Mary Alexander: Hi! I'm Mary Alexander from Home Instead Senior Care and today, I'm talking about the provincial and territorial health coverage under Canada's Medicare System. Generally speaking, Canada's Universal Health Care System is an interlocking set of 10 provincial and 3 territorial health insurance plans. According to Health Canada, residence in a province or territory is the basic requirement for health insurance coverage. Most provinces and territories also require residence to be physically present 183 days each year. Generally, if you are an official resident of a province or territory, you are eligible for Medicare. Residence moving from one province or territory to another, continue to be covered by their home province or territory during any waiting period for coverage. All of the provincial and territory health plans have some basic Federal requirements for providing coverage for medically necessary healthcare services, but beyond those services and depending on where you live, coverage can vary. For example, routine eye exams are covered in most provinces and territories for people aged 65 and over and for those under age 18. It is fairly common for prescription drug coverage, ambulance, mental health services, and homecare to be covered but each province and territory can set their own methods of eligibility, funding and delivery of services. Let's talk about Home Healthcare for a moment. Because it is considered an extended healthcare service, that Canada Health Act does not require that it be universally covered by provinces and territories in the same way as hospital and physician services. In Canada most home and community care services are delivered by provincial, territorial and some municipal governments. Homecare Services may include Nursing, Personal Care such as help with bathing, dressing and feeding. Dietitian services like a meal preparation, Homemaking, Day programs for people with Alzheimer's disease, Meals on wheels and Friendly visitor programs.
To find out if your provincial or territorial government offers these and other services and to determine if you are eligible, you should visit a webpage of your Local Health Ministry. You can also visit the Health Canada website at hc-sc.
ca. Click on the Just For You link on the left.