Why are we paying $500 a month for a car that has no gas, no insurance, no maintenance and is no good for a kid?
It’s not just about the car, but the entire rental process.
I think it’s the single most stressful part of living in a rental home, says Michelle Rios, a primary care physician and the owner of a community health center in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
We’re living in the Wild West of the rental economy.
People don’t know what’s going on, and we’re not paying enough for the health care we need, says Rios.
I pay for my care in cash, which means I have to be patient and give it.
But the most frustrating part of renting a car, Rios says, is that I have the option of leaving the keys in the car if I don’t want to.
I’ll have to put them in the glove box and lock the door.
The rental system has its flaws, but in this day and age, it’s a critical part of our healthcare system.
But it’s also an important one.
I don’t think I’m alone in having a difficult time paying for health care, Riesesays.
In her experience, she’s seen the cost of basic needs and other necessities rise as the economy has tightened.
Rios’ community health clinic in Halifax has seen an increase in demand from people who are looking for a cheaper way to get to and from work.
The average rent for a single person in Halifax is $2,500 a year.
But Rios estimates that as the rental market has tightened, so have the costs for care.
“People have less money and they have less time to spend on care,” Rios explains.
The Affordable Care Act, passed in 2010, mandated a range of insurance coverage, including a range, minimum coverage and no-cost coverage.
The federal government’s Health Insurance Marketplace website allows people to compare and buy insurance plans on a state-by-state basis.
Rios, like many Canadians, has had a hard time deciding between plans on the Marketplace.
So when she decided to find a car rental that she could get insurance for, she went with a plan that provides coverage for $5,400 a month.
For this year, she was able to buy a new, used Honda Accord that is only about a year old.
She was also able to find an affordable, non-refundable $3.95 per month car rental company that is part of the BlueWave network of primary care physicians in Nova Scotia and Quebec.
She’s also been able to use the car as a primary health care provider for the first time.
She pays $3 a month, which includes a monthly insurance deposit, and pays for the car’s registration and insurance deductible.
It also includes a 30-minute health checkup, and an appointment with a primary physician every three months.
Rieses says she also receives a payment in the form of reimbursement for travel and hotel costs.
“That’s been great, especially in the last year,” she says.
As a physician, Ryses is not required to provide primary care, but she is obligated to provide an array of other services, including physical exams and checkups.
Rio says she’s been able, though, to help people make decisions about their care by providing feedback.
“There are certain areas where I don-I’m not really comfortable talking about the specifics of what the situation is because I’m trying to save my family a lot of money,” Riessays.
“It’s something I do to give people the best information they can and to provide some of the information that is really important to their decision.”
For example, Rius said she knows a lot about people with diabetes.
“I have seen people with that, and I’ve heard about the different things that you can do to lower their blood sugar,” she explains.
In addition, Rias says, she is able to offer a wide range of complementary health care that includes yoga, acupuncture, massage, naturopathy and other therapies that can help manage chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease.
“I can offer you a whole range of health services that are not in the rental industry,” she adds.
She adds that the rental car can also be an option for those with chronic conditions that aren’t covered under their insurance.
“A lot of people have the flu, a lot have COVID-19 and they need a car to get around,” she points out.
“But I’m able to do everything else that you do in your home, like cooking, cleaning and laundry.
I can also do all of that for free.”
But, as Rios acknowledges, her experience shows that most Canadians don’t have the luxury of getting free health care.
In fact, many people who rent a car do not receive much of it.