A typical family of four will pay roughly $16,950 into Canada’s public healthcare monopoly to access a doctor or emergency services this year through public insurance.
“Canadians pay a substantial amount of money for health care through a variety of taxes — even if we don’t pay directly for medical services,” said Bacchus Barua, director of health policy studies at the Fraser Institute.
According to the Institute, most Canadians do not realize the actual cost of public healthcare because they never see a bill for medical services rendered.
“While they may only be aware of partial costs collected via employer health taxes and contributions [in provinces that impose them], general government revenue — not a dedicated tax — funds Canada’s public healthcare system,” said the policy think tank.
The Price of Public Health Care Insurance, 2023 study estimates that a typical Canadian family of two parents and two children with an average household income of $169,296 will pay $16,950 for public healthcare this year.
Couples without dependent children will pay an estimated $16,162, whereas single parents with one child will pay $6,294. An unmarried Canadian without children will pay $5,622 for public insurance,
According to the Institute, the cost of healthcare for the average Canadian family has increased substantially and has risen faster than typical household incomes.
Since 1997, the first year for which data is available, the cost of public healthcare insurance for the average Canadian family increased 4.2 times as fast as the cost of clothing, 2.1 times as fast as the cost of food, 1.8 times as fast as the cost of shelter, and 1.7 times as fast as the average income.
“Understanding how much Canadians pay for health care, and how much that amount has increased over time, is an important first step for taxpayers to assess the value and performance of the healthcare system and whether it’s financially sustainable,” added Barua.
The policy think tank suggests that Canadian families in the bottom 10% of income earners will pay an average of about $644 for public health care insurance in 2023. In contrast, the top 10% will pay roughly $44,314 this year.
Canadian families who earn an average income of $80,946 will pay an average of $7,715 for public health care insurance.