So I have been behind on my posts since we have moved to Canada. I will work on getting some more updates through the next week or so. My post tonight is to just give people some color on what I have learned about the healthcare system so far here in Canada. I thought it would be interesting to share my first hand experience with learning about how insurance works.
So far, I have completed the first week of learning the culture and history of Lululemon with thirty-two other people that started the same day I did. I sort of felt like I had started college or something, living in temporary housing and going through what was basically orientation week. Everyone is very interesting and the culture at Lululemon is highly focused on being entrepreneurial, which I really value.
During our on-boarding they went over our healthcare benefits, which vary from each province and if you are a Canadian citizen, you are able to just get a new healthcare number when you switch Provinces. As an American citizen, I have to wait three months until I am eligible to be covered by what they call a MSP. However, my company is covering my insurance until I am eligible, so I have nothing to worry about until I get my full coverage.
The MSP basically covers all of your doctor, emergency room, and even surgeries at 100%! Nothing out of pocket! Crazy! In addition to the MSP, Lululemon has an additional insurance program for its employees, which also covers vision, dental and prescriptions. There are some minor co-pays for vision and dental, but prescriptions are all covered at 100%, with this additional insurance! All you have to pay is $9 to whichever pharmacy that dispenses the RX. Pretty amazing, especially for insulin's that cost hundreds of dollars a month without insurance and even with really good insurance in the states, it was roughly $30-60 a RX.
The premiums are super low for the additional insurance we have outside the MSP, it is only around $25 a month to cover myself. If I add my wife, it goes to around $40 a month. If we have a child, the premium is still only $40, if I have ten kids, it is still $40 a month! In the discussion, a Canadian was kind of taken back that she had to cover a portion of the premium, when all the Americans were blown away on the affordability of the coverage. In the states, when you add a dependent, it is usually way more expensive than it is to just cover yourself.
Yes, I know that people might say that the level of care is not as good as it is in the USA or that you won't ever get in to see a doctor. I have yet to experience that, but will share my upcoming experiences when and if I do. However, I did learn that doctors are capped by the government on how much they can make, so they only take on a certain number of patients and therefore it could take awhile to find a doctor that is accepting new patients. Sounds bad, but there are also walk in clinics that are just like a doctor's office that you can go to for free as well and get any care you need and they are open during later times and on weekends. Some people just always use the clinics, the only downside is you don't get the same doctor each time. I will probably use the clinic at this point, if needed that is. Will keep you posted! Sounds like it should be much better, but we will see. Hope this sheds some light on Canadian Healthcare, well from what I understand it to be at this point.