How Would A National Pharmacare System in Canada Affect Seniors?

A new study published by the Canadian Medical Association predicts that a national pharmacare system would save the private sector insurance companies approximately $7.3 billion annually, with “comparatively little increase in costs to government”, estimated at approximately $1 billion annually.

The study proposes that savings would be achieved by lowering drug costs through the ability to negotiate better prices and product selection in a nationally based pharmacare system.

How would this affect baby boomers and seniors in Canada?

Currently prescription costs in Canada are covered by a variety of resources. Here’s an approximate breakdown of how prescriptions are currently funded/paid for in Canada, according to The Star:

  • 36% are covered by provincial drug plans (ie, OHIP in Ontario) that pay for prescriptions for the elderly (over age 65) and those living on social assistance
  • 36% are covered by private insurance plans
  • 22% are paid for by the patient out of their own pocket
  • 4% are covered by compulsory insurance policies ie workers’ compensation
  • 2% are paid for by federal drug plans that provide coverage for targeted population segments, including First Nations

It appears there would be no negative impact for Canadian seniors with a national pharmacare system…or would there?

Anita Hamilton

50+ World editor & baby boomer writer Anita Hamilton has always been interested in the "real people" stories behind the characters that create and inhabit the world of music, books, movies, television shows, current events, history, etc. A lifelong love of research (ok, nosiness) and writing, combined with a loving and supportive family complete with 3 mini-dachshund minions, keeps her busy.

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