Blogging the Alphabet: OHIP

Welcome to week "O" of blogging the alphabet, join me and Amanda as we wind our way through the alphabet, I do hope you will join us.  :)

 When I was thinking about what I could blog about in regards to Canada and the letter O... I got to thinking about OHIP.   OHIP stands for the Ontario Health Insurance Plan.  It's how we, who live in Ontario, manage our health care. 

Ontario's health care system is one of the best in the world. Ontarians who qualify can access a variety of health care services in their community.  NOTE: the system is not perfect, but it's pretty good.... and for the most part it works for us.

Imagine... being able to go to the doctor and not having to pay for it!  Well seriously, we DO pay for it, it comes out our taxes and salaries.... but since we don't really see it... we can go to the doctor when we need to.  Mind, sometimes I think we should get a bill so we know what it costs to go see the doctor as it would help stop abuse of the system.

A weakness in our system is that to get a referral to a specialist you NEED a family doctor unless it's life threatening.  When the lad was young he had troubles with his ears and we kept being told "ah, it'll be fine, take this med".   We scrambled like mad to find a family doctor and my mom-in-law talked to a doctor she knew who helped us to get a family doctor and voila!   Our son was put under care...WOOT WOOT!!! 

OHIP does not cover everything. 
Dental care, eye exams for adults under 65 is not covered and medication isn't covered.  Insurance coverage remains important for covering some of the costs for dental, optical, and medication.

But it does allow us the freedom of being able to schedule a doctor's appointment, of not going broke when a hospital stay is required, of knowing that if surgery is needed I don't have to weigh out the costs to see if it's affordable or not.

Do we always get surgery as soon as we want it?  No.  We don't.  Sometimes we have to exercise patience (like getting my son's ear fixed up).   Sometimes we can't have a private suite at the hospital (part of life to have to share rooms eh?).   Those who can afford it can jump over the border and get surgery done there more quickly...but that's a choice of affordability eh?

Somethings are covered that are politically based whereas some medical stuff that USED to be covered is taken away.   Well what can I say... it's part of living in a politically correct society.  You need to take the good with the bad.

OHIP is for people living in Ontario.  You do need to apply.  You need to actually live here and you need a card to get service. Each province or territory in Canada has it's own program for health care, and not all of them cover the same thing. 

Overall.. I love having OHIP.  I love knowing that my family can get the care it needs regardless if I am working or not.  Regardless of if I have insurance coverage or not.  We are covered and that is a good thing in my book.   I do know that sometimes, if you aren't working, you can get help with medication bills, or need to take the generic version, and seniors get assistance.

When I hear of people having to make hard choices about surgery or having to do "go fund me" campaigns because a needed surgery is going to cost them in excess of $30,000 ... .it bothers me.  People going broke over medical stuff...or having to choose not to have that needed surgery.   It's hard on families.   I can't fathom having to make those really really tough decisions.

Yes, it affects our bottom dollar.
But in the end.... it affects our health.
It's an imperfect system, but, for the most part.. it works.  :)  And that's a good thing.

I hope you'll come and join us eh?
A Net In Time Schooling


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14 comments

  1. Interesting to read a bit more about how it works. Nothing is perfect but thankful that there is something in place to begin helping you. And not having to weigh the cost of surgery - yep, that's a biggie. - Lori

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    1. no..there's a couple people I know on facebook who are struggling with costs for surgeons...needed before surgery can be looked at. Such hard decisions to fight with.

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  2. I have no experience with Canada's system, but I lived under Germany's for two years. It was sort of a mixed bag. My obstetrician was awesome and it was nice just going to the doctor when you needed to without worrying about even the copay. The dentist was weird. They didn't really do anything. Not at all like our system. They seemed to think it was a bit odd that we went when we weren't having any problems!

    Emergency surgery, however, was a different story. I hadn't been in Germany long when I went in. They asked me for my height and weight but I only knew it in feet and inches. Rather than converting it or measuring me, he made an estimate . . . and gave my enough anesthesia to knock me out for 8 hours for a 45 minute procedure! I was loopy and needed help walking for another 24 hours! And I recovered in a supply closet. Those parts I did not enjoy!

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    1. Wow..... Thats as different system again

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  3. Thanks for hosting!

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    1. you are most welcome. :)

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    1. It is an interesting system

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  5. What a great system to have in place. And nothing is ever perfect, so that is understandable!

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    1. it is a great system. :)

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  6. Sound much better than what we are dealing with in the States

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    1. I've heard of some of the struggles stateside.

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  7. That is really interesting! And so different from how I grew up in Silicon Valley (long before there was any silicon here...but now I am dating myself :) )

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    1. Oh Kirsten... I'm sorry, but I read "now I'm dating myself" and I thought..what? she has cloning device so she can date herself?? HUH? (too much time spent with my 11 year old I think...)

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Hi! thanks for stopping by. I love comments, it's good to talk with each other eh?