Average Canadian family pays more than $11,000 per year for health care – study

by Ryan Smith08 Aug 2016
The average Canadian family pays more than $11,000 per year for health care, according to a study by the Fraser Institute.

According to the study, a Canadian family of four will pay an average of $11,494 for public health insurance in 2016.

“Contrary to what many believe, health care in Canada isn’t free,” said study co-author Bacchus Barua, senior economist for the Fraser Institute’s Centre for Health Policy Studies. “While Canadians may not pay directly for medical services, they pay a substantial amount of money for health care through their taxes.”

Since they may never actually see a bill for medical services, most are unaware of how much their health care really costs. And since general government revenue, rather than a dedicated tax, funds health care, it’s hard for Canadians to know how much of their tax bill is going toward public health insurance.

The study found the amount paid by the average Canadian family – two parents and two children, earning $122,101 per year – using data from Statistics Canada and the Canadian Institute for Health Information.

And there’s a wide disparity in how much families pay for health care due to the progressive tax system. The Source reported that the lowest-earning 10% of Canadian families will pay an average of $443 for health insurance in 2016, while the families in the top 10% of income earnings will pay an average of $37,361.

“Hopefully these dollar amounts will help Canadians better understand just how much they pay for public health-care insurance and decide whether they’re getting good value for their money,” Barua said.

Related stories:
Canadian student loses health coverage for years in forest of red tape
Province insurers’ call for fair pricing