Health care in Canada is not “free.” Canadians often misunderstand the true cost of our public health care system. This occurs partly because Canadians do not incur direct expenses for their use of health care, and partly because Canadians cannot readily determine the value of their contribution to public health care insurance because there is no “dedicated” health insurance tax.
In 2014, the estimated average payment for public health care insurance ranges from $3,592 to $11,786 for six common Canadian family types, depending on the type of family. For the average Canadian family, between 2004 and 2014, the cost of public health care insurance increased about 1.5 times faster than average income, 1.3 times as fast as the cost of shelter, 1.6 times as fast as clothing, and more than three times as fast as food. The 10 percent of Canadian families with the lowest incomes will pay an average of about $523 for public health care insurance in 2014. The 10 percent of Canadian families who earn an average income of $57,818 will pay an average of $5,522 for public health care insurance and the families among the top 10 percent of income earners in Canada will pay $37,239.