Universal healthcare is, for good reason, just as quintessentially Canadian as the words “Eh” and “Sorry”. Rivaled only by the Scandinavians, the Canadian public healthcare system is consistently acknowledged as one of the best in the world.
I initially intended this post to be a comprehensive review of Canadian healthcare but the complexity of the system forced me to scope down. Routine dental and vision care should be covered by the public system.
In the best case scenario, public health insurance covers the cost of one routine visit to the dentist and optometrist every year but only for children under 19 and seniors over 65 years old. If you are 20 to 64 years old, you have to pay out of pocket, purchase private insurance or rely on employer benefits. Currently, coverage is only mandated for surgical interventions.
The government’s decision to make dental and vision care an “individual responsibility” is convenient for dentists and optometrists lobbying to keep their fee-for-service model.