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Monday, December 12, 2011

I am o-so OHIP

You hear a lot of praise for the Canadian healthcare system, as well as a lot of criticism. From what I have learned from my love, both are pretty fair. On the plus side, the provincial healthcare systems cover a lot of basic ground; checkups, flu shots, basic procedures, and even some big ticket healthcare needs (emergencies). On the negative side, it is true that many wait months and months in order to obtain some of the more complex services (related to cancer, surgeries, etc.) and there is a shortage of family doctors. My love just achieved the Holy Grail in Toronto - a family doctor in the city!

I just became eligible for the Ontario Healthcare Insurance Program, or OHIP last month. Let me say that from an American expatriate's point of view - it's a blessing. I was paying $300 per month in the US for a catastrophic healthcare insurance plan - meaning you don't use it unless you have a critical need, and even then, it doesn't cover a lot of situations. It was rising in price by 18% every year over the last three years. Now my taxes pay for my core healthcare needs.

Canada's system isn't perfect, but now I don't have to choose between eating and having health insurance.    

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