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Diabetes and Canada

Diabetes and Canada

Old Aug 7th 2017, 10:24 pm
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Default Diabetes and Canada

Hello,

I'm new to this and have browsed a couple of other posts but can't seem to find the answer I'm looking for.

I'm thinking about( or more so hoping) to maybe move to Canada ASAP(Alberta). This is due to my partner moving there for work but as we are unmarried I am going to have to do it independantly as I cannot get any help from his employer ( which is fair enough)

I am a type 1 diabetic and feeling really confused about how I need to go about healthcare and costs etc. As I do not have a job currently lined up( but should hopefully find one once I am over,I will not have cover from an employer. How would I go about getting my prescriptions as I usually do ( insulin, testing strips etc). Do they also provide check ups as we usually do here in the UK?

Thanks in advance
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Old Aug 7th 2017, 11:14 pm
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Default Re: Diabetes and Canada

Get a good job with a great health plan and u be ok
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Old Aug 7th 2017, 11:26 pm
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Default Re: Diabetes and Canada

Bring at least a months supplies with you. Get registered for the provincial Alberta Health as soon as you arrive. You would go to a GP and get your prescriptions, and you would pay for all your supplies. I suspect this could run to several hundred dollars per month.

If you get a job that offers health benefits, you could typically get about 80% paid by a health plan.

If you are in a common law relationship (and again, typically, have been living together for at least 12 months), AND if your partner gets benefits through his work, you could go on his plan as a dependant and then have some coverage that way.

And finally, if you both end up in jobs that offer health benefits, two plans would likely cover everything - obviously the most ideal situation. 😉

A GP could refer you to an endocrinologist as appropriate (Dr. Parkins at Richmond Road in Calgary is no nonsense and is awesome if that is of any use to you!).

Last edited by ann m; Aug 7th 2017 at 11:28 pm.
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Old Aug 8th 2017, 2:11 am
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Default Re: Diabetes and Canada

Originally Posted by ChloeNelson1993 View Post
Hello,

I'm new to this and have browsed a couple of other posts but can't seem to find the answer I'm looking for.

I'm thinking about( or more so hoping) to maybe move to Canada ASAP(Alberta). This is due to my partner moving there for work but as we are unmarried I am going to have to do it independantly as I cannot get any help from his employer ( which is fair enough)

I am a type 1 diabetic and feeling really confused about how I need to go about healthcare and costs etc. As I do not have a job currently lined up( but should hopefully find one once I am over,I will not have cover from an employer. How would I go about getting my prescriptions as I usually do ( insulin, testing strips etc). Do they also provide check ups as we usually do here in the UK?

Thanks in advance
Hello and welcome to BE!

Exciting times!

If you have lived together, as if married, for a minimum of 12 months then you could get a work permit on the back of your partners, providing they have a skilled job. There would be no need for the company to be involved, you would just apply (with a copy of his work permit, employment contract etc., proof of common-law status) when you arrived in Canada. http://britishexpats.com/wiki/Spousa..._Permit-Canada

Your other option, if you are under 31, would be to apply to the pool for a 2 year working holiday work permit. You can find details here: International Experience Canada – travel and work in Canada

Unfortunately, unless you are able to find a company willing to go to the time and expense of obtaining an LMIA you may find it quite difficult to obtain a temporary work permit if you can't qualify under the two above.

You could also check to see if you would be able to apply for Permanent Residency through Express Entry,

Best of luck!


Last edited by Siouxie; Aug 8th 2017 at 2:16 am.
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Old Aug 8th 2017, 7:40 am
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Default Re: Diabetes and Canada

Thanks for your replies they are really helpful.

Unfortunately we do not have proof of living together as my partner is actually in the British Army and has been in Germany for the past 2 years and therefore we have only lived together when he has come home on leave and therefore have no bills together.

Another thing I should have mentioned is that this is only for 2 years ( hopefully) so isn't a permanent basis currently.

The job suggestion is difficult because I can't apply for jobs as i haven't applied for a visa yet as I'm unsure I will be able to live there without affecting my health ( hence the current post) and also won't be able to attend interviews until I'm over there so it is a catch 22.

Out of interest how long on average did it take for you guys to get your visa?

