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Health Care Coverage for Older People Canada - Government-supported Health Insurance

Medicine EncyclopediaAging Healthy - Part 1Health Care Coverage for Older People Canada - The Evolution Of Health And Social Programs For Older People In Canada, Government-supported Health Insurance

Government-supported health insurance

The development of government-supported health insurance began in 1947 when the province of Saskatchewan implemented the first compulsory and comprehensive hospital insurance plan in North America. By 1950, provincial plans were implemented in Alberta, British Columbia, and Newfoundland. Federal and provincial negotiations led to the Hospital Insurance and Diagnostic Services Act (1958) and the Universal Medicare Act (1968). These acts provided for federal sharing of approximately 50 percent of the costs of a provincial medical insurance plan if it incorporated comprehensive medical coverage, a universally available plan, portable benefits, and public administration. Both acts were oriented toward insuring people for the costs of physician services and serious illness. It is important to note that universal public insurance coverage did not apply to community or continuing-care services required to support people with disabilities or chronic illness. This continues to be the case, with significant social consequences for people with chronic illness and disability who require a range of services in the community.

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