Canadian Healthcare

Medical Procedures Not Covered by OHIP

Certain medical procedures and services are not covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). It is important to know what is covered, from emergency medical care to services by physicians and prescription medications. Coverage depends on a number of factors such as income and age, whether you are enrolled in programs such as Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program, and others.

Coverage

The Ontario Health Insurance Plan covers procedures and services such as ambulance transportation, emergency care, medications for in-patients, X-rays and blood tests, and nursing and doctor's services. For ambulance transportation, the plan offers full coverage only for residents who hold a valid health card. Some services are partially covered, including transportation for special medical care, eye tests, and dental care in hospitals. The same goes for certain services provided by osteopaths, podiatrists, and doctors. Some dental surgeries are covered but there are exclusions. Dental services that are covered include reconstructive surgeries, tumor removals, fracture repairs, and tooth removals that are regarded as medical necessity. Meals and accommodation in hospitals are covered, except for semi-private rooms.

Exclusions

There are certain exclusions such as chiropractic services, circumcision, physiotherapy procedures, smoking cessation aids, and prescription medications. Physiotherapy is covered for patients over the age of 64 and under the age of 20. The same goes for eye care exams. Patients aged 20 – 64 are entitled to get an eye exam once a year if they have optic pathway disease, recurrent uveitis, strabismus, corneal disease, or visual field defects. Other conditions that are covered include amblyopia, retinal disease, cataract, glaucoma, and diabetes mellitus. A referral form is required for other conditions. Follow-up appointments are also covered for persons with medical conditions. There are certain exclusions when it comes to eye care, for example, laser eye surgery, contact lenses, and eyeglasses.

Medical procedures and services that are not covered also include splits, crutches, and casts and alternative treatments such as Reiki, acupuncture, homeopathy, and Chinese medicine. Some services provided by family physicians are also excluded, for example, tensor bandages, medical notes and forms, cosmetic procedures, missed appointment fees, and travel immunizations. Immunizations for travel include Twinrix, hepatitis B, hepatitis A, and others. Cosmetic surgeries such as breast enhancement, nose job, and others are also excluded from the coverage. Such services are not considered medical necessity.

Grants

The Northern Health Travel Grant provides coverage for transportation costs to persons who are eligible. The grant amount depends on distance. Accommodation allowance is also available. There are exclusions such as travel costs and medical services paid by the employer. In addition, only persons who receive treatment at approved facilities qualify for a grant. Ministry of Health approved facilities include the Regional Cancer Centre, Toronto Children's Centre, the Speech Foundation of Ontario, and others. When it comes to procedures in approved facilities, examples include pulmonary function testing and ultrasound, dialysis procedures, chemotherapy, and others.

How to Pay for Services Not Covered

There are different ways to pay for services and procedures that are not covered, one being a private health insurance (https://www.lifeoncredit.ca/). Group health insurance is a second option. Benefits for employees include extended dental and health care, hospital stays, and catastrophic coverage. Some providers also offer businesses critical illness, long-term and short-term disability, and dependent life insurance. Group health benefits may include things like enhanced hospital coverage, alternative treatments, chiropractic care, massage therapy, prescription drugs, dental care, and more. Obviously, a third option is to pay by yourself, whether cash or using a secured credit card, unsecured card, debit card or personal loans (https://www.lifeoncredit.ca/bad-credit-personal-loans-in-canada/) .

When Buying a Used Car Consider the Environment

Used cars cost less than new vehicles but there are some issues to take into account. If you are a nature lover, you should know that used cars usually contribute more to environmental pollution, especially if they are poorly maintained.

Buying a Used Vehicle

If you don't have enough cash, borrowing to buy a car is one option to look into. Many banks and dealerships offer auto loans and advertise flexible terms and affordable rates. Major Canadian banks offer auto loans (https://www.creditandloans.ca/bad-credit-car-loans/) with different repayment terms and the option to choose from variable and fixed rates. The main benefit for borrowers is the fact that they can choose an amortization term and loan amount that fits their requirements and budget. Applicants are usually asked to provide documents and information such as household costs, home insurance, property tax, and utilities as well as outstanding balances such as lines of credit, secured and unsecured loans, and rent or mortgage payments. Financial establishments are also interested in your income, including amount, additional income, and sources, previous and current address, SIN, and loan amount required. If you have stellar or very good credit and a spotless payment history, then you have plenty of options, and it is easier to shop around. If you have average or poor credit, however, many lenders will treat you as a high risk borrower and may decline your application for auto financing. One option is to contact car dealerships but keep in mind that the rates offered are somehow higher. Another option is to apply together with a guarantor but choose one who has a good payment history. Financial institutions are more willing to offer affordable loans (https://www.creditandloans.ca/) and competitive rates if the guarantor has stellar credit. Another option is to apply for a secured loan (https://www.creditandloans.ca/secured-credit-cards-for-canadians/) whereby the vehicle is pledged and serves as collateral. The risk here is for the borrower, and failure to make payments means that the financial establishment has the right to repossess the vehicle.