Thank you to all replies again , really appreciated
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Old Aug 11th 2017, 7:25 pm
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Default Re: Diabetes and Canada

You can always apply for Alberta Blue Cross for $60 ish dollars a month and it covers pre existing conditions. It covers around 80% of prescriptions.
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Old Aug 11th 2017, 7:36 pm
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Default Re: Diabetes and Canada

Originally Posted by CanadianSpruce View Post
You can always apply for Alberta Blue Cross for $60 ish dollars a month and it covers pre existing conditions. It covers around 80% of prescriptions.
Bullshit

I am a type I diabetic in Alberta. My monthly premiums for Blue Cross are around $280 a month (family coverage), purely as a result of my diabetes.

Fees for prescriptions are paid on top of that and, for items such as diabetic supplies, they only cover $600 a year. When test strips cost $85 a month, a large amount of those not going to be covered, let alone needles.

Last edited by Almost Canadian; Aug 11th 2017 at 7:42 pm.
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Old Aug 11th 2017, 7:49 pm
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Default Re: Diabetes and Canada

Originally Posted by Almost Canadian View Post
Bullshit

I am a type I diabetic in Alberta. My monthly premiums for Blue Cross are around $280 a month (family coverage), purely as a result of my diabetes.

Fees for prescriptions are paid on top of that and, for items such as diabetic supplies, they only cover $600 a year. When test strips cost $85 a month, a large amount of those not going to be covered, let alone needles.
If you don't mind me asking , how much would you say it costs per month all round on average ? I'm just trying to get a feel of what I need to prepare myself for. I use approximately 150 strips per month and 100 needles per month and then my insulin and lancets on top of this(although I don't order these as often as strips and needles in the UK)

Thanks
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Old Aug 11th 2017, 10:10 pm
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Default Re: Diabetes and Canada

Originally Posted by ChloeNelson1993 View Post
If you don't mind me asking , how much would you say it costs per month all round on average ? I'm just trying to get a feel of what I need to prepare myself for. I use approximately 150 strips per month and 100 needles per month and then my insulin and lancets on top of this(although I don't order these as often as strips and needles in the UK)

Thanks
I take 32 units of lantus each day and around 60 units of novorapid.

Your test strips are $85 for a box of 100. With Blue Cross, the maximum that they will charge for a single prescription is $25. They will allow a 3 month supply each prescription fill. So, 3 months of lantus and 3 months of novorapid costs $25 each ($50 total)

I use 3 test strips a day (there was a debate on here a short time ago regarding the amount of times one needs to test each day - I have no idea why someone would need to do so 5 times a day).

I change needles each time I change my insulin cartridges. Again, I don't understand why someone would need to use 2 needles a day. I get that, if the NHS is providing them for free, some may wish to do so. I have been a diabetic for over 20 years and I have never had an issue with my injection sites.

IIRC, a box of 100 needles is around $80 but it has been some time since I last bought a box.

I change my tester needles less frequently than I change my insulin needles. I honestly have no idea how much they cost.

If you go with Blue Cross and, if you continue to use your "diabetic supplies"
as you do now, it will get expensive. I am now self employed. When I was employed I had 100% coverage of all such things through my employer's health insurance so it is possible to obtain such coverage.

From my experience, your premiums will be set according to how much your prescriptions cost. You may wish to take that into account when you obtain your prescriptions when you first arrive, you may not.
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Old Aug 11th 2017, 10:19 pm
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Default Re: Diabetes and Canada

Originally Posted by Almost Canadian View Post
I take 32 units of lantus each day and around 60 units of novorapid.

Your test strips are $85 for a box of 100. With Blue Cross, the maximum that they will charge for a single prescription is $25. They will allow a 3 month supply each prescription fill. So, 3 months of lantus and 3 months of novorapid costs $25 each ($50 total)

I use 3 test strips a day (there was a debate on here a short time ago regarding the amount of times one needs to test each day - I have no idea why someone would need to do so 5 times a day).

I change needles each time I change my insulin cartridges. Again, I don't understand why someone would need to use 2 needles a day. I get that, if the NHS is providing them for free, some may wish to do so. I have been a diabetic for over 20 years and I have never had an issue with my injection sites.

