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Move To Canada For Health Insurance
Old 12-09-2007, 06:55 AM   #1
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Move To Canada For Health Insurance

I live very close to Ontario. I just found out that our family health insurance through my trade group is going from $11,000 per year to $14,500 per year. My plan is good but hardly gold plated. This increase is typical for all the plans for all the carriers in my area. I see no end to these increases.

It appears that a $400,000 interest free 5 year loan to the Canadian Government plus a few other requirements that I think I could meet would allow our family to move accross the bridge and get into the health insurance program for no cost.

It seems that the cost of health insurance is moving quickly towards $20,000 per year or more. That is a 5% return cash on cash, on the $400,000 investment, with a continuing return once I get the investment back.

Please tell me all the things I am missing in the analysis. This health insurance pricing is out of control. I am 57, DW is 55 and kids are in the latter part of college without self sustaining health insurance.

ZMAN
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Old 12-09-2007, 07:09 AM   #2
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I don't know the requirements for getting national health care in Canada because we likely do not meet the requirements for immigration. However, Canada does require a medical exam and if it believes you may be a burden on their system, they can deny your immigration request.

If your kids are on your plan, that isn't going to work if you move to Canada unless the kids move there too. They might have to get health insurance through their college. After college the kids should get a job with health insurance or they should buy their own plan. Assuming they are in good health, it should be relatively cheap for them, depending where they live.

Have you looked to see if another plan in the US is cheaper? If you and your wife's health is good, there might be other possibilities.
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Old 12-09-2007, 07:34 AM   #3
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There is a 90-day waiting period in which your existing plan must cover you. There might be higher income taxes. The is a national sales tax 5% on Jan 1. There are also higher prices for most retail goods. Finally there are "sin taxes" in which you will pay significantly more for gasoline, liquor and tobacco.

Consider that your existing plan might cover items not covered by health insurance such as dental, drugs, eyecare and hospital extras such as semi-private rooms.

But if you have a reasonable plan, you can find savings, expecially once you retire and reduce your consumption pattern. If you plan to travel outside your home territory, you will also need to purchase travel medical insurance.
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Old 12-09-2007, 09:02 AM   #4
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It appears that a $400,000 interest free 5 year loan to the Canadian Government plus a few other requirements that I think I could meet would allow our family to move accross the bridge and get into the health insurance program for no cost.
1. Interest on $400K for five years is an opportunity cost.

2. Do you meet all the requirements of the immigrant investor program?
Investors: Definitions
Investors: Who can apply

3. Health insurance is not free, it's just publicly funded. Average health spending per person in 2006 was $4,411. In Ontario it was $4,595, including $3,089 from the public purse and $1,506 from the private sector. More info is available at Health Care in Canada 2006

As kcowan said, the cost structure of our two societies is different. Some time ago another poster, a US citizen living in Canada, pointed out in his experience the cost of living is ~15% higher than in the US. From personal experience I can attest to this, and earnings in my occupation are lower here (which of course is irrelevant if you are RE).

That said, come on up, you're welcome!
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Old 12-09-2007, 01:37 PM   #5
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Most of my Canadian riding buddies have good jobs but not much disposable income. They complain of long waits for some procedures. One of their prominent politicians just came to the US for cancer treatment.

As Martha said you can probably find a lower cost alternative in the US if you are in good health and can afford modest out of pocket costs. HSA's are an alternative also.
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Old 12-09-2007, 05:16 PM   #6
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The collapse of the $U.S dollar and the rocket rise of the $C dollar might have served you better a year or 2 ago.

We are at par now but 4 or 5 years ago the $C was in the low $.60's U.S.
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Old 12-09-2007, 06:19 PM   #7
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The other thing is to be careful where you move. My son moved from Toronto to Belleville and waited a year to get a new family doctor. They used walk-in clinics but there is little continuity there long term.

We are fortunate that our hospital gets plenty of private funding from wealthy benefactors and we get access to MRIs and other expensive equipment readily. But many hospitals are not as lucky.

Our family doctor is approaching 70 and so we are aware of the impending need to get another well-connected doctor who can get us referrals to specialists in short order.
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Old 12-09-2007, 10:04 PM   #8
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There might be higher income taxes. The is a national sales tax 5% on Jan 1. There are also higher prices for most retail goods. Finally there are "sin taxes" in which you will pay significantly more for gasoline, liquor and tobacco.
Gasoline is now in the "Sin" category?

Then there are the GST taxes, including provincial, and maybe someplaces local? I remember on a trip this summer to victoria we paid 13% GST on a few souvenier purchases. These would be in addition to national and I think also provincial income taxes.
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Old 12-10-2007, 03:32 PM   #9
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With a little effort you could have had all thoses taxes rebated at the border.
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Old 12-10-2007, 03:33 PM   #10
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When you paid the 13%, that included the 6% national VAT (GST) and provincial sales tax (PST) which I believe combined is called HST. Since I live in Alberta where there is no PST - just the 6% GST... which is being lowered to 5% come Jan 08.

