Making Medicare:  The History of Health Care in Canada, 1914-2007 Back to Timeline Back to Timeline
Costs & Benefits: 1939-1948 Costs & Benefits: 1930-1939 Costs & Benefits: 1939-1948 Costs & Benefits: 1948-1958

Prepaid Medical Insurance Plans

These plans are a form of health insurance that allows members to budget for their medical expenses by paying them in advance instead of when they arise. Prepaid medical insurance plans were popular both with the medical profession, because they guaranteed prompt payment for services rendered according to a set scale of charges, and with the public, because they offered protection against the expenses of an unforeseen illness, without placing either doctors or patients under state control. However, such plans had disadvantages: they put limitations on services and benefits, they were not available to everyone and they were not universally affordable. Nevertheless, doctors and hospital associations preferred them to national health insurance because they limited state interference in curative services.

Photo: 1943–1954 — A Decade of Progress and Development
1943–1954 — A Decade of Progress and Development

This brochure marks the 10th anniversary of Maritime Blue Cross, which offered a prepaid health insurance plan in the Maritimes. The organization was incorporated in 1943 as the Maritime Hospital Service Association.
Courtesy of Medavie Blue Cross

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