IIRC, a box of 100 needles is around $80 but it has been some time since I last bought a box.

I change my tester needles less frequently than I change my insulin needles. I honestly have no idea how much they cost.

If you go with Blue Cross and, if you continue to use your "diabetic supplies"
as you do now, it will get expensive. I am now self employed. When I was employed I had 100% coverage of all such things through my employer's health insurance so it is possible to obtain such coverage.

From my experience, your premiums will be set according to how much your prescriptions cost. You may wish to take that into account when you obtain your prescriptions when you first arrive, you may not.
Me neither
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Old Aug 11th 2017, 10:36 pm
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Default Re: Diabetes and Canada

Originally Posted by Stinkypup View Post
Me neither
I've done a course here in the UK whereby I inject anytime I eat anything ( even a bit of fruit) which has helped me reduce my hba1c. Due to the frequent injections I am required to test before eating and injecting also, i also have to test before and after exercise and before driving (and during if longer than 2 hours).
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Old Aug 11th 2017, 10:57 pm
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Default Re: Diabetes and Canada

Originally Posted by Stinkypup View Post
Me neither
If you do get extended benefits, unfortunately, the insurance companies are coming down hard on medications and are indeed are covering less and less. This includes the new forms of insulin and other diabetic medications-there is no guarantee unfortunately that your current regime will be covered when he get over here-obviously AC uses sustained release Lantus and shorter acting Novarapid which are typically covered.The coverage for supplies is a bone of contention, certainly an BC and probably also in Alberta.

I have to say that your regime whilst being incredibly adjustable, sounds to be very difficult to be compliant with. To test that frequently sounds excessive and if that is the way forward for control of diabetes, I'm not sure that many people will be that committed to do it properly. I have to say.

Unfortunately, I highly doubt that you would be able to continue your current regime when in Alberta, although I don't work there, working BC. For one thing they would not approve that many testing strips per month I can be sure of that
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Old Aug 12th 2017, 12:14 am
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Default Re: Diabetes and Canada

Originally Posted by Stinkypup View Post

Unfortunately, I highly doubt that you would be able to continue your current regime when in Alberta, although I don't work there, working BC. For one thing they would not approve that many testing strips per month I can be sure of that
Worth noting that if you can arrange something south of the border you can save much dosh.

I think one of the Steve's is regularly in the US and gets test strips for something daft like $15US. They are actually on Amazon.com for very low prices but they've got it so well stitched up that the cheapest ones won't be sent to Canada and by the time they add the postal costs and convert to Canadian $$, the ones that initially look cheaper than Canada are about the same.
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Old Aug 12th 2017, 12:35 am
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Default Re: Diabetes and Canada

A useful money saving tip.
Register for the Optimum (rewards) card with Shoppers Drug Mart. They have bonus Saturdays where you get 20 times the usual points.
The value of the points equals about 20% of the cost.

SDM also does a Seniors discount but you have to be 65.

Lawtons does a 55+ 20% discount every Wednesday. It's easier to fit in with every Weds than monthly on Saturday.
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Old Aug 12th 2017, 2:24 pm
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Default Re: Diabetes and Canada

Originally Posted by Stinkypup View Post
I have to say that your regime whilst being incredibly adjustable, sounds to be very difficult to be compliant with. To test that frequently sounds excessive and if that is the way forward for control of diabetes, I'm not sure that many people will be that committed to do it properly. I have to say.

Unfortunately, I highly doubt that you would be able to continue your current regime when in Alberta, although I don't work there, working BC. For one thing they would not approve that many testing strips per month I can be sure of that
My daughter was pretty much taught the same way as chloenelson1993. She takes Lantus and Humalog, and often takes extra Humalog for any extra food, but I have to admit she does not test every time she eats though probably should, if she was to be using her freestyle meter the way it was intended! We've never yet been denied supplies, but we do have coverage under two employer plans at this time.

Slight thread drift for anyone in the U.K. - is anyone using the Freestyle Libre? It's the patch you stick on you upper arm and you just wave the meter over it and get a sugar reading by bluetooth. Daughter's endo mentioned it (but not available in Canada yet) and I'm in UK at the moment and was thinking of buying one - but each patch only lasts a few weeks and seems expensive (£50+ each?)
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