The Canadian Healthcare Savings Guide is a comprehensive list of financial resources available for residents of Canada’s provinces and territories. Unexpected healthcare costs can rise up to the point that your finances might no longer be able to shoulder the expenses. This guide aims to provide a quick reference for people who need to alleviate the cost of prescription drugs, medical treatments, and emergency care services.
The Canada Health Act (CHA) ensures that all citizens and legal residents have access to publicly funded health coverage programs, regardless of their financial status. The provincial and territorial governments have financial assistance programs that offer reduced costs or reimbursements for out-of-pocket medical payments.
By the end of this guide, you will know which organizations and websites to approach the next time you need financial support for health devices, medical drugs, and treatments.
Financial Resources for Prescription Medicines
Alberta Prescription Drug Program: The Government of Alberta offers several Prescription Drug Programs to help its residents pay for most over-the-counter and prescription medicines. Low-income individuals can apply for the Adult Health Benefit to avail of financial coverage on prescribed drugs, dental care, and eye exams (source).
British Columbia Pharmacare Program: The Province of British Columbia helps its residents cover the cost of select medical services and prescription medicines through the BC Pharmacare Program. Please check the Pharmacare Formulary Search for the list of prescribed drugs covered by this program (source).
Canadian Discount Rx: Canadian Discount Rx Services is an online pharmacy service that helps Canadian residents find authentic prescription medicines for the lowest price. You can save up to 80% on over-the-counter and prescription drugs supplied by licensed pharmacies across the country. Call 352-347-0403 or email [email protected] and provide a copy of your doctor’s prescription (source).
Canada Drugs Direct: Canada Drugs Direct connects with licensed pharmacies across Canada to provide its customers with affordable prescription and non-prescription drugs. They have a 125% price match guarantee to ensure its customers pay the lowest available rate for their medications. Order online and email a copy of your prescription to [email protected]. You can also call their 24/7 customer support at 1-888-904-8467 any day of the week (source).
Discount Drugs from Canada: Discount Drugs from Canada is a network of licensed pharmacies that offers up to 80% savings on prescription medicines. Order from their website or call 1-888-888-9950 and have the medicines delivered to your address (source).
innoviCares: innoviCares offers all Canadian residents a free health savings card that they can use when buying prescription medicines. All eligible members can use this card whether or not they have health insurance coverage. Apply online to get your printable innoviCares card and present it at any pharmacy in Canada to get a discount on brand-name drugs (source).
Jack Health: Jack Health offers free virtual consultations and personalized treatments for hair loss, erectile dysfunction, skin disorders, smoking cessation, and other health concerns. You can also purchase prescription medications covered by most Canadian insurance plans. Free and discreet shipping is available when you order products from their website (source).
Manitoba Pharmacare Program: The Manitoba Pharmacare Program helps eligible residents cover the cost of prescription medicines. The deductible amount per year depends on the beneficiary’s income. This program cannot be used with other federal or provincial health coverage plans (source).
Medisave: Medisave helps Canadians find affordable rates on prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications. Create a customer profile on their website and have your licensed physician fax them a copy of your prescription. You can also refer your friends to get free shipping on your next purchase (source).
New Brunswick Prescription Drug Program (NBPDP): The NLPDP is a collection of financial assistance programs that help Newfoundland and Labrador residents pay for prescribed drugs. Eligible beneficiaries can only use this program when no other financial options are available to cover their medicines’ out-of-pocket costs. NLPDP will only reimburse the prescription drugs officially listed on the province’s Interchangeable Drug Formulary (source).
Newfoundland and Labrador Prescription Drug Program (NLPDP): The NLPDP is a collection of financial assistance programs that help Newfoundland and Labrador residents pay for prescribed drugs. Eligible beneficiaries can only use this program when there are no other financial options available that can cover the out-of-pocket cost of their medicines. NLPDP will only reimburse the prescription drugs that are officially listed on the province’s Interchangeable Drug Formulary (source).
Nova Scotia Pharmacare: Novia Scotia offers Pharmacare public drug assistance programs to help its residents pay for prescription medications listed under the Nova Scotia Formulary. Eligible beneficiaries of this program can purchase their prescribed drugs at a reduced cost based on their income (source).
Nunavut Health Care Coverage: Nunavut residents can apply for a Health Card or Health Care Coverage plan to qualify for reduced costs on prescribed drugs and medical treatments at Nunavut publicly funded clinics and hospitals. Download the application form on their website (source)
Ontario Drug Benefit Program: The Ontario Drug Benefit Program (ODB) offers reduced pricing on prescription medicines for Ontario residents. Seniors who are 65 or older will automatically join the ODB. This program only affects prescription drugs listed on the ODB Formulary/Comparative Drug Index and Exceptional Access Program. ODB beneficiaries cannot avail of the discounts in pharmacies outside Ontario (source).
Northwest Pharmacy: Northwest Pharmacy is a licensed online seller of prescription, non-prescription, and pet medicines. Place an order through their website, by calling 1-866-539-5330, or by sending an order form via mail or fax. A valid licensed doctor’s note is required to purchase any prescription medicines online (source)
Price Pro Pharmacy: Price Pro Pharmacy offers reduced prices on prescription and over-the-counter medications. You can upload a picture of your prescription online to order the needed drugs and have them shipped to your address. They also offer coupons you can apply to your order for additional savings (source).
