How much do Canadian families pay in health-care insurance?

Study reveals the true cost of health-care, covered through various taxes

How much do Canadian families pay in health-care insurance?
Steve Randall

Canada’s health-care providers have been in the spotlight in the past 18 months, but how much does a typical family pay for the services?

A new study from the Fraser Institute says that most Canadians are unaware of the true cost of health-care because it is paid through various taxes rather than being a direct cost.

Based on a ‘typical’ family of two parents and two children, with an average household income of $150, 177, the study calculates that they will pay $15,039 for public health care this year.

Couples without dependent children will pay an estimated $13,533. Single Canadians will pay $4,296 for health care insurance, and single parents with one child will pay $3,909.

“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, associate director of health policy studies at the Fraser Institute and co-author of The Price of Public Health Care Insurance, 2021.

Substantial rise

The study says that costs for public health-care have increased substantially over the past 25 years.

In fact, while health-care costs for typical households have surged by 178%, average incomes have only increased by 110% during the same period.

“Understanding how much Canadians actually 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 health-care system, and whether it’s financially sustainable,” Barua said.