Health Care

Family Doctor

Click here for the most reliable way to find a Family Doctor accepting new patients. Be sure to telephone to verify availability, as this College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta site relies on each doctor to update information. The Qualifications tab displayed for each doctor shows the date and university where the medical degree was granted. For walk-in access to Family Doctors, Dominion Medical Centres is very well run.

Prescription Drugs

Insurance

The Alberta Government offers Seniors, and their non-Senior spouses, free prescription drug insurance administered by Alberta Blue Cross.  Less well known is the fact that non-Seniors can purchase the same insurance under the name Alberta Blue Cross Non-Group Coverage, regardless of income level, though it is less expensive for low income families.  For both plans, you pay 30% or $25 for each prescription, whichever is less. “Each prescription” is defined as up to 100 days of a single dosage of a single medication.

Pharmacies

To keep costs low for yourself, or for your carrier, if you have prescription drug insurance, it pays to shop around before settling on a Pharmacy.  In 2002, I surveyed local Pharmacies based on 100 days of our current medications at that time.  Prices varied from $124 to $182.  Total cost, if we had not had insurance.

Then I made a big mistake.  I blindly took the Pharmacy with the lowest price.  Turns out it was a Pharmacist who rented space in a grocery store.  The worst case scenario happened two and a half years later when one of our prescribed medications was banned by Health Canada.  The Pharmacist did not software with the ability to search by drug for customers using a particular drug, so we were faced with an extremely difficult abrupt change in medication.  I immediately switched to London Drugs, who had the second lowest price in my survey, after being assured that their software was routinely used to search for all customers using a specific medication.

Know Available Dosages

In mid-2018, I discovered just how much can be saved by researching the different tablets available for a given medication.  Even the generic was not being paid for by prescription insurance, and it added up to over $200 a month for 7 mg per day, which was being dispensed as one 5 mg and one 2 mg tablet.  I discovered that 15 mg tablets are available, and they can safely be cut in half.  At 7.5 mg per day, the cost was only $23 per month!

Medical Alerts

ADT offers a lower monthly rate than two other organizations that provide a device worn around the neck for emergencies. As an added bonus, ADT’s rate includes a complete home security system. Unlike the others, with ADT you buy the device upfront, along with whatever home security hardware you choose; wiring and installation labour are free of charge.