In our recent report, Filling the Gaps: A Prescription for Universal Pharmacare, we project the cost of providing insurance for catastrophic illness when costs rise above different thresholds of household income (3%, 6%, and 9%).
All provinces have programs that protect households from extensive medical expenses, but coverage varies considerably by province. In addition, there are federal and provincial non-refundable tax credits for medical expenses above 3 percent of net income. Despite high levels of eligibility for public insurance and a majority of Canadians being covered by private health insurance, gaps in coverage remain. About 1.1 percent of households spend more than 9 percent of their income on medication and 8.2 percent spend more than 3 percent of income on medication. Low-income households and seniors are more likely to spend significant portions of their income on medication. To view estimates of the cost of covering medical expenses above different thresholds of household income by province, select the desired jurisdiction from the list above.