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Health insurance - prescriptions

Health insurance - prescriptions

Old Apr 4th 2016, 5:52 pm
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Red face Health insurance - prescriptions

Hi Everyone,

I know i have posted a couple of threads on here already so im sorry if i repeat myself!

So its only 19 weeks until myself and my fiance move out to Toronto! Excited/panicing!!

I have done all my research when it comes to the Health Insurance situation and know that we have to cover ourselves for the first 3 months of being in Toronto and then apply for the government health.

I was wondering if anyone gets regular prescriptions out in canada, I am on 'the contraceptive pill' and can only get 6 months worth in the UK before needing a check up so i will be needing some whilst i am in Toronto, My fiance has got Asthma and will need regular inhalers.
I was wondering if anyone knows if these things are covered under health insurance or whether they are extras and to be paid for?


A non health insurance question - has anyone used Scotia bank? I have seen several posts about banks but havnt really seen it mentioned? I have been on their website and it allows me to open a bank account to put money in and then i would activate it on arrival in Canada - didnt know whether this was worth doing?!

Thanks in advance, I may be posting more questions!!

Olivia
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Old Apr 4th 2016, 6:00 pm
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Default Re: Health insurance - prescriptions

Originally Posted by Oliviald View Post
I was wondering if anyone gets regular prescriptions out in canada, I am on 'the contraceptive pill' and can only get 6 months worth in the UK before needing a check up so i will be needing some whilst i am in Toronto, My fiance has got Asthma and will need regular inhalers.
I was wondering if anyone knows if these things are covered under health insurance or whether they are extras and to be paid for?
Prescriptions are generally not covered under the provincial healthcare system, your employer may provide extended health benefits in which case they may be covered.
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Old Apr 4th 2016, 7:26 pm
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Default Re: Health insurance - prescriptions

Originally Posted by Oliviald View Post


I was wondering if anyone gets regular prescriptions out in canada, I am on 'the contraceptive pill' and can only get 6 months worth in the UK before needing a check up so i will be needing some whilst i am in Toronto,
I don't know about Ontario but here in BC, contraception is not free (unlike in the UK).

If you can get a job with extended benefits and where they will pay towards prescription costs that's always good otherwise looking at my prescription slip it's about $30 per month for oral contraceptives
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Old Apr 4th 2016, 7:28 pm
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Default Re: Health insurance - prescriptions

Originally Posted by Oliviald View Post
A non health insurance question - has anyone used Scotia bank? I have seen several posts about banks but havnt really seen it mentioned? I have been on their website and it allows me to open a bank account to put money in and then i would activate it on arrival in Canada - didnt know whether this was worth doing?!
ScotiaBank are one of the big retail banks in Canada. IME the retail banks are pretty much of a muchness. Your experience usually depends on the quality of the people you deal with on a day to day basis rather than the institution itself. I currently have my personal and business accounts with ScotiaBank. If they have a product that suits you then go for it.
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Old Apr 4th 2016, 9:48 pm
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Default Re: Health insurance - prescriptions

Originally Posted by Oliviald View Post
Hi Everyone,

I know i have posted a couple of threads on here already so im sorry if i repeat myself!

So its only 19 weeks until myself and my fiance move out to Toronto! Excited/panicing!!

I have done all my research when it comes to the Health Insurance situation and know that we have to cover ourselves for the first 3 months of being in Toronto and then apply for the government health.

I was wondering if anyone gets regular prescriptions out in canada, I am on 'the contraceptive pill' and can only get 6 months worth in the UK before needing a check up so i will be needing some whilst i am in Toronto, My fiance has got Asthma and will need regular inhalers.
I was wondering if anyone knows if these things are covered under health insurance or whether they are extras and to be paid for?


A non health insurance question - has anyone used Scotia bank? I have seen several posts about banks but havnt really seen it mentioned? I have been on their website and it allows me to open a bank account to put money in and then i would activate it on arrival in Canada - didnt know whether this was worth doing?!

Thanks in advance, I may be posting more questions!!

Olivia
Prescriptions are not covered in Ontario - as others have said, you may be lucky and have some form of cover via an employer (with or without personal contribution).

International students may be required to pay for healthcare insurance and as far as I am aware are not covered under OHIP (Ontario Health) but are offered this one if they are attending specific uni's or colleges unless they have alternative insurance - The University Health Insurance Plan | Régime d'assurance maladie universitaire - you may want to check on this. Your partner should qualify for OHIP after 3 months if they have a job offer / contract specifying that the position is for 6 months or longer.

OHIP Eligibility - Ontario Health Insurance (OHIP) - Publications - Public Information - MOHLTC and FAQ's http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/publi...hipfaq_mn.aspx

As for the bank, as mentioned above most of them offer a similar service.


Last edited by Siouxie; Apr 4th 2016 at 9:59 pm.
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Old Apr 4th 2016, 10:50 pm
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Default Re: Health insurance - prescriptions

All health care in Canada is pretty much of a "dogs' breakfast!" I even have inter-provincial health and travel cover, because not all provinces provide the same services. And prescriptions are pretty high ($450 for three months'meds, and four of those were generic!)
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Old Apr 5th 2016, 12:36 am
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Default Re: Health insurance - prescriptions

Yeah be aware that you pay the actual price for drug plus a dispensing fee.
Not a fixed price like the NHS.

I've had antibiotics that were a few bucks but some meds are eye wateringly expensive
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Old Apr 5th 2016, 12:52 am
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Default Re: Health insurance - prescriptions

You can get contraception cheaper and often free at the sexual health clinics. In Toronto, Planned Parenthood is a good option.

| choice is yours.

