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Vancouver Health Insurance: Based on Family Income

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This page provides information to Canadians about Vancouver health insurance.

Coverage for health care in Canada depends on each province. Each province will extend some form of health care to its residents but the coverage and expense will vary from province to province.

The Importance of Your Medicard
Vancouver’s health insurance system is centered on its CareCard. After assessing eligibility (Canadian citizen, resident of British Columbia), residents are enrolled with the Medical Services Plan and issued a medical card. The CareCard is also used as a lifetime identifier and piece of identification in the province.

Vancouver Health InsuranceA waiting period of three months is usual for out of province or new Canadian citizens to receive the CareCard. The Ministry of Health Services suggests filling out paper work during this time so at the end of your waiting period you are eligible.

Unique Health System
The Vancouver health insurance system is set up differently than other provinces in Canada. Things are setup with a premium service that users have to pay for. The bills and coverage are determined by the annual income of the family. The more money that a family makes the less compensation from the government that they will receive. After this is decided one can receive the following services:

  • physician care from a doctor enrolled with MSP,
  • maternity care,
  • medically required eye examinations,
  • diagnostic services including lab work and x-rays.
  • Dental and oral surgeries when they are medically required.

All of this coverage is standard across Canada, but what seems to set British Columbia apart from other provinces is the coverage of chiropractors, massage therapy, naturopathy, and non surgical podiatry and acupuncture to people receiving premium assistance. The visits to these practitioners are limited to 10 visits each calendar year and $23 dollars per visit. However the fact that they are covered at all differs greatly from Quebec, New Brunswick, Manitoba and Nova Scotia.

Now The List For What Your Not Covered For
Sadly in such a large and well populated province Vancouver health insurance will not cover you for prescription drugs. It would be in your benefit to live in almost any other province for this feature. You are not covered for health aids like eyeglasses, hearing aids. The system does not cover services of a counsellor, health tests for employment and preventative and screening tests. Also as in any other province, elective surgery is considered the patient’s expense.

Sadly the government website explaining these charges takes so much pride in telling you of your CareCard and that it can be used for identity purposes that it seems pathetic when it says coverage under the system will insure that you don’t get billed for tongue depressors, examining gowns and tray fees. For such a big province the Vancouver health care system seems to do little extraordinary for its residences.

Read more about British Columbia Health Insurance.