What Else to Consider

When choosing between a used and new vehicle, it is usually money that matters but there are other issues. Environmental pollution is one factor when it comes to green living. One issue that comes to mind is that manufacturing new vehicles contributes to pollution. Manufacturing wastes resources and energy, including oil, ore, and electricity to produce parts and components, assemble vehicles, and transport them. Waste materials include tons of rubber, glass, plastic, and metal. At the same time, fuel consumption is the main factor that contributes to environmental pollution. To illustrate, a new vehicle uses about 380 gallons per year on average while an older model uses some 500 gallons to drive 15,000 miles. While this is a lot when it comes to pollution, regular maintenance is important but keep in mind that an older vehicle requires more resources, more intensive and frequent maintenance, and more parts than a new car. Different things can cause vehicles to consume more fuel, among which fuel line leaks, not sufficient motor oil, old tires, and fuel injection leaks. In this sense, regular maintenance is crucial if you plan to buy an older vehicle. Obviously, your driving habits may be an issue when it comes to fuel consumption, but there are other things such as old or worn gearbox, underinflated tires, load carrier, bike, or surfing board racks mounted on the roof, etc. You may also want to check for problems such as aftermarket wings, malfunctioning MAF/MAP sensors, blocked catalytic converters, poorly functioning coolant temperature sensors, low octane fuel, and bad sparkplugs.

Canadian Healthcare

The healthcare system in Canada includes different plans and services, most of which available through private providers. Patients have access to medical treatments and preventive care offered at dental surgeries, clinics, and hospitals. Citizens are also offered additional medical services and treatments by primary care physicians, surgeons, optometrists, and other healthcare professionals. All patients have access to medical services, regardless of lifestyle, standard of living, personal or household income, and medical history.

History

Hospitals were first built to treat the poor and were run by municipal governments, religious orders and charities. The first medical schools opened doors between 1820 and 1870, and considerable efforts were made to improve hygiene and sanitation at hospitals. The idea of a government-sponsored health insurance system gained popularity in the 20th century but a bill to establish the first provincial system was only passed in 1935 in Alberta. The plan failed due to financial considerations. It was only in 1946 when near universal coverage was introduced by the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation in the province of Saskatchewan.

How it Works

Healthcare plans in Canada enable citizens to access medical treatments and dental and vision care services. The coverage for vision, dental, and mental health services is more limited. Canadians have access to the national health insurance program, also known as Medicare (https://www.medicare.gov/) which covers territorial and provincial plans that are publicly funded. Medicare offers coverage to all citizens and is based on five pillars - accessibility, portability, universality, comprehensiveness, and public administration. Two types of services are offered under the Canada Health Act – extended and insured services (http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/c-6/). Insurers have access to surgical, dental, physician, and medically necessary services at clinics, dental centers, and hospitals. Hospital treatments and services also include X-rays, MRIs, CAT scans, blood tests, and other diagnostic procedures, as well as nursing services, public ward accommodation, and other out-patient and in-patient services available at anesthetic facilities, case rooms, operating rooms, and other facilities.

Private Health Insurance

In addition to national coverage, many insurers offer health, vision, dental, and optional coverage. Customers opt for additional plans because certain services are not covered, including long-term care, home care, and some medications. Customers are free to choose from different types of affordable coverage to meet unexpected and urgent expenses. Supplementary plans usually cover travel medical expenses, chiropractic care, vision care, and other services. Canadians are offered a selection of different policies, including family, disability, long term care, critical illness, and personal health insurance, among others. There are different plans to choose from, including comprehensive or extended, standard, and basic, depending on the customer's budget and needs. Basic plans exclude contraception and fertility drugs and they are usually not covered under extended plans as well.

Canada vs. US

One of the main differences between both systems is public spending - slightly over 47 percent in the U.S. and close to 70 percent in Canada as of 2013. Another difference is that in Canada, patients don't have to pay coinsurance of 50 or 30 percent which many Americans do and results in a hefty medical bill.