READ FIRST - aim of the health care forum

CAIDC members are concerned about their coverage under Canadian health care. As you likely know, the Income Tax Act, paragraph 250 (1) (d) deems resident any Canadians working overseas on a project funded by CIDA, no matter who employs the Canadian, or who else funds the project. As a result, many of our members are deemed resident for tax purposes while living and working overseas, and pay their taxes exactly as if they were still resident in the province they left. Many of them are surprised, therefore, when they return to Canada and discover that neither they nor their family is covered by Canadian health insurance. Some have reported waiting six months for their coverage to be reinstated.

Our members, like members of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, and CIDA, are usually covered by private health insurance while they are working abroad. Our understanding is that the Federal Civil Service continues to pay insurance for its employees until they are once again covered by their provincial health insurance, and CIDA also includes a clause in most of its contracts for executing agencies requiring them to provide health insurance for employees working overseas throughout the term of the contract plus the waiting period. However, our members can be contracted for a multitude of international development organizations bilateral, multilateral and non-governmental and their coverage usually ends when the contract ends. As this usually coincides with their return to Canada they are thus without coverage for the duration of the waiting period.

We believe that it is unfair to deem Canadians resident for tax purposes and then deny them services for which they have paid. CAIDC would like to see all provinces set up provisions to allow Canadians working overseas but deemed fiscally resident (and their families) to be immediately reinstated into their provincial health insurance systems when they return to Canada.

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