Understanding the Gap. A Pan-Canadian Analysis of Prescription Drug Insurance Coverage

From the Conference Board of Canada

At a Glance

  • Currently, the proportion of uninsured Canadians in Canada is 5.2 per cent. The bulk of this population without access to prescription drug coverage lives in Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador. As of January 1, 2018, with the introduction of OHIP+ in Ontario, this number will drop to an estimated 1.8 per cent in Canada.
  • Less than 1 per cent of Canadians who received a prescription in the past six months cited cost as a reason for not taking their medication as prescribed. Of surveyed Canadians who did not take their medications as prescribed, 54 per cent were not aware and 3 per cent were unsure if there were public drug programs to help pay for prescription drugs.
  • Approximately 4.1 million Canadians who do not have private insurance and are eligible for public coverage do not enroll in the public plan.
  • This research specifically describes the design of public programs in each province to provide a pan-Canadian perspective of prescription drug coverage. Out-of-pocket spending varies depending on the specific plan design features outlined in this report.

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