Health care, Canadian style

The CBC has an interesting story today about the way the country’s health insurance system can create instant holes in the safety net.

Rosa Callalli, a 33-year-old Peruvian immigrant, started working in Canada on a legal visa since 2008 as a live-in caregiver. She’s pregnant now and had health insurance.

But in January, she had her visa extended to 2017, changing it to an “open working visa.”

So Ontario’s health insurance plan cancelled her coverage and she’s a month away from giving birth. That could cost about $20,000, which she needs to pay upfront.

“It’s unfair, the treatment I’m receiving,” Callalli tells the CBC. “The government takes my deductions every month, but when I need help, nobody’s there for me.”

Details here.

  • Kassie

    That’s pretty crazy. Assuming the woman and her family make less than 275% of the federal poverty guideline, we’d give her health insurance here in Minnesota. It is crazy that they don’t in Canada. We pretty much give every pregnant woman under that income level health insurance, regardless of immigration status, because even if that woman isn’t a citizen, that child will be and we want to make sure that the mother has good prenatal care. Cheaper to give even an undocumented mom prenatal care than a child born with complications care for the rest of their life for something that could have been avoided.

  • Onan

    This story was updated by the CBC. She apparently will be receiving healthcare after all and has a temporary healthcare number.

    A suitable ending to this story.

  • Shabaaz, Ontario

    It looks like the Govt of Ontario has now extended healthcare coverage to the lady now. It was a mix-up on their part.

    Can someone explain why it causes $20,000 to deliver a baby? Normally it costs $2000-$3000 here in Ontario. I’m not sure what it is in MN.