Canadians, how do you like your health insurance?

I am a T1 D who lives in Oregon and have been with and without good health coverage over the years (since about 1988). In between big group plans I had no coverage and it made managing my health extremely difficult. My question is: How do you really feel about your coverage in general, and more specifically, being D? Thank you so much for any light you may shine on this subject for me. Virgil

I really cringe when I read about US medical insurance.

So how do I feel about Canadian coverage. I wouldn’t be without it. Very happy, thank you. Each Canadian province has its own minor variations the way it is done. BC’s approach means I pay about $120/month for family coverage, which is reduced to nothing for those in need.

The insurance is mandatory. The insurance covers all, without exception.

No refusal to insure, no refusal of coverage for pre-existing conditions, no higher rates because of your medical history/condition. No cherry picking by insurance companies.

The money to do this comes from the lower rates our doctors charge, but they collect directly, with no overhead or uncollectible bills. Additionally 100% of the money is spent for medical purposes, no 30% overhead for armies of insurance clerks. i.e., Single Payer. Exactly the same as US Medicare, except BC’s MSP covers everybody, not just those over 65.

Despite US insurance company’s TV advertising claims I and my family have had good experiences. No queuing. My son-in-law’s eye was injured on a rural island. The ambulance arrived with minutes, immediately radioed for an air ambulance and he was helicoptered to the roof of large hospital by air ambulance within an hour and a half. No charge for anything and he retained significant sight because of immediate treatment by an opthamolic surgeon.

In the case of diabetic supplies, even the small copay I pay for some medical services is eliminated. We’ve had the same family physician for 35 years and when I developed T2 a few years ago he referred me to a very good endo, who is a researcher and professor at the local university.

I like my Health Care Fine Thanks. For some reason, we seem to be priviledged. I’ve had Diabetes and severe RA for many years, so I’ve had my Specialists for many years and dropped the ones that I wasn’t Happy with, along the way.

We pay for our care through our taxes. So when we need surgeries or treatments, they are paid for already. Our Families and Friends have had Good care also. We also have Insurance for drugs and any extras.

In Ontario, Kids and Adults get the free Insulin pumps and most of the accessories paid for. In four other Provinces, the Kids get their Insulin pumps and accessories free.

Although if a Person lives in the smaller communities, they may not get good service or have up-to-date equipment. If a Person doesn’t speak up for themselves, then they will have to wait. Sorry to be blunt.

I live in BC and one of the biggest reasons I would never move to the States is the health care. Actually, that’s possibly the only reason. Here in BC (and probably all provinces) all the basics are covered. The “designer” insulin analogues are only partially covered, but Toronto (“regular”) and NPH are fully covered, so that even with no income although you may not be able to be on the best insulin regimen, you would not be left to die, either. Test strips are covered, meters are always (in my experience) free with the purchase of 100 test strips. Pump supplies are sometimes covered and sometimes not, depending on the coverage you are eligible for (children, people on income assistance, and people with disabilities have pump supplies covered, all other adults only partial coverage). Pumps themselves are not covered and CGMS are not covered. Visits to the doctor, the hospital, emergency ambulance rides, and most prescriptions and tests are covered.

So, overall I really like it. If there was one downside I would say it’s that I wish more was covered (i.e., pumps and CGMS), but otherwise I’m very glad there is provincial health care and I don’t have to worry about my health, at least, if I were to lose my job. There have also been complaints about long waits for specialists or tests like MRIs, but personally I have never had a problem with this. It is also a myth that you cannot choose your down doctor, as you are free to “shop around” and find one whom you like. Here in Canada we also have private insurance which often covers more than the provincial health care does (this is how I got my pump covered), so you get the best of both worlds.

Thanks everyone for your candid comments.