Canadians are in agreement about the need to reform prescription drug policy, an important part of overall Canadian healthcare.
According to Leger Marketing polling data released by the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association, more than 90 percent of Canadians want lower prescription prices and 81 percent desire one price for a prescription drug regardless of public or private coverage, or if they pay out of pocket.
Private payers taking on much of the insurance costs
A recent report from the CLHIA detailed the need for reform in the way the Canadian healthcare system handles the delivery of prescription drugs amongst the provinces. The report explained that the trends in the industry are leading to higher costs for payers, both public and private. The CLHIA indicated as recently as 2011, "life and health insurers made benefit payments for prescription drugs of $10.1 billion and private payers accounted for roughly 55 per cent of all prescription drug purchases." Continue reading
After dealing with mortgage rates and home loans, the last thing you want to do is add more stress to the home owning experience. However, it’s essential that homeowners understand how to keep their family and property safe in case of an emergency.
While less dangerous than other emergencies, power outages can still wreak havoc when it comes to your health, security and comfort. Besides the obvious inconvenience of your home’s appliances failing to work, power outages leave you vulnerable to things such as fire or carbon monoxide poisoning if your detection devices lose power. In addition, losing power could mean losing heat, something that could lead to serious damage and discomfort in the middle of winter.
One way to deal with power outages is to make sure that you have a backup system in place. Purchasing a generator will allow your home to continue functioning in case of a power outage, although you will likely need to ration power to the most important parts of your home. You can help cut down on wasting back up power by installing energy efficient appliances. Not only will these help in the case of using a back up generator, but they will save you money on energy costs as well. Continue reading
It can be so easy to get wrapped up in the process of buying a new home that people forget to take other important matters into account. After all, when it comes down to it, isn’t you and your family’s safety more important than mortgage rates and closing costs? Security means more than installing an alarm system in your new home. It means making sure that safety goes hand in hand with your home purchase, from the initial search to moving in.
The first step toward ensuring your security is deciding where you want to live. The geography and demographics of your neighborhood are the strongest influences on your home’s security, so take these into account when searching for a property. Is your home closer to schools or bars? Is the neighborhood made up of families or young people? Are the surroundings more urban or suburban? Does the area feature a neighborhood watch program? These all affect the environment you’re moving into. It’s also easy to look up crime statistics for separate neighborhoods online. Before finalizing your deal, you might want to see if burglaries or car thefts are problems near your house. Make sure to ask your realtor about the neighborhood. You want to own a home in a safe environment that fits your needs. Buying a home is a major investment, and the peace of mind that comes from a safe neighborhood is priceless. Continue reading
Purchasing life insurance can impact your finances just as much as taking out a mortgage. It’s with that in mind that you should focus on fully understanding your options when it comes to buying life insurance. While thinking about your mortality might not be the most enjoyable activity, proper preparation can ensure you get the best deal along with the peace of mind that your economic affairs are in order.
Decide your needs
The first step in buying life insurance is figuring out exactly what you need. An easy way to calculate your approximate costs is to add up your debt, funeral costs and a year of income replacement. There are also online calculators you can use to get an idea of how much money it would take to support your family after you’re gone. Just remember that there’s no need to waste money on an unnecessarily large policy while you’re still alive. Continue reading
With Hurricane Sandy ripping her way through homes and neighborhoods in the U.S. and Canada, leaving thousands of people homeless and even more without power, it's a little late to worry about whether your home is insured for natural disasters.
But hurricane season and tropical storms aren't the only concern for Canadians, and tornados, earthquakes and flooding (usually not insured under standard policies, but there may be exceptions) may also do severe damage to a home – does your insurance cover all possibilities?
All insurance policies are different and vary on the home's location, policy amount and company, so the first step in double checking insurance coverage is to take a look at the policy or contact your insurer to ask a few questions. If you do have natural disaster coverage, do you know how much the deductible is? Is it a deductible separate from your homeowner's policy? Continue reading
Hurricane Sandy has dominated all aspects of the news for the last few days, as it rightly should. The toils and troubles of everyday life tend to take a backseat when a force as powerful and volatile as Mother Nature rears its head.
