A Brief Account of Canadian Health Insurance
Healthcare in Western countries is getting increasingly expensive and therefore health insurance has become a necessity in these countries. In the US, President Obama has made it compulsory for every US citizen to draw a health insurance. In other Western countries too, such a compulsion is not unlikely to arrive in the near future. We’ll consider here the health insurance system of Canada. It is often referred to as medicare and has been created to respond to people’s health-related needs rather than to their paying ability. Read an extremely interesting interview with Lorne Marr, LSM Insurance Director of New Business Development for Forum magazine wherein he emphasizes upon staying healthy. Lorne Marr is an Ontario-based star insurance advisor who has achieved a tremendous growth in his health insurance business within a short time.
All citizens and permanent residents of Canada are eligible for Canadian health insurance. The health insurance here is designed so as to ensure that all Canadian residents have reasonable access to healthcare at hospitals and doctors.
Canada’s healthcare system is made of territorial and provincial health insurance plans, which share some common standards and features. The public healthcare system of Canada is funded through taxes and is governed by provinces and territories.
Public Health Insurance
All citizens and permanent residents of Canada can apply for health insurance. Upon having health insurance you need not pay for most healthcare services directly. You just have to produce your health insurance card at medical clinics or hospitals.
Health insurance in every province and territory differs from each other. It is possible that your health insurance covers a medical care which is not covered in another territory. Therefore it is necessary to check your coverage when you will be traveling to another province or territory, and opt for an appropriate private health insurance.
You need to apply for a health insurance card as early as possible at your territorial or provincial government after arriving in Canada. The application form can be obtained at a doctor’s office, a pharmacy, a hospital or an immigrant-serving organization. You can also approach the health ministry of your province or territory for the application form.
Which Documents Will You Need?
You will need to produce some type of identification, like your passport or birth certificate, or Confirmation of Permanent Residence. A Permanent Resident Card can also be produced.
What Will You Get?
Most provinces and territories issue a card for each family member with a personal health identification number, except in Manitoba where health insurance cards are issued only to adult family members with a list of names and personal identification numbers of each family member on it.
The health insurance card shows the holder’s name, address, gender and date of birth. You should carry the card with you and produce it at a clinic or hospital, when you or anyone from your family needs healthcare.
Private Health Insurance in Canada
You can opt for private health insurance in Canada when you have no coverage for certain services under your public health insurance. These may be private hospital rooms, dental costs, proscription drugs, prescription eyeglasses or ambulance service.