VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Aug. 08, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A typical Canadian family of four (two parents, two children) will pay $13,311 for public health-care insurance in 2019, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

“Despite misleading claims of Canada’s ‘free’ health-care system, Canadians actually pay a substantial amount of money for health care through a variety of 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, 2019.

Most Canadians are unaware of the true cost of health care because they never see a bill for medical services, may only pay a small health insurance “premium” tax (in provinces that impose them), and because general government revenue—not a dedicated tax—funds Canada’s public health-care system.

But using data from Statistics Canada and the Canadian Institute for Health Information, the study estimates that a typical Canadian family consisting of two parents and two children with an average household income of $140,049 will pay $13,311 for public health care this year. After adjusting for inflation, that’s an increase of 65.8 per cent since 1997, the first year of calculable estimates.

For single Canadians, health-care costs more than doubled over that same period—from $2,150 to (in 2019 dollars) to $4,544 this year.

Across the income spectrum, the amount Canadian families pay for health care varies widely. For example, the 10 per cent of families with the lowest incomes (earning $15,070 per household, on average) will pay $464 for health care in 2019, while families among the top 10 per cent of income earners (earning a household income of $298,872, on average) will pay $39,486.

“Only when Canadians understand how much we pay for our public health-care system can we better decide whether or not we get good value for our money,” Barua said.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Bacchus Barua, Associate Director, Health Policy Studies
Fraser Institute

To arrange media interviews or for more information, please contact:
Mark Hasiuk, 604-688-0221 ext. 517, mark.hasiuk@fraserinstitute.org

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The Fraser Institute is an independent Canadian public policy research and educational organization with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal and ties to a global network of think-tanks in 87 countries. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for Canadians, their families and future generations by studying, measuring and broadly communicating the effects of government policies, entrepreneurship and choice on their well-being. To protect the Institute’s independence, it does not accept grants from governments or contracts for research. Visit www.fraserinstitute.org