Fraser Institute study highlights rising cost of staying well
The rising cost of health care for Canadian families is the focus of a new report from the Fraser Institute.
The non-partisan think tank says that with most Canadians only paying for their health care through taxes, it’s not clearly apparent how much they are paying to stay well.
It calculates that for 2018, a family of four with an average income of $138,008 will pay $12,935 for health care through their taxes, an increase of 68.5% since 1997, the first year for which estimates could be calculated.
“Health care in Canada isn’t free—Canadians actually pay a substantial amount for public health care through their taxes, even if they don’t pay directly for medical services,” said Bacchus Barua, associate director of health policy studies at the Fraser Institute and co-author of The Price of Public Health Care Insurance, 2018.
Single Canadians will pay a typical $4,640, double the amount they would have paid in 1997.
Varying costs by income levels
Being a tax-based system, the cost of health care varies according to income.
Canada’s lowest income families (lowest 10%) will pay an average $496 in 2018 while those in the top 10% (incomes averaging $291,364) will pay an average $38,903.
“It’s important for Canadians to understand how much they pay for our public healthcare system so they can better decide whether or not they get good value for their tax dollars,” Barua said.