How does the insurance work with being in Canada? As Americans do you have to get your own insurance coverage, or are you covered at all under Canada's health care system?
As residents of British Columbia, we are entitled to health care coverage in this province. One of the myths of Canadian health care is that it is free; it is not free! We pay a monthly premium, based on the size of our family, and we pay very high taxes in this country which help to pay for that "free" health care that Americans hear about in the news. That basic insurance covers checkups and any illnesses that arise, including hospitalization and surgeries and treatments, which is very good. However, it does not cover prescription drugs, diabetes testing supplies, vision, or dental care. Any visits to the eye doctor or dentist are out of our own pocket.
We have an added coverage through the province, free to use, that covers prescriptions and testing supplies. This extra coverage works like a regular insurance plan, in that we pay an annual deductible based on our income, after which the insurance pays 70% of the cost up to a yearly cap, then pays 100% for the rest of that calendar year. At the beginning of each new year, we start over on our deductible and spending cap. So each year, we pay several hundred dollars out of our own pocket for my prescriptions and testing supplies. This is August, and I haven't yet met our deductible. So much for free health care!
This extra coverage is the one that we are having to get authorization from to get my medication approved for coverage. The two medications I take are very expensive - we'll meet the deductible pretty quick at this pace - and my testing supplies are very expensive also.
So yes, we are able to use the health care here, but it is far from being free. I just wanted to explain a little about the system so that when I say "we are covered through the health care system" people will understand that we are not living the high life, getting missionary support from American churches while getting free medical care! LOL