Dental Checkups and Drugs Rise Canada’s Health Debt: Poll

Canadians face an average medical debt of more than $6,000, with dental bills and prescription drugs being the main culprits, according to a new poll.

Nearly one in six Canadians are in debt for medical bills, more than three times as many Australians, according to a recent national survey.

A poll of 3,000 people in Canada, the United States and Australia found that Canadians are the second most indebted after the United States.

According to PureProfile research conducted on behalf of Compare the Market, dental checkups and prescription drugs are the most likely sources of medical debt in all three countries.

Polls show that 17.5% of Canadians and 15.5% of Australians are in debt due to medical expenses.

In both countries, younger generations were most likely to borrow. Canada has the widest gender gap in health-related debt among the three countries, according to a poll, with 20% of Canadian women having borrowed money for medical expenses, compared with 15% of men. rice field.

Respondents in the two Commonwealth countries, both of which have universal health coverage, had lower medical debt than the United States, which averaged US$9,358. Americans between the ages of 45 and 54 face the highest levels of debt, with 45% facing unpaid medical bills.

The survey found that second-placed Canadians have an average medical debt of $6,022, while Australians are nearly a third, with an average of $2,082 in unpaid medical bills. .

Canada Moves Towards Universal Dental Plan

The poll comes as Canada moves toward introducing a universal dental plan for children and low-income families.

In Canada, universal access to dental care will be fully implemented by 2025. Her children under the age of 12 from low-income households are now eligible to receive Pediatric Dental Benefits through the Canada Revenue Agency. Introduced last fall, the benefit provides families with up to $650 per child to help create the National Dental Program, a key promise of the Fiduciary and Supply Agreement between the Liberal Party and the NDP. It was the first step.

Current benefits are available to households with household incomes of less than $90,000 annually and range from $260 to $650 per child, depending on net income. The federal government estimates that 500,000 children will benefit from this assistance, which will be implemented in two phases until June 30, 2024.

This year, it is expected to expand to include teens, the elderly and people living with disabilities.

The Liberal government said the handout was intended to provide cost relief to low-income Canadians.

Dentists urge caution not to ruin existing dental plans

Conservative House of Commons leader Andrew Scheer said current dental benefits are superficial and that handing out cash could cause inflation and worsen the cost of living.

Some point to evidence that programs need to be adjusted to ensure higher penetration. A report released by the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives in April found that only half of Canadians eligible for the Canada Dental Benefit actually received the benefit.

Dental benefits were estimated to cost $352 million in the 2022-23 fiscal year, but by the end of March only $156.3 million, or about 44%, had been paid.

Some are calling on the federal government to ensure that the new plan does not undermine existing dental insurance coverage.

Earlier this year, the Canadian Dental Association released a policy document calling on the federal government to maintain a private dental insurance program and leverage existing clinics as part of the Ottawa Plan to provide universal dental care.

The report says dentists across Canada could see up to 9 million new patients as a result of the government’s new universal dental care program, but new policies are needed warned.

Recommendations include using existing dental clinics, addressing staffing shortages so that people do not have to endure long waiting lists, ensuring that treatment costs are fully covered, and improving oral health status. This includes conducting surveys on

The association is also urging the government to consider measures to encourage employers to continue to provide dental insurance to workers.

Dr. Lynn Tomkins, president of the Canadian Dental Association, told the Canadian press earlier this year that “no matter what the government does, it will not disrupt the current ecosystem of third-party employer-sponsored health benefits. I am concerned,” he told the Canadian press.

“We don’t want you to lose your dental plan.”

There is a file from the Canadian press

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