by Milagros Palacios, Bacchus Barua
July 03, 2014
Health care in Canada is not “free.” This persistent myth owes in part to the fact that Canadians do not incur direct expenses for their use of health care, and partly because Canadians cannot readily determine the value of their contribution to public health care insurance because there is no “dedicated” health insurance tax. In 2014, the estimated average payment for public health care insurance ranges from $3,592 to $11,786 for six common Canadian family types. For the average Canadian family, between 2004 and 2014, the cost of public health care insurance increased about 1.5 times faster than average income, 1.3 times as fast as the cost of shelter, 1.6 times as fast as clothing, and more than three times as fast as food. With a more precise estimate of what they really pay, Canadians will be in a better position to decide whether they are getting a good return on the money they spend on health care.