As I have told many of my U.S friends and countless playing partners in golf games south of the 49th. Free Healthcare does not mean Free Drugs; this should be obvious to all as prescription drugs have nothing to do with healthcare, right?
You do get your drugs covered after the age of 65 or if on welfare or some other form of government social assistance, just not if you are one of those who pay taxes to cover the free healthcare of others. I’m confused!
So what happens is that employers or if your self- employed, you but into a Benefits Program that supplements your Free Healthcare. Depending on the size of company, demographics etc. this coverage can vary from $50.00 to $200.00 per month per participant of family. By the way this is a taxable benefit to the employee. Coverage also ranges from 50% to 100% and many companies opt for a co-pay arrangement. So, for example a self-employed person may pay $190.00 per month for 80% payment of his or her drugs.
In addition we have a neat think in Canada called a Dispensing Fee – this is a flat fee that is charged by the Drug Store to you for the privilege of providing you with this service in their store. Kind of like $0.05 for a bag to put the groceries in that they sold you – but I digress. This fee can be anywhere from $4.49 at Costco to $11.00 at Rexall – oh yeah, plus 13% HST as this is a “service”.
So what prompted this Rant? I got an email from Smitty down in Florida this week relating his experience in filling a prescription, so I have done some research… Wal-Mart, Target, Publix and many more stores are now filling “generic” prescriptions for a flat-rate of $4.00 for a 30 day supply or $10.00 for a 90 day supply – Yes fellow Canadians, pick yourself up off the floor and listen to this. I’ll use Target for the example as I’m on their website. And they also offer drugs for pets!
So my $43.00 “co-pay” 80% subsidized Arithromycin in Ontario would cost me $4.00
SAVINGS – $39.00