Making Medicare:  The History of Health Care in Canada, 1914-2007 Back to Timeline Back to Timeline
Costs & Benefits: 1930-1939 Costs & Benefits: 1914-1929 Costs & Benefits: 1930-1939 Costs & Benefits: 1939-1948



Windsor Medical Services Plan

Founded through a $23,800 grant from the Rockefeller Foundation in 1937, the Windsor Medical Services Plan began operating in 1939. It was a voluntary health insurance plan that covered specific medical services in return for an annual premium. It was a successful offering because it appealed to auto and distillery workers who had steady incomes and needed protection against unexpected medical and hospital expenses. Like many prepaid plans, it sold freedom from worry about unexpected medical bills, yet it failed to address the problems arising from expenses beyond the plan’s coverage, such as those for tuberculosis and extended hospitalization.

Photo:  Identification Card and  Instructions

According to Windsor Medical Services, “freedom from charity” was among the benefits of its health insurance plan, which cost “considerably less than the average family spends for cigarettes and cosmetics”.
Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto, Associated Medical Services Inc. Fonds 152, Box 48, File 436, 1937-39

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    Date Created: March 31, 2010 | Last Updated: April 21, 2010