Gasoline does carry some hefty provincial and federal sales taxes in the price, but not nearly as much as in Europe. America could take a lesson from all this. Slap on $1/gal tax and watch demand shrink, trade deficit shrink and fiscal deficit shrink. But that has been discussed before elsewhere in this forum.
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Old 12-10-2007, 03:40 PM   #11
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Slap on $1/gal tax and watch demand shrink, trade deficit shrink and fiscal deficit shrink. But that has been discussed before elsewhere in this forum.
There certainly would be some benefits, as you say......

But the prices of food, merchandise and services would all jump due to cost push inflation.

Hard to find an easy fix.
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Old 12-10-2007, 04:50 PM   #12
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I suspect there is no easy fix. It is not out of the question that gasoline could be $5/gal in America anyway within 5 years. A continued slide in the value of the greenback at 10%/year against the Euro and other key currencies... plus increased consumption by the BRIC countries... plus the world max'ing out on supply (peak oil theory) could drive oil prices up to $150-200/barrel. Is it not better to take the initiative to tackle the problem early and try to control it than to have it done to you?

Added: My apologies for having derailed this thread.
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Old 12-10-2007, 06:05 PM   #13
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I suspect there is no easy fix. It is not out of the question that gasoline could be $5/gal in America anyway within 5 years. A continued slide in the value of the greenback at 10%/year against the Euro and other key currencies... plus increased consumption by the BRIC countries... plus the world max'ing out on supply (peak oil theory) could drive oil prices up to $150-200/barrel. Is it not better to take the initiative to tackle the problem early and try to control it than to have it done to you?
So you're saying that if we levy some big taxes on gasoline, oil won't go up to $150 - $200 per barrel? That doesn't really seem to add up.........

Are you expecting gasoline prices in Canada to stay stable price-wise due to your taxation policies? That is, a decade from now Canadian gasoline prices will be low due to taxation now and USA gasoline prices will be high due to lack of taxation now?

BTW, I practice living life with high gasoline prices by driving up to Red Lake every summer! It's painful........ But sometimes ya just gotta pay the price!

Updated to add: Also apologize for taking the thread off subject. Hmmmm..... maybe high gas prices in Canada lead to less driving and thus less exposure to automobile accidents and thus lower health care costs........ and the thread is back on!
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Old 12-10-2007, 06:49 PM   #14
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So you're saying that if we levy some big taxes on gasoline, oil won't go up to $150 - $200 per barrel? That doesn't really seem to add up.........
Demand goes down, prices are tempered. Maybe only $125. Econ 101
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Old 12-10-2007, 07:12 PM   #15
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Demand goes down, prices are tempered. Maybe only $125. Econ 101
If you believe that an additional tax on gasoline in the USA would drop world demand enough to keep prices down....true. I just don't think our demand curve is elastic enough to drop demand significantly for a buck or two of additional tax and our percentage of total world consumption is beginning to fall. The problem is that world consumption is rising and higher prices (caused by tax or not) are simply slowing the rate of consumption increase, but definitely not lowering consumption. It's gona be trouble!

I totally agree that oil/gasoline prices will be going up, up, up. In making a decision on whether I should buy an RV or not, I used $9/gal as my guess at a future price. It might sound high, but I bet I'm a lot closer than your $5 guess......
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Old 12-10-2007, 07:16 PM   #16
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I started the thread. So as I read it, the cost of living in Ontario will be so darn high that it will completely offset the health insurance savings. Gas, PST, GST and god knows what else. I might as well just duke it out with the health carriers here in the USA.
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Old 12-10-2007, 07:30 PM   #17
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Zman..... again, sorry about the hijack!

Dont forget the opportunity cost of the $400K for five years.
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Old 12-10-2007, 11:08 PM   #18
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With a little effort you could have had all thoses taxes rebated at the border.
We used to do that, but they changed the rules to require minimum of $200 taxes, and we were nowhere near that.
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Old 12-11-2007, 03:52 AM   #19
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Health care costs rising faster than general inflation.

Individual health insurance coverage is unfair and out of control. Part of the problem is on the consumer side. Anti-selection and the free-ride people.

The next stop is increase foreign outsourcing if it does not get fixed Domestically.

It is a complex set of issues. But I believe it can be improved and made more affordable.
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Old 12-11-2007, 07:12 AM   #20
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Quote:
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I started the thread. So as I read it, the cost of living in Ontario will be so darn high that it will completely offset the health insurance savings. Gas, PST, GST and god knows what else. I might as well just duke it out with the health carriers here in the USA.
We did a study many years ago comparing the same job in the same company in NY (not NYC) and Toronto Ontario, and concluded that disposable income after normal living costs was half in Ontario. Since that time, taxes have gotten reduced in Ontario,and health care insurance has increased in NY, but I expect there would still be a spread remaining.

Disposable income is for saving, and for spending on non-essential things like HDTV and travel.
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