The new federal government health insurance overhaul is the biggest in Canadian history, and there are plenty of reasons why.
But the most surprising is how well it works, and how many people have been able to get on its rolls.
Read more In some ways, the government’s first step in implementing the Affordable Care Act is a triumph.
The Liberals say they are doing more than any previous government to make health care more accessible and affordable.
For years, many Canadians were either unable or unwilling to pay their bills on time, and many were struggling to pay medical bills or to afford essential items such as groceries.
“We’ve had to take a huge step forward in the last three years in the ability of people to get health insurance,” said Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, in an interview with the CBC.
Trudeau is also hoping that the law will help the health-care system become more efficient.
In the past, health-insurance companies have been reluctant to invest in the private sector to grow their business.
With health care costs rising, the private insurance market is becoming even more important to the government, said Robert Sapers, a health policy professor at the University of Toronto.
Healthcare costs are up by an average of 7 per cent a year over the past decade.
That means that a $200,000 bill now costs $2,000, said Sapers.
It’s also a new industry, and it’s a challenge for the government to navigate.
More than 10,000 private health insurers are participating in the new health-coverage program.
Most insurers are either selling plans in their own markets or are part of the public insurance plan, which is run by Health Canada.
They are paying more than 50 per cent of the cost of the average enrollee, the average out-of-pocket cost for a single adult, said Daniel D’Ambrosio, an assistant professor of health policy at the London School of Economics.
At the same time, many private insurers have also been losing money, according to data from Health Canada and the Canadian Association of Insurance Commissioners.
A growing number of insurers have seen their revenues decline as their profits declined, and their margins shrank.
The government is trying to offset some of that loss by giving insurers new ways to increase their profits, said Chris Murray, a professor at Simon Fraser University’s Sauder School of Business.
To encourage those increases, Health Canada has been offering financial incentives to insurers.
Insurers will have to submit to new requirements that they provide a range of services to help the government provide better health coverage.
Insurers must also demonstrate they can meet those requirements by offering “good quality care,” and the government is giving them incentives to do that, said Murray.
Obamacare also offers a way for insurers to sell insurance in a more flexible way, with different types of plans, so they can adjust to changing circumstances, said Andrew Reiter, a senior analyst at the Angus Reid Institute.
That means the insurance companies are going to be able to sell more products, and they will be able offer more services, Murray said.
Government plans have been rolled out in Alberta and Saskatchewan in the past few months, and are being rolled out to other provinces in the coming months.
So far, only Ontario and Quebec have been added to the list of provinces.
Some of the biggest changes to the insurance system are the introduction of health-sharing plans and the expansion of the new universal health-premiums program.
Those new plans allow Canadians to pay for out- of-pocket medical expenses by paying into a pool of government health-tax dollars.
Under the plans, people will pay 100 per cent in the first year and 70 per cent each year until they pay the full amount out of pocket.
The provinces are also offering plans that allow insurers to offer insurance across all types of health services, including primary care, maternity and prescription drugs.
Other changes include allowing people to purchase insurance from companies that are owned by Canadians, so long as they are owned and operated by Canadians.
One new program allows insurers to choose to sell coverage on their websites and through mobile apps.
That means consumers can go to a website to buy insurance or an app, then log into the website and buy insurance.
The new program is available only to people who have an insurance card issued by the province.
People who are eligible for this new program will be eligible for a maximum of 10 coverage choices, but those choices will be limited to certain types of policies, such as medical or nursing home coverage.
This new program, which has already been expanded to cover a larger share of Canadians, is also available to people with incomes under $50,000 a year, as well as people with disabilities.
There are also new insurance-plan benefits, including maternity and newborn coverage and additional benefits such as life insurance.
There is also an extra subsidy available to low-