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Healthcare "Premium Costs" Going down in British Columbia Canada
Old 01-08-2018, 07:04 AM   #1
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Healthcare "Premium Costs" Going down in British Columbia Canada

We are always talking about HC costs increasing. What is British Colombia Canada doing right? What is the USA doing so wrong? Remember the "Premium" is NOT paid to an Insurance Company, it is a fee collected by the Government in return for the Healthcare services. Note: EVERYONE pays it based on their income.

For 2018 individual premiums are going down by 50% (YES Five, Zero Percent)

Here are some excerpts:

"Effective Jan. 1, 2018, current rates for MSP Premiums will be reduced by 50 per cent for all British Columbians. There is no need to apply for this reduction: premium amounts will be automatically adjusted.
*
Through the Regular Premium Assistance Program, effective Jan. 1, 2018, families with an annual adjusted net income of $26,000 or less will pay no MSP premiums at all (a $2,000 increase from the current $24,000)."
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Old 01-08-2018, 07:22 AM   #2
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I can't comment on BC but I'm glad you put "premium costs" in quotes. A bit of a pet peeve of mine, but people are always talking about what they pay for HC insurance as the premium. The premium is what the insurance company charges - including whatever the government pays.

Your premium can "go down" if someone else pays part if it, but that is just because someone else is paying for it! Not because the insurance is cheaper.

I seriously doubt that actual healthcare costs in BC went down 50% (and per google are going to zero within 4 years).
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Old 01-08-2018, 03:35 PM   #3
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Multiple snarky and/or rude posts were deleted. The thread was moved into the Public Policy forum.
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Old 01-12-2018, 05:03 PM   #4
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I don’t believe these “premiums” cover a significant part of the total health care cost in BC. The vast majority come from general tax revenues including transfers from the federal gov’t. Probably a political move?
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Old 01-12-2018, 09:02 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Danmar View Post
I don’t believe these “premiums” cover a significant part of the total health care cost in BC. The vast majority come from general tax revenues including transfers from the federal gov’t. Probably a political move?
+1

“The Canadian Institute for Health Information predicts per capita heath spending in the province will be $6,321.”

https://bc.ctvnews.ca/b-c-is-the-pro...rson-1.3667458

Obviously the MSP premiums, even prior to being reduced, could not cover that health expenditure.

The Canada Health Act gives provinces autonomy in how they want to orgabnize their Health services, within the following five constraints:
Public Administration: All administration of provincial health insurance must be carried out by a public authority on a non-profit basis. They also must be accountable to the province or territory, and their records and accounts are subject to audits.

Comprehensiveness: All necessary health services, including hospitals, physicians and surgical dentists, must be insured.

Universality: All insured residents are entitled to the same level of health care.

Portability: A resident that moves to a different province or territory is still entitled to coverage from their home province during a minimum waiting period. This also applies to residents who leave the country.

Accessibility: All insured persons have reasonable access to health care facilities. In addition, all physicians, hospitals, etc, must be provided reasonable compensation for the services they provide.
Now, some provinces charge health care premiums, and some do not. In no case does the provincial healthcare premium cover the actual per capita cost of healthcare. The excess is funded from general taxation. The previous BC government had already decided that the cost and hassle of administering health care premiums was not worth the effort. Therefore they are being phased out. Meanwhile, there are small increases in personal taxation. That’s all there is to it.
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Old 01-25-2018, 06:05 PM   #6
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It is a political shell game.

Health cost are rising, though clearly not at the same rate as in other jurisdictions. Some Canadian provinces have no health care premiums, others tie it to income level. But the costs are still there and they are the largest factor in any provincial budget.

Politicians will do anything, promise anything in a bid to get re-elected. And our voters, it would appear, love to be bought off with their own money. Bottom line...you can pay me now or pay me later. But you are going to have to pay me.

We are very thankful for the system we have, especially in light of some serious family health issues. Next logical step will be to have all presciibed drugs covered under the program as well. It is coming but probably a few years away. Some provinces currently encompass prescriptions for a certain segment of the population or provide significant reductions in prescription cost.

The other factor to keep in mind is that I have been paying for it through taxes since I started working. I have been fortunate enough to have only used it once for a minor issue. I seldom see a physician. But, when I do need it, or a member of my family needs care it will be there. Prepaid in a way. There are issues however it works when we need it.
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Old 04-17-2018, 10:26 PM   #7
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[mod edit]

And brett is quite correct, it’s simply a matter of a (Green-controlled NDP government) buying votes from the gullible. Health care costs continue to rise and this premium reduction has no bearing on that. There’s nothing to see here, no lesson to be learned by other jurisdictions.
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Old 04-18-2018, 05:34 AM   #8
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There are reasons for increases in healthcare costs. There are hundreds of new treatments per year including prescription drugs in the hundreds/thousands. These new treatments make life better for millions of people. They extend the lives of thousands. Trying to put a value on extending life or improving the life of thousands is "priceless". So when healthcare costs increase, think of the alternative of decreasing treatments and reduced quality of life. Nothing else compares to the advantages of good health and treatment. To give control of that to one entity(government) may not be the best use of resources.
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Old 04-18-2018, 05:42 AM   #9
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So imo there are multiple issues and they are complex. I've kinda weaned them down to bullet points.
THESE are truly my ramblings.

1) IMO no one is really talking about why hc cost are going up, we always seem to concentrate on how to pay for it not how to fix it. that's like having a hole in your roof leaking into your house and concentrating on which bucket to use to catch the water.

2) As a country we don't give a lot of thought to maintaining or obtaining good health in the first place. our health care system is based on treatment. I wish we'd do more on prevention in the first place.

3) everyone wants to live forever. I believe I read that most of the high cost stuff comes toward end of life. as a nation we are petrified of old age and dying. everyone says they want to "pull the plug" but the reality is when that time comes, we hold on for all it's worth.

4) lastly and most importantly we've lost the art of compromise. it's going to kill us faster than terrorism or economic collapse.
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Old 04-18-2018, 06:43 AM   #10
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Thanks for those points, bclover. You're preaching to the choir in my case. I try to emphasize "prevent what's preventable" when FB friends get up on their high horse about the "greedy health insurance companies" but no one wants to hear about eating less and moving more and I get accused of "fat shaming", which wasn't my point at all, or get told sad stories about health issues that truly are bad luck, and I already know they happen and that they could happen to me any time, too.

Yes, end-of-life care is a touchy subject. People in my family have accepted terminal diagnoses gracefully- Grandpa's colon cancer at age 95 (yes, they wanted to operate), Mom's recurrence of breast cancer at 87, DH's acute myeloid leukemia diagnosis at 78. All of them decided not to pursue aggressive treatment which had almost no chance of success. I saw others on the FB page for acute myeloid leukemia who practically kept searching for more treatments till the coroner arrived. Hospice care is a wonderful thing. I don't know how we move more in that direction without getting accused of having the much-feared "Death Committees".

It looks like the BC system isn't very transparent- thanks to those who explained that "premiums" are only a portion of the total costs. I've discovered that those who advocate for "free healthcare" don't actually expect service providers to work for nothing- they just want it all paid for from some invisible source and preferably not their money.
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