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?