Mary Alexander: Hi! I'm Mary Alexander from Home Instead Senior Care and today, I'm talking about the Canada Health Act, also know as Medicare. According to Health Canada, Canada's publicly funded healthcare system is an interlocking set of ten provincial and three territorial health insurance plans that provide universal coverage for medically necessary healthcare services. These health services are provided on the basis of need, rather than the ability to pay. The Canada Health Act includes five guiding principles.
Public Administration: The provincial and territorial plans must be administered and operated on a nonprofit basis by a public authority accountable to the provincial or territorial government. Comprehensiveness: The provincial and territorial plans must insure all medically necessary services provided by hospitals, medical practitioners and dentists working within a hospital setting. Universality: The provincial and territorial plans must entitle all insured persons to health insurance coverage on uniform terms and conditions. Accessibility: The provincial and territorial plans must provide all insured persons reasonable access to medically necessary hospital and physician services without financial or other barriers. Portability: The provincial and territorial plans must cover all insured persons when they move to another province or territory within Canada and when they travel abroad. Services outside of Canada may be limited and require prior approval. Any person who is an official resident of any province or territory is eligible for Canadian Medicare. Tourist, transients or visitor to a province are not eligible to receive healthcare benefits. The 13 provincial and territorial health insurance plans are required to provide insured persons with coverage of health services, including hospital services provided to in-patients or outpatients, if the services are medically necessary for the purpose of maintaining health, preventing disease or diagnosing or treating an injury, illness, or disability. They must also cover medically required physician services rendered by medical practitioners.
Many provinces and territories also offer additional benefits, including prescription drugs, dental care, eye exams, chiropractic and ambulance services. Conversely, a number of services provided by hospitals and physicians that are not considered medically necessary are not covered, but maybe available at an extra cost. Some examples include preferred hospital accommodation, private duty nursing and cosmetic services. Be sure to visit the Health Canada site at hc-sc.
ca, for general information and links to your particular province or territory's health information.