Borzykowski: Would you pay for health care? - MoneySense

Borzykowski: Would you pay for health care?

If two-tiered health care ever becomes reality, financial planning would dramatically change.


From Bryan Borzykowski’s In the Money blog.

If you’ve already checked out of work, or stopped watching CNN for the holidays (turning off Wolf Blitzer for two weeks is all I want for Christmas) you may not be aware that Americans are one step closer to getting comprehensive health care. Yesterday, the U.S. senate voted in favour of a new health care bill, and while there are still plenty of hurdles legislators need to overcome, it looks as though a major change is coming to the way our southern neighbours pay for the doctor.

I applaud them — I like our system (and their system is by no means going to be like ours) — but I have been wondering lately, how much would I pay for a procedure? For years Canadian politicians have been discussing a two-tiered health care system, is it time to revisit that? Is it worth paying to get seen faster? I can think of a few cases where I would consider handing over my credit card — maybe cancer treatments — but I’m not sure how much debt I’d be willing to rack up for it.

Of course, imagine how personal finance planning would change if we had to factor in a possible heart surgery. “If you save $5,000 in a TFSA today, in 10 years you’ll have $9,000 to get a fresh aortic valve,” your adviser will say to you. Work plans will cover much of these costs, but self-employed, unemployed and maybe retired Canadians would have to give up that vacation if they want to get looked at right away.

I’m curious to know — how much would you pay for a surgical procedure? (All hypothetical of course, I’m not advocating for two-tiered health care.) And would you work this into your financial plan? Remember, you can still get it done for free, but if  our system is two-tiered, coughing up some cash will get you in to see the doctor much faster.

Leave your thoughts in the comments.