As the United States government continues to fumble about with its aptly titled Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, American citizens could only hope that it ends up anywhere close to the Canada Health Act. Since 1984, the the federal legislation outlined in the Canada Health Act has been providing Canadian citizens with free insurance.
Although the idea of free, government-funded health care sounds very attractive, oftentimes Canadian citizens choose to purchase additional insurance via private health insurance companies in Canada to supplement their government benefits. Also, many small businesses will offer their employees health benefits in the form of small business health care plans.
Canadian small business health benefits function in a way that is similar to the health benefits that some American employers offer to their employees. Some Canadian employees might have access to flexible health spending accounts. For those who are not familiar with flexible health spending accounts, they are basically expense accounts that beneficiaries can use to purchase a variety of health-related products.
While flexible health spending accounts vary, most cover expenses like prescription medication, medical and dental procedures not covered by regular health insurance, and more. The advantage of flex accounts is the fact that they can be applied to health-related merchandise and services that are not obtained in hospitals or delivered by licensed physicians.
Since health care is necessary for people to live longer and healthier lives, it would seem like it should be easily accessible and at least affordable prices. Unfortunately, this is not the case, which means that only those people who are covered by decent medical insurance plans can afford it. Until the day comes when everyone has complete and easy access to health care, small businesses and flexible spending accounts will continue to be invaluable.