Canada_s National Health Insurance

Canada_s National Health Insurance - CANADA: NATIONAL...

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CANADA: NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE (from Rose Weitz: The Sociology of Health, Illness, and Health Care: A Critical Approach, 5 th ) Structure of the Health Care System The backbone of the Canadian health care system is public insurance paid for by the federal government. For this reason, the Canadian system is referred to as national health insurance , or a single-payer system . In fact, however, the Canadian system is a decentralized one, with each province retaining some autonomy and offering a somewhat different health care system. Underpinning the system are payments that the federal government gives the provinces yearly to run their health care systems. To receive these payments, provinces must offer comprehensive medical coverage to all residents through a public, nonprofit agency. Although the details of coverage vary across provinces, each province must charge residents no more than minimal fees and must allow residents to move to another province without losing their coverage. Purchasing Care Through a combination of federal and provincial taxes, the public health insurance systems cover 70% of all health care costs, including most costs for hospital and medical care and some costs for prescription drugs, dental care, long-term care, and mental health services. Because the system is based primarily on graduated income taxes, it is financially progressive: wealthier persons pay a higher proportion of their income in taxes and therefore pay more toward health care than do others. The remaining 30% of health costs are divided about equally between private insurers and private individuals paying out of pocket (Canadian Institute for Health Information, 2007). Private insurance takes two forms. Most commonly, Canadians purchase private insurance to cover services not included in national health insurance
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Canada_s National Health Insurance - CANADA: NATIONAL...

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