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The Price of Public Health Care Insurance, 2022
Fraser Institute
/ Categories: Economy, Health News

The Price of Public Health Care Insurance, 2022

Canadian family will reach almost $16,000 this year

THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO ~~~~~  August 9, 2022 (LSNews)  A typical Canadian family of four will pay an estimated $15,847 for public health-care insurance this year, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

“Canadians pay a substantial amount of money for health care through a variety of taxes—even if we don’t pay directly for medical services,” said Bacchus Barua, director of health policy studies at the Fraser Institute and co-author of The Price of Public Health Care Insurance, 2022

Most Canadians are unaware of the true cost of health care because they never see a bill for medical services, may only be aware of partial costs collected via employer health taxes and contributions (in provinces that impose them), and because general government revenue—not a dedicated tax—funds Canada’s public health-care system.

The study estimates that a typical Canadian family consisting of two parents and two children with an average household income of $156,086 will pay $15,847 for public health care this year. Couples without dependent children will pay an estimated $15,229. Single Canadians will pay $4,907 for health care insurance, and single parents with one child will pay $5,812

Since 1997, the first year for which data is available, the cost of healthcare for the average Canadian family has increased substantially, and has risen more quickly than its income. In fact, whereas health care costs have increased 210.3 per cent, average incomes have only increased by 116.3 per cent over the same period

“Understanding how much Canadians actually pay for health care, and how much that amount has increased over time, is an important first step for taxpayers to assess the value and performance of the health-care system, and whether it’s financially sustainable,” Barua said.



  • Canadians often misunderstand the true cost of our public health care system. This oc­curs partly because Canadians do not incur direct expenses for their use of health care, and partly because Canadians cannot readily deter­mine the value of their contribution to public health care insurance.
  • In 2022, preliminary estimates suggest the average payment for public health care insur­ance ranges from $4,907 to $15,917 for six com­mon Canadian family types, depending on the type of family.
  • Between 1997 and 2022, the cost of public health care insurance for the average Canadian family increased 3.9 times as fast as the cost of clothing, 2.2 times as fast as the cost of food, 1.8 times as fast as the cost of shelter, and 1.8 times as fast as the average income.
  • The 10 percent of Canadian families with the lowest incomes will pay an average of about $690 for public health care insurance in 2022. The 10 percent of Canadian families who earn an average income of $76,704 will pay an aver­age of $7,374 for public health care insurance, and the families among the top 10 percent of income earners in Canada will pay $41,914.


Nathaniel Li               Milagros Palacios     Bacchus Barua

  Economist                 director,                    Director, Health Policy Studies,
                                    Addington Centre      Fraser Institute
                                  for Measurement,
                                   Fraser Institute


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    The Fraser Institute is an independent, non-partisan research and educational organization based in Canada. We have offices in Calgary, Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. Visit our Website 

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