21 March 2009


Yesterday's mail crushed any remaining qualms about moving to Canada. We received the annual notice of the increase in our health insurance premium. It's rising from $412/month to $466.50/month, or by $654/year. That's a 13% increase. And the insurer (Blue Cross/Blue Shield) again raised our annual deductible, this time from $5,700 to $6,000. So if we had medical costs, we'd pay $11,598 over the next year out of pocket before the insurer paid one dime.

Our last three annual premium increases have averaged 19% (including a huge increase in 2007 when I had the gall to reach age 50). Next month we'll begin paying a premium 69% greater than the premium we paid in January 2007 when we signed on with this insurer. And we're relatively healthy. We've cost the insurer $300 per year each in 2007 and 2008--the amount our insurer will pay toward an annual physical exam, deductible notwithstanding. If the 19% average annual increase we've experienced persists until I'm eligible for Medicare at age 65 (assuming Medicare hasn't long gone bust), our annual premium would reach $45,144

Blue Cross/Blue Shield's partial explanation of the premium jump? "Covered individuals are using more services." Wow. In other words, if y'all would just stop seeking medical care, then we could  slow down the rate of increase in the cost of the insurance that you'd then never need because you'd not be seeking medical care anyway. I've know of no bigger racket outside of Las Vegas.

Yep, in Canada a part of the taxes we'll pay, as well as a relatively modest, income-adjusted monthly premium, will go to pay for the country's universal health insurance system. Since per capita healthcare expenditures in Canada are one-half of those in the U.S., and since Canada ranks above the U.S. by virtually every measure of healthfulness, I'm guessing we'll come out ahead.


MSEH said...

Congratulations on your decision! I missed the earlier post. Nanaimo sounds absolutely fabulous! The photos you post are just wonderful...

Adam said...

I just recently used my Health Card for the first. I had to have my Cholesterol checked for the first time since moving to Canada from The States seven months ago. The doctor did a much more comprehensive list of blood tests than either of my most recent U.S. doctors. The experience was pleasant and quick and there weren't any co-pays or deductibles to concern myself with. I didn't have to pay my ins. every month (I've had to purchase private individual health ins. before) and no one cared whether I had a pre-existing condition or made me complete any lengthy forms. Cheers for your decision...I think you are truly going to like the change.