I work at a similar clinic here in Victoria.
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Old Apr 5th 2016, 12:55 am
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Default Re: Health insurance - prescriptions

One thing to bear in mind in the early days. If you or your partner get a job that offers you extended health care benefits, many insurance plans require you to have the provincial cover first in order to be eligible for the insurer's cover. So until you have OHIP coverage, the employer-provided benefits might not kick in.

Think of extended health care benefits as an 'extension' of the provincial health system. It tops them up and pays for things (usually up to a percentage) that are not covered by the province.
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Old Apr 5th 2016, 2:41 am
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Default Re: Health insurance - prescriptions

Originally Posted by charlottyb View Post
You can get contraception cheaper and often free at the sexual health clinics. In Toronto, Planned Parenthood is a good option.

| choice is yours.

I work at a similar clinic here in Victoria.
That option certainly isn't available in Vancouver. You might be able to get cheaper contraceptives but not free unless you are under 19 or on income assistance
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Old Apr 5th 2016, 3:09 am
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Default Re: Health insurance - prescriptions

Originally Posted by Zoe Bell View Post
Yeah be aware that you pay the actual price for drug plus a dispensing fee.
Not a fixed price like the NHS.

I've had antibiotics that were a few bucks but some meds are eye wateringly expensive
I think dispensing fees are a complete rip off, never mind the cost of a drug -$10 typically per item which could be a week, a month- if the pharmacies had their way or if you complain loud enough three months. Often the generic meds cost way less than the dispensing fee.
When I was a GP in the UK we were a dispensing practice and got a small dispensing fee from the government for dispensing the meds- I've had a quick look at the up to date fees and it is a out £2 per item which typically for ongoing meds is for 3 months. Yes, this doesn't affect those with extended benefits but quite a percentage of people don't have these and they get well and truly shafted.

I would shop around if there are several pharmacies in town, most aside from Costco have similar dispensing fees- Costco is about $5. Have a look at
Comparison websites- Pharmacy Compass in BC I'm not sure what they are in other provinces but there may be alternatives where you live it gives you an idea of the variable costs of meds in different pharmacies and lists dispensing fees. They don't list certain things, some inhalers (they are mostly effin expensive), some birthcontrol pills but they give you an idea
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Old Apr 5th 2016, 3:31 am
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Default Re: Health insurance - prescriptions

Originally Posted by beckiwoo View Post
That option certainly isn't available in Vancouver. You might be able to get cheaper contraceptives but not free unless you are under 19 or on income assistance
There are options that aren't commonly advertised, through some drug companies such as Merck and their financial assistance programme. I know of some small non -profit clinics in Vancouver that offer this as well. It is not widely used in walk in clinics or GPs.
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Old Apr 5th 2016, 6:07 am
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Default Re: Health insurance - prescriptions

Originally Posted by charlottyb View Post
There are options that aren't commonly advertised, through some drug companies such as Merck and their financial assistance programme. I know of some small non -profit clinics in Vancouver that offer this as well. It is not widely used in walk in clinics or GPs.
But that's going to be for low income families/individuals and/or those on IA/PWD. Not for people working.
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Old Apr 5th 2016, 6:51 am
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Default Re: Health insurance - prescriptions

As far as I am aware, International Students (which is what the OP will be) don't qualify for OHIP anyway, so would likely need to go to a walk in doctor and pay to get a prescription in the first place, unless they have good healthcare insurance that will cover pre-existing conditions / birth control and doctor appointments for non-emergencies - or they have got UHIP.

http://uhip.ca/frequently-asked-questions.aspx
"What’s the difference between OHIP and UHIP?
OHIP does not cover international non-residents and their dependants studying or working at an Ontario university. Instead, most Ontario universities participate in UHIP. UHIP is similar, though not equivalent, to OHIP. UHIP provides coverage for medically necessary services and supplies that Ontario residents receive under OHIP."

I read on the college website that they include insurance in their fees - is this medical insurance or professional risk type insurance?

Last edited by Siouxie; Apr 5th 2016 at 7:12 am.
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Old Apr 5th 2016, 1:51 pm
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Default Re: Health insurance - prescriptions

Originally Posted by beckiwoo View Post
But that's going to be for low income families/individuals and/or those on IA/PWD. Not for people working.
Don't under estimate what systems there are and don't put too much emphasis on "low income"

Every province in Canada runs various programs. Qualification is income related - such as social assistance - but they are also expenses related (housing cost, transport cost, other medical needs) and the expense may be the cost of an individual drug or total cost of several so it's possible to qualify even if not on a low income.

Nobody without insurance need pay more than around 5% of their income, however the income is made up so it can include working people.

If you are being treated for diabetes and high blood pressure - not exactly uncommon - your monthly cost could easily be more than $400, not including the cost of testing/injecting supplies.

At $5000 a year, it means you could get half of it paid for if you were a single person on $50k...and I believe it's net income, not gross.

I dare say some on BE might regard $4000 a month take-home as low paid.

My mother in law isn't on a low income but qualifies as a senior. Her prescriptions are $9 a time. Others who qualify in this province under the programs pay $4 a time.

But then Shoppers Drug Mart have their own support whereby they only charge the Seniors $5 and the others zero. I believe the Pharmacy in Superstore did something similar and may still do so.

There really are support systems in place not especially well advertised.

Last edited by BristolUK; Apr 5th 2016 at 1:53 pm.
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