they go to the United States for surgery instead of waiting in Canada. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in 2005 that Quebec’s ban on private health insurance was unconstitutional while the province struggled with long waiting lists. Two Albertans who went to the United States for surgery due to their province's long waiting lists are currently challenging Alberta's ban on private health insurance in court.

For those who can afford it and live in provinces that allow it, private health insurance is an option. Employers often provide it as a benefit to their employees. In fact, 70 per cent of all Canadians have some form of supplemental private health insurance. Private plans cover anything from basic prescription medications and dentistry, to optometry and private hospital rooms, to chiropractic and other non-mainstream care.

Private health insurance policies vary greatly by what they cover and by how much they cover. Basic policies tend to pay a lower percentage of the care than comprehensive policies. Basic policies also have a lower maximum yearly amount for which patients are allowed to claim.

Private health insurance policies generally do not make use of deductibles. They cover only a fixed percentage of the first $5,000 claim, after which they pay 100 per cent of the remainder.

The federal government regulates private health insurers heavily, so they are usually not allowed to exclude persons with pre-existing conditions from their plans.