Besides obvious fears regarding the safety of family and friends, the biggest speculation has come from the financial world. The full effect of Hurricane Sandy won’t be known for some time, but that hasn’t stopped analysts from trying to figure out the costs.
The CBC has estimated that the hurricane may cause as much as $45 billion in losses, affecting 25 percent of the U.S. economy.
"It seems likely that Sandy will impose greater destruction of property [than last year's Hurricane Irene], and add to that the loss of about two days commercial activity, spread over a week across 25 percent of the economy, an initial estimate of the economic losses imposed by Sandy is about $35- to $45-billion,” said macroeconomist Peter Morici in the CBC report. Continue reading
So, you were able to secure a mortgage and buy your dream house. OK, so maybe it isn't your dream house as it currently stands, but it has tons of potential, right? All it takes are a few tweaks and renovations and voila! It will be the perfect property and exactly what you've always wanted.
The first step is to secure a contractor for the job or jobs, depending on how large a project you're taking on. Whether you know a friend of a friend who is talented – or so you've heard – and will accept cash under the table or you go the route of hiring a true-blue professional, remembering one key factor: Always get everything in writing. All the time. No exceptions.
Still thinking about that cash-under-the-table contractor? You know, the one who promised you the moon, stars and a granite countertop at a quarter of the price? Before shaking hands and sealing the deal, it's wise to make sure this person is aware of laws and rules surrounding home renovations. OK, so if it's a bathroom tiling project, it's probably fine, but what if you're looking for someone to help you build a deck or add a room onto the house? Continue reading
As doctors and government officials spar over physician pay in Ontario, one newspaper has reviewed the correlation between professional compensation and wait times at medical clinics across Canada.
After recalculating physician wages in countries around the world to account for the relative buying power of different currencies, Mark Stabile, director of the School of Public Policy and Governance and professor of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, compared those wages to colleagues abroad, as well as average salaries at home. In his Toronto Star article, Stabile notes that, while Canadian doctors make less than their German or American counterparts, they make 3.2 times the average salary of most Canadians.
Stabile cites a study that compares the Canadian health system to another similar system, that of the United Kingdom. Though healthcare spending in Canada is much higher per capita than the U.K., the British are able to pay their doctors an average salary more than 20 percent higher than in Canada. Stabile also says that the average wait time to see a doctor is shorter in countries where compensation is higher, on a fee-for-service model. Continue reading
As Ottawa prepares to cut health benefits for certain protected persons and refugees, Canadians are reminded that their national healthcare system still doesn't provide everything they need.
Taxpayers currently spend more than $84 million per year funding the Interim Federal Health Program, which provides temporary health insurance to some groups of people who may not otherwise qualify for federal or provincial healthcare coverage. The IFHP also provides supplemental health coverage, including vision, dental and pharmacy care – coverage most Canadians do not have access to.
"Our government's objective is to bring about transformational changes to our immigration system so that it meets Canada's economic needs," said Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney. "Canadians are a very generous people and Canada has a generous immigration system. However, we do not want to ask Canadians to pay for benefits for protected persons and refugee claimants that are more generous than what they are entitled to themselves." Continue reading
The most recent federal budget from Ottawa reveals a lack of leadership when it comes to much needed healthcare reforms, according to the Canadian Healthcare Association.
While Budget 2012 contains a number of provisions that will be helpful to Canadians over the coming years, ministers took a scattered approach to healthcare reform that falls short of expectations. Student loan forgiveness schemes for doctors and nurses are a good first step, but should be extended to other medical professions, suggests Pamela Fralick, president and CEO of the CHA. Similarly, funding levels for education and water infrastructure improvements in aboriginal communities – two social determinants that strongly influence health outcomes – at least acknowledge the importance of these programs, but can only be considered a starting point for real reforms.
"Budget 2012 addresses a number of important health concerns," Fralick said. "But, Canada will not have the world class health system it deserves with a piecemeal approach. Federal leadership is a necessary component of comprehensive health system improvement." Continue reading