Your Prescription for Health: Provincial Drug Insurance Options

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Canadians are privileged to have access to universal health care coverage – from annual physical check-ups to emergency medical services, and more. Provincial health plans include coverage for medications you require while you are hospitalized; however, prescription drugs needed outside of an inpatient care setting are not covered. cybershell

In order to assist Canadians with the cost of their prescription drugs, each province has a variety of drug insurance program options available to its residents. The program for which you qualify will depend on a few factors including your age, income level, employment status, and whether you are part of other private insurance plans. Here is a quick overview of each province’s drug insurance coverage.

British Columbia – Drug insurance in British Columbia (BC) is available through the BC Pharmacare programs. BC residents under the provincial health plan are eligible for the Fair Pharmacare program, which sets your coverage level depending on your income and establishes an appropriate per-person deductible based on that information. Under Pharmacare, there is a variety of other plans including one for people in Licensed Residential Care Facilities, for children living at home with disabilities requiring prescription care, and for victims of Cystic Fibrosis and HIV/AIDS. There are also plans for individuals receiving income assistance and for those with mental health issues.

Alberta – Residents of Alberta are eligible for the Alberta Health and Wellness Prescription Drug Program, which is available to all who are registered with the provincial health care plan. Low-income families can receive subsidized rates on their coverage. There are plans for people under 65 and for seniors, as well as for children of limited income families. Among the specialty programs are plans for those with rare diseases and for patients under palliative care.

Manitoba – Like BC, Manitoba drug insurance coverage is provided to all eligible residents, with the deductible being based on one’s income level. To qualify for Pharmacare, you need only be a Manitoba resident who is registered with the provincial health plan, and do not have existing drug coverage from other government programs.

Saskatchewan – Residents of this province have access to drug coverage through the Saskatchewan Drug Plan. All residents of Saskatchewan who are registered under the provincial health plan and do not receive other government assistance for prescriptions are eligible for the Saskatchewan drug insurance program. The program offers a range of options depending on your needs and income level. Programs are available for low income families, and a special program offering reduced costs is available for seniors.

Ontario – The Ontario drug insurance system offers several different coverage options. The Ontario Drug Program (ODP) provides prescription drug coverage to residents who are 65 years of age or older, living in a long term or special care home, or receiving home care or income assistance. For those residents who do not qualify for ODP, the province offers the Trillium Drug Program, which provides assistance to anyone who is registered with the provincial health plan and does not receive 100% prescription drug coverage under an existing group plan. This plan uses an income-based deductible.

Quebec – All residents of Quebec who do not receive drug coverage from other insurance providers are eligible for the Quebec drug insurance program, Regie de l’assurance maladie du Quebec (RAMQ). Premiums for the plan are determined based on income. In Quebec, you must register for either a private prescription drug plan, or for the public health plan by law.

New Brunswick – New Brunswick drug insurance is available through the New Brunswick Prescription Drug Plan, which provides coverage to eligible residents. There are ten separate plans in the program, offering coverage to seniors, people living with illnesses such as Cystic Fibrosis and HIV/AIDS, patients in care facilities, and children in specific circumstances including those with special needs.
Nova Scotia – Residents of Nova Scotia, who meet the eligibility requirements, can qualify for Pharmacare. The Nova Scotia drug insurance plan is available to individuals receiving income assistance, seniors covered by Medical Services Insurance, and low-income cancer p

 

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What Is Lox and How Is It Different From salmon lox?

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Plus, our best lox recipes.

Lox is so much more than a salty bagel topping. Here’s what you need to know:

What Is Lox and What Does It Taste Like?

Lox is a fillet (or strip) of brined salmon.

Brining—preserving food with salt—is similar to curing, but takes a lot less time.

Lox, which is commonly often served on bagels with cream cheese, was traditionally made from the belly of the fish. These days, other parts of the fish can be used.

Smooth, velvety, and buttery,salmon lox tastes a lot like other types of salmon. However, it is saltier because of the brining process.

 

Lox vs. Smoked Salmon

“Lox” and “smoked salmon” are often used interchangeably, but they’re not the same.

The difference between lox and smoked salmon is how they are prepared.

Lox is brined, but never cooked or smoked.

Smoked salmon, meanwhile, is cured or brined and then smoked. It can be cold-smoked (slowly exposed to smoke for a few days, but is never fully cooked) or hot-smoked (cooked all the way through, like smoked meat).

Because lox is never cooked, it remains smooth, silky, and translucent. Smoked salmon, through the smoking process, becomes slightly tougher. It looks and tastes more similar to baked or grilled salmon.

What Is Gravlax—and What Does It Have to Do With Lox?

Gravlax is the Scandanavian method of preparing lox. The salmon is coated with a spice blend of dill, juniper berry, salts, sugars, and liquors before it is brined.

 

Lox History

The word “lox” comes from the Yiddish word for salmon, “laks.”

Bringing salmon is a Scandanavian tradition, but it was also popular among Eastern European Jews.

Some of these people immigrated to the U.S. and brought their affinity for brined, cured, and smoked fish with them.

The Transcontinental Railroad is what really popularized lox in the U.S., though, according to The Mountain Kitchen.

Trains began to transport salted salmon from the Pacific coast to other parts of the country, including New York (which is where many Eastern European immigrants settled in the late 1800s).

While brined salmon has Scandanavian roots, bagels and lox is a uniquely American dish.

“[Bagels’] arrival was greeted with curiosity and no small amount of disdain. Seventy years after the bagel arrived, more or less, in North America, it had drifted in so many directions that the term ‘authentic’ had become suspect,” wrote Heather Smith in a 2012 Meatpaper article. “By the 1950s, ‘bagels and lox’ had become an insult—a disparaging term used by Jewish immigrants to describe their counterparts who had become too American. Bagels and lox had no analog in the old country. It was food as collage—pickled Italian flower buds and Scandinavian-style fish heaped over English-style cheese. It had traveled as far as the salmon, and become something entirely new in the journey.”

 

How to Store Lox

Lox will last 5-8 days if it’s kept tightly wrapped in the fridge. You can also freeze it for up to two months.

 

Lox Recipes

Check out one of our favorite recipes that highlight the salty salmon:

Loaded Lox Fries

Smoked Salmon Sushi Sandwiches

Fried Rice with Everything Bagel Seasoning

Breakfast Sushi with Everything Bagel Seasoning and Lox

Open-Face Matzo Brei Breakfast Sandwiches

 

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