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How Healthcare and Other Benefits Work in Canada

Jan 20, 2021 | Business

Healthcare is one of the leading discussions not only in America, but across the world. The argument still exists that other countries (like Canada) have far better healthcare systems than America will possibly ever have.

After opening a branch of your tech company in Canada, what should you know about healthcare for your employees there? The differences are quite striking, including Canada having a universal health care system paid for through tax revenues.

Not that this is all there is to employee healthcare in Canada. Take a minute to learn more about healthcare benefits once establishing a new base of employees in a Canadian province.

Private Insurance Complements Free Governmental Insurance

The universal health coverage offered by the Canadian government covers a lot of things, though each province is responsible for the administration of their local health care systems. The three things governmental insurance covers include hospital stays, prescriptions given in the hospital, plus doctor and specialist fees if varying from province to province.

This plan removes things like prescriptions away from the hospital, paramedical services, or dental and vision bills. These aspects need covering through private health insurance plans offered by employers like you.

What this means is any private insurance you offer has to complement governmental insurance

Think about the type of employer-sponsored benefits you need to offer to fill in those blanks. Your plan should eliminate payment for doctors or hospital stays since the provincial plan pays those first.

A More Detailed Look at Employer Plans

Typically, employer plans in Canada cover seven distinct health categories. These include:

  • Prescription Drugs
  • Private Rooms in Hospitals
  • Paramedical Practitioners
  • Vision Care
  • Dental Care
  • Miscellaneous Medical Services or Supplies
  • Out-of-Country Emergencies

To get coverage of prescriptions, your plan needs to make sure employees gets prescriptions from a doctor or specialist. It also requires a drug identification number by Health Canada.

Keep in mind universal health coverage in Canada may cover prescription drugs eventually. So far, the plan they have is the only one in the world that does not cover prescription drugs. Work is being done, though, to make sure it happens in the next couple of years. Ontario does have a drug plan (OHIP+) for those under the age of 24.

In the meantime, your employer plan gives a lot of comprehensive coverage others in America often overlook. Paying for employees to get private hospital rooms or stays in a maternity ward are things not always findable in every U.S. employer insurance plan.

Canada’s Universal Healthcare Is Informally Called Medicare

The name “Medicare” in America is obviously familiar, but this is the name Canada gives to their universal health coverage. Your employees need to know a few things to gain the benefits of this to cover things your employer plan does not.

First, they need to register for a health card within the province or territory where they locate. Even infants need a card like this to get medical treatment.

Your employees do not need the card if rushed to a hospital during an emergency. Nevertheless, any willful hospital or doctor clinic visit requires them to use the card to gain proper coverage.

According to Aetna above, only in Quebec would your employees have to pay upfront for medical care, with reimbursement from insurance later.

What Will Your Employees Pay for Private Health Insurance?

Whatever plan you offer through your business for your employees, prices vary depending on how comprehensive it is. On the whole, 65% of Canadians still pay into private health insurance, sometimes with big premiums.

According to average pricing stats from Monster above, a family plan for private insurance is around $157 per month. An individual male may only have to pay $47 per month, while individual women usually pay $80 per month.

To learn more about health care benefits for Canadian employees in your tech business, contact us at BrightR Limited.

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