Hey there. You’re visiting our new site. Click here to go back to the previous version of our website.

Living in Canada Series: Healthcare

There are a lot of things that make Canada a popular country. One of the most well known is that Canadians don’t have to pay to go to the hospital or see a doctor. But how exactly does public healthcare work? Do people just show up at Canadian hospitals and ask for treatment? Are all medical workers in Canada volunteers? Obviously not. The real answer is a little more complicated.

Free Assessment

In the last instalment of our Life in Canada Series, we explained the basics of federal politics. But there’s a second level of government in Canada, provincial government. It works pretty much the same way as federal government, but without a Senate and with different titles. There are also 13 of them, one in every province and territory in Canada. Provincial and federal governments share power in Canada, and one of the things that they both have an interest in is public health.

Technically, healthcare is the provincial government’s responsibility. But every province has to have a health insurance program in place that meets federal standards. So the specifics of public healthcare (Medicare) change from province to province. But Canadians still have access to public healthcare all over Canada, and can expect the same quality of service everywhere.

For more information about a specific province or territory’s health insurance program, visit their website:

Is Medicare Free?

The point of Medicare is to make sure that no Canadians are denied access to necessary medical care, regardless of their income. To achieve that, Canada has a national health insurance program that is publicly funded, even though it’s privately provided. So doctors and hospitals get paid by the government instead of by their patients.

Since healthcare is a provincial responsibility, the provinces receive money from the federal government to help pay for the cost of the insurance plan. Some provinces have other systems to contribute to the financing of their health insurance, like premiums, sales taxes, or payroll taxes. So Medicare is free for Canadians in the same way that roads are free for Canadians. We all contribute a little so that none of us have to pay for it when we need to use it.

One important thing to remember is that Canadians are members of their home province health insurance plan, not a single national plan.

Does Medicare Cover Everything?

One of the federal standards that provincial health insurance programs have to meet is that they cover medically necessary hospital and physician services. So most family doctor (called general practitioners or GPs in Canada) and hospital services are covered under Medicare. But there are some things that provincial health insurance plans are not obligated to cover, like:

  • Dentistry (other than medically necessary dental surgery)
  • Prescription drugs
  • Ambulance transportation
  • Other non-necessary medical services
 
 

Some provincial insurance plans do cover these things, but sometimes Canadians have to pay out of pocket for them. Canadians can also become members of a private health insurance plan that does cover these things. There are insurance companies that offer this extra coverage for an annual fee, or employers who offer a more comprehensive insurance plan than the public one to their employees and their employees’ dependents.

Who Has Access to Medicare?

All Canadian citizens and permanent residents have access to their home province’s health insurance program. The only time a Canadian citizen or permanent resident may not have access to Medicare is if they do not meet the residency requirements of any province. Residency requirements are different in each province, but in most cases you have to be physically present in the province for at least half of the year. That can sometimes mean that temporary itinerant workers (like farm workers), or transient people (with no fixed home) do not meet residency requirements for any province. When that happens, the individual would need to buy a private health insurance plan, or else be forced to pay out-of-pocket for medical services.

Temporary residents do not have access to Medicare. So if you are in Canada on a temporary visa, you should look into private health insurance plans. These might be offered by your employer, school, or a private insurance company.

Don’t forget to check out our Move to Canada and Living the Canadian Dream article series.

At Canadim, we are with you every step of the way. We don’t just prepare our client’s immigration file; we prepare our clients for their new life in Canada too! Get your free online assessment by using our quick and easy assessment tool.

Free Assessment

Sincerely,

The Canadim Team!
www.canadim.com

Recent articles

Canada Permanent Residence | Canadian immigration 2020

Landing in Canada During COVID-19

In order to finish your application process for Canadian permanent residency, you need to land in Canada. However, with the border currently closed to non-essential […]

Canada Permanent Residence | Canadian immigration 2020

How to Immigrate to Canada From Nigeria

The number of Nigerians immigrating to Canada has tripled in the last five years. Nigeria is now one of the main source countries of Canada’s […]

Canadian immigration 2020

How to Immigrate to Canada From Lebanon

The Lebanese population in Canada is one of the fastest growing demographics. In 2001, there were nearly 144,000 Lebanese in Canada. According to the 2016 […]

Work in Canada

The Ultimate Guide to Finding a Job in Canada in 2021

Many foreign nationals look to Canada as a land of opportunity, hoping to secure a comfortable life for themselves and their families. One of the […]

International Students

COVID-19: A Guide for International Students in Canada

There’s no denying that right now is a difficult time to be an international student. With the interruption of classes, student residencies shutting down, an […]

Provincial Parliament Buildings in Victoria, British Columbia

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

The Easiest Provinces to Get Canadian Permanent Residence in 2021

Canada’s provincial nominee programs (PNPs) allow each province and territory to select candidates that meet their specific criteria and nominate them for Canadian permanent residence.  […]

Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program

Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP): How to find a job offer

Canada’s Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP) has been growing in strides since its introduction in 2017, and has quickly become a promising option for those […]

International Students | Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

PNP Immigration Options for International Students in 2021

If you want to come study in Canada as an international student, you might be wondering which province you should study in. Are there benefits […]

Canadian Immigration 2017

Best Places to Relocate in Canada From the US

Considering making the move across the border from the U.S. to Canada? You’re not alone. In 2019, more than 10,000 U.S. residents made the move […]

International Students | Study-2-Immigrate

Should I Study in Canada or the US?: Six Reasons to Choose Canada

Speedy processing times for study permits, top-quality educational institutions, and an open and welcoming society are just some of factors that influence international students when […]

International Students | Study Permit

5 Reasons Canadian Study Permit Applications Get Refused

Studying in Canada is a dream come true for many international students. When you receive a letter of acceptance from a Canadian school, it might […]

Family Sponsorship | International Students

How to Bring Your Family With You While Studying in Canada

There are a lot of great benefits to being an international student in Canada, including the ability to bring family with you while you study.  […]

Canadian immigration 2020

Why Now Is The Time To Immigrate to Canada

In spite of the coronavirus pandemic, Canada has issued more ITAs through Express Entry this year than any other.  So far, the Canadian federal government […]

Immigrate to Canada from India

Canadian immigration 2020

Best Ways to Immigrate to Canada From India in 2021

As Trump continues to restrict the number of employment-based immigrant visas, many Indian nationals are choosing to trade their jobs in the U.S. for the […]

Free assessment

Discover your Canadian immigration options. Get your free assessment now!