Canadians unaware about the full cost of health care

Provincial healthcare funding guides launched, outlining coverage options and personal costs

TORONTO, April 28, 2015 /CNW/ - According to the findings from the 2014 Canadian Health Index issued by Sun Life Financial, nine out of 10 Canadians (89 per cent) believe they are fully covered for all costs associated with hospital stays and psychiatric treatment. Additionally almost four out of five Canadians say that they do not expect to pay out of pocket to cover costs associated with:

  • nursing home/long-term care residence (79 per cent)
  • hearing aids (78 per cent)
  • home care (76 per cent)

In fact, it is common for patients to pay some amount personally for these and other health care expenses.

To help Canadians understand what governments, employee benefit plans and personal insurance cover, Sun Life Financial has released a series of provincial healthcare funding guides. These comprehensive guides outline and detail coverage options, personal costs and other key considerations for six common health events or services:

  • Disability
  • Home care
  • Long term (nursing home) care
  • Palliative (end-of-life) care
  • Prescription drugs
  • Travel emergency medical

The provincial healthcare funding guides are found at:

"Canada's health insurance system was set up to respond to people's need for it, rather than for their ability to pay for it. However, our research revealed that a large majority of Canadians are not aware that not everything is covered by their provincial health insurance," says Brigitte Parent, Senior Vice President, Individual Insurance & Wealth, Sun Life Financial Canada.  "We hope that our new healthcare funding guides will help Canadians in understanding what's covered and what's not."  

Though government and employer health plans provide complementary coverage for many health related expenses, there are common, necessary medical services that are not fully covered.

The healthcare guides are organized by province and contain practical, informative and easily accessible information with links to other authoritative websites for more detail. 

For more key findings and results on the 2014 Sun Life Canadian Health Index, visit

About the Sun Life Canadian Health Index survey

The Sun Life Canadian Health Index measures the attitudes of Canadians towards healthy lifestyles and reports these in the form of an index.

The fifth annual Sun Life Canadian Health Index is based on the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between June 19, 2014 and July 2, 2014. A sample of 2,799 Canadians from 18 to 80 years of age from the Ipsos Canadian panel was interviewed online.

Ipsos Reid employed weighting to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe.

The precision of Ipsos Reid online surveys is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the survey is accurate to within + 2.1% at 95% Confidence Level had all Canadian adults been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to methodological change, coverage error and measurement error.

About Sun Life Financial
Celebrating 150 years in 2015, Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of protection and wealth products and services to individuals and corporate customers. Sun Life Financial and its partners have operations in key markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda.

As of December 31, 2014 the Sun Life Financial group of companies had total assets under management of $734 billion. For more information please visit

Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.

SOURCE Sun Life Financial Canada

Image with caption: "9 out of 10 Canadians believe they are fully covered for all costs associated with hospital stays (CNW Group/Sun Life Financial Canada)". Image available at:

For further information: Media Relations contact: Caroline Creighton, Sun Life Financial, 416-204-8100,

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