Health Care Coverage




When I left Canada a number of years ago it was straight forward to get medical and dental coverage. If you were working for an employer that provided health care coverage as part of an employment package you were set. Depending on the plan you would get vision care coverage, prescription drug coverage, basic dental coverage. The variance was level of coverage 80% to 100% and the over and above coverage perks of a group benefits plan. If you were self employed things were inexpensive enough that extra health insurance over and above the basic health coverage provided by the provincial governments was, optional, reasonably priced, but available.

At the time I left Canada to go to the US people in Canada would laugh at me for the amount of money I’d have to pay to get medical coverage. The provincial government health coverage in Canada at that time was good accessible and available. There were some wait times but all in all, not too bad. Prescriptions were covered by the additional health care coverage either through your employer or coverage you bought.

In the US at Microsoft I had some of the best health benefits and coverage available, period. It was awesome excellent coverage, the like I’ve never seen anywhere. I had the number one hospital based on customer satisfaction in the entire USA. It was awesome and thankfully I had it when my health decided to go sideways.

Customer satisfaction is a notion not even on the radar in Canada you are a cow in the herd and thats it. You will like it and there is absolutely no concept or consideration for your dignity well being or satisfaction. I spent a lot of money on health care in the US, about $900 a month. The downside when I become unemployed for over nine months after month two on the street I couldn’t afford the $900 / mo. There was still care available but not at the levels I was receiving. , the prescriptions I was taking were not refilled when I was unemployed. I couldn’t afford them. There is a goofy thing going on. In the US you can’t buy generic drugs but in Canada you can. The savings are significant, but in the end I have to wonder if the drug is being provided as “generic” in some voodoo fashion to grow and retain business for the big drug companies.

Coming back to Canada if your covered under a group plan as an employee your good to go for dental, prescription and vision coverage. I’ve made the “mistake” of venturing out as a contractor and I can’t get medical coverage. I can get some dental, great, some vision, vision has always been next to useless for me anyway. My glasses cost too much as it is. I can’t get prescription drug coverage, I tried a number of providers and finally went to the provincial government plan, which I’d initially dismissed as abysmally expensive, and they won’t even cover my. I can’t get coverage.

I have a couple of pre-existing conditions like most of us don’t by age 45. Like many I have high blood pressure, I have allergies induced by where I’m living and with the allergies I have asthma, I also have some pain issues occasionally because of a back injury. The high blood pressure I know how to manage loose some weight avoid salt and coffee and things will get better and I am working on that. The allergies and asthma will disappear as soon as I move to a humid climate, leaving Alberta is the cure. The back issues I have are interesting, the consensus I have is that I have a ruptured disk. The lack of consensus comes from the severity, in the US they used words like “crushed” in Canada they’re saying man up buttercup. I tend to side with the US, sorry Canada. Regardless I am working with some exercise gear and the pain is being managed with exercise. I do have a surgery scheduled to remove some screws they put in when they rebuilt my ankle, hopefully after that I can get off of the nerve pain drugs I”m on, fingers crossed. The back pain became an issue, actually a significant issue after my surgery to rebuild my ankle, because off all the damage that was caused by my not using a white cane. I am managing my health and my health is returning. There really is truth to all you have is your health, well I’ve lost mine and fortunately, I”m counting my blessings, my health is returning.

The exercise will take care of a lot of issues for me and when I move out of Alberta my allergies and asthma will again go into remission. Its ironic to me that my “pre – existing” conditions or at least the expensive ones from a prescription perspective are directly related to the place where I can’t get health care coverage to alleviate some of the prescription costs. God is not without a sense of humour.

What do I do, well get a job as an employee I guess, because no health coverage sucks. Being self employed I am looking at over $1900.00 a month to get and maintain: health insurance, such as it is, life insurance and disability insurance. Its not worth it. I need to be billing over $100.00 / hr to break even. So its Sha Na Na Na Get a Job, again. Or move, we’ll see which one happens first.

About the Author:

Kyle has ocular albinism and has been legally blind since birth. Kyle leads a very active live and is besides his professional career involved in many projects for persons who are different.

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