Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Words You Won't Hear in Canadian Health Care

Words you'll never hear in the Canadian health care system

1. "Out of network"
There are no "networks" in Canada. Doctors and hospitals are not affiliated with private insurance companies. Doctors are private business entities and hospitals are usually run by non-profit boards or regional health associations.

2. "COBRA"
Health coverage is NOT tied to your place of employment in any way. So any COBRA-like scheme is unnecessary.

3. "Co-Pay"
The government pays 100% of basic care, 100% of the time. Drugs are not covered, but are subsidized by government to a point. And because of mass buys, discounts are obtained from the drug companies. That's why our prices are so much lower. Most employers offer a drug plan that pays for 100% of drug cost coverage.

4. "monthly premium\deductible"
Wazzat? We don't consider our health to be the same as our possessions.

5. "waiting for approval"
Doctors are the sole decision makers for health care. NOBODY influences or delays their decisions, warns them of costs or prevents them from giving treatment for any reason.

6. "Government interference"
The provincial government in each province PAYS for whatever services doctors provide. No questions asked. Unless the procedure is experimental, not medically necessary or unwarranted, doctors cannot deny basic care - by law.

7. "Health insurance lobby"
There are NO insurance companies for basic care, only companies for providing insurance for travelers. No money to be made here.

8. "bureaucracy"
When we visit a hospital or doctor's office, we walk in, get treated, walk out. No "applications", "registrations" or any other kind of paperwork is required. We NEVER have to talk to a single "government official" or wait for a "judgment".

This is such a foreign concept to us. A Canadian's usual reaction to the explanation of this term is astonishment.

10. "rescission"
Your health insurance won't be cancelled when you need it most, i.e., when you get sick. That's the whole point of having insurance, isn't it?

11. "individual rates"
There are no individual rates based on your age or medical status. The premium for everyone in a provincial plan is the same.

12. "uninsurable"
No one is uninsured or uninsurable. Everyone is covered.

13. "profit"
There's no private insurance companies offering coverage for primary medical care, so there's no question of profit, no corporate bottom lines to incentivize screwing people out of the medical care they need.

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