Economic Note on Regulation of Private Health Insurance in Quebec – Part Two

Other jurisdictions have successfully fostered parallel health insurance and health care services that operate alongside public systems


The goal of this project was to inform debate about introducing a parallel health insurance and health care system in Canada. The Montreal Economic Institute prepared a report in the wake of the Chaoulli case Supreme Court decision, which granted Canadian citizens limited access to private parallel health care. This Economic Note examines the economic impact of private health insurance provision alongside standard universal health insurance paid through taxes. It articulates concerns about the limits to the parallel system imposed by the Quebec government in the wake of the Chaoulli ruling. The report considers the insurance policy duplicating schemes used in various countries, including Australia, Ireland and New Zealand, and the kinds of regulations imposed on duplicate insurance in those countries. The project report recommends changes to Quebec’s health care access by allowing a broad scale, parallel health insurance and health care system to emerge alongside the publicly funded universal system.

Grant Outputs

Choosing a Regulatory Framework for Private Health Insurance –

In response to a Supreme Court ruling that allowed Quebec citizens to take out private insurance for three select medical treatments (knee, hip, or cataract surgery), this report addresses alternative duplicate insurance plans. It suggests that the limitations imposed by the Quebec provincial government, based on the Supreme Court ruling, were too strict, and that Quebec citizens would benefit from a broader duplicate insurance plan. It also assesses a number of insurance systems used in other OECD countries, including the limitations imposed on private insurers. The report advocates for a system of premiums which provide variable rates based on the “risk” patients present.

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