Prince Edward Island Generic Drug Program: The PEI Generic Drug Program is available for Prince Edward Island residents aged 65 and below who do not have insurance coverage. Approved applicants to this program do not need to pay more than $19.95 out-of-pocket for select generic prescription medicines (source).
Quebec Public Prescription Drug Insurance Plan: Permanent residents of Québec permanently are eligible to apply for the RAMQ’s Public Prescription Drug Insurance Plan. They must not be covered by any private insurance plan to avail of this program’s benefits (source).
The Village Pharmacy: The Village Pharmacy offers free shipping for all prescription medicine orders within Ontario. Order online through their official website or the Village Pharmacy mobile app. Call or visit their three branches in Toronto (Maitland, Wellesley, and Castlefield) for more information (source).
Saskatchewan Drug Cost Assistance Program: Saskatchewan Drug Cost Assistance consists of a Special Support Program and an Emergency Assistance Program. Special Support helps cover the cost of prescription medicines based on the beneficiary’s income. Emergency Assistance is a one-time discount for beneficiaries who need a limited supply of prescription drugs (source).
Yukon Pharmacare Program: The Yukon Pharmacare Program helps cover the cost of prescription drugs and certain non-prescription medications. Yukon residents eligible for this program will pay reduced prices on the medicines officially listed under the Yukon Pharmacare Formulary (source).
Financial Resources for Emergency Care
Canadian Red Cross: The Health Equipment Loan Program (HELP) was established by the Canadian Red Cross to provide walkers, wheelchairs, and other medical equipment to citizens recovering from medical illnesses and injuries. These mobility aids and home health devices can be loaned short-term or long-term based on the applicant’s needs (source).
Hope Air: Hope Air is a volunteer-operated non-profit organization that offers free air transport to Canadians needing emergency care. Applicants must provide a confirmed appointment that requires air travel, proof of financial need, and their medical treatment must be covered by a provincial health insurance plan (source).
Medical Transport Assistance Program (MTAP): The MTAP offers financial aid to Newfoundland & Labrador residents under the Medical Care Plan (MCP). Beneficiaries of this program will receive allowance or reimbursements for food and transportation expenses during medical emergencies (source).
Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Care Plan (MCP): The Newfoundland MCP helps cover the expenses of eligible NL residents needing medical treatment. Approved applicants for this program will receive an MCP health card which they must show to a medical doctor or facility as proof that they are under MCP coverage (source).
Non-Insured Health Benefits Program: The Non-Insured Health Benefits (NHIB) Program is available for First Nations individuals and recognized members of the Inuit land claim organizations. The beneficiaries of this program will receive financial coverage for dental and vision care, mental health consultations, medical equipment, supplies, and ambulatory transportation (source).
Northwest Territories Health Care Plan: Eligible residents of the Northwest Territories (NWT) can apply for a Health Care Card to qualify for free basic medical treatment at any government-owned hospital or clinic. in the province. The benefits do not apply to dental and visual services as well as prescription medications (source).
Prince Edward Island Health Card: Prince Edward Island (PEI) legal residents can apply for a PEI Health Card to avail of free medical tests and treatments at any publicly funded clinic or hospital. Permanent PEI Health Cards are valid for five years, while temporary cards are only valid until the end of the cardholder’s work permit or school year (source).
Financial Resources for Cancer
Breast Cancer Support Fund: The Breast Cancer Support Fund offers financial aid of up to $2000 for low-income Canadians diagnosed with breast cancer. Eligible applicants must either undergo active treatment or complete their treatment within two months. Download the application form on their website and send it via mail once you have provided all required medical and financial documents (source).
Kelly Shires Foundation: The Kelly Shires Foundation established the Snow Run for Fun Trust to provide financial support to women diagnosed with breast cancer. Download the application form on their website, provide all the requirements, and mail it to the Kelly Shires Breast Cancer Foundation’s address. Approved applicants will receive their financial aid of up to $1000 within a week. Contact [email protected] for more information (source).
Wellspring Cancer Support Foundation: The Wellspring Cancer Support Foundation offers professional case management services through its Money Matters Program. Canadians diagnosed with cancer and their families can request the help of these case managers to alleviate the financial burden of cancer treatments. Available for residents of Ontario and Calgary, Alberta (source).
Cancer Assist Canada: Cancer Assist Canada is a non-profit organization that loans home health equipment, provides free ambulatory transport and parking and offers free personal care items to individuals with cancer. The free transport service is available for Hamilton residents on weekdays, 8 am to 4 pm (source).
Financial Resources for Alzheimer’s and Dementia
Alzheimer Society: The Alzheimer Society of Canada offers financial, educational, and emotional support to individuals with Alzheimer’s and related dementias. They also assist the caregivers and family members of these patients. Contact your local office for more information on their available services (source).
Hilarity for Charity: The Hilarity for Charity (HC) provides Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Grants to Canada and the United States. The Recharge Respite Grant is a one-time award of 50 hours of respite care which is useable within three months. Another option is the Extended Relief Respite Grant which offers 25 hours of respite care per week for six months. Both HFC grants also include free consultation on how to be an effective caregiver for family members diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and related dementias (source).
Mount Sinai Hospital: The Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Ontario, offers free or discounted legal representation and will assistance to caregivers and senior patients. Contact the Reitman Centre for Alzheimer’s Support and Training for more information (source).
Enjoy Your Savings!
Do you know other sources for financial assistance? Please comment below, and we will add them to the list. Share this guide to let other Canadian residents know how to save money on unexpected healthcare costs.