MLA Diana McQueen Explains New Health Care Levy

The new Health Care Contribution Levy is not the same as the previous health care premiums.

  • Apr. 9, 2015 10:00 a.m.

Health Care Contribution Table

by Submission

submitted from Diana McQueen’s Office

 

Dear Constituents:

I wanted to give you and update on the new Health care levy that some of you have asked me about.

When Alberta’s finance minister tabled Budget 2015 at the end of March, he introduced a new Health Care Contribution Levy. A number of Albertans have questions about what the new levy will mean for them. I would like to provide some clarity on Alberta’s new health care contribution levy.

Why do we need a Health Care Contribution Levy?

With oil prices plunging over 50 per cent since last summer, we were facing a potential revenue shortfall of $7 billion for 2015-16. In addition, Alberta’s health care system is one of the most expensive in Canada, spending 19 per cent more than the national average. While the budget includes some cuts to health care spending to reduce administration cost and waste. The reality is, cuts alone will not be enough. The Health Care Contribution Levy recognizes the cost of health care and its importance to Albertans.

Does everyone have to pay?

The health care contribution levy is based on an individual’s ability to pay. Only Albertans who have a taxable income of more than $50,000 a year will have to pay the levy. If you’re taxable income is lower than $50,000 a year, which includes many of our seniors and most vulnerable Albertans you will not have to pay.

How does the new Levy work?

The levy is also progressive in structure. That means those Albertans who can afford to pay more, will pay more. The levy will increase in $200 increments based on taxable income more than $50,000. It will be capped to a maximum of $1,000 annually for those whose taxable income is $130,800 or more. Again, none of this applies to Albertans who have a taxable income of less than $50,000 per year. For many Albertans, the new levy will be deducted at source in the same way employers deduct Alberta’s personal income tax.

Is this the same as the old Health Care Premiums?

The new Health Care Contribution Levy is not the same as the previous health care premiums, which had a disproportionate impact on lower and middle income earners. Even though government has had to introduce a new levy and increase other taxes, we were careful not to create undue hardship for vulnerable and low income Albertans.

As your MLA, I understand your concerns about the new Health Care Contribution Levy, and I encourage you to call my office at 780-542-3355 or (Devon Office) 780-987-3666 if you have any questions. You can also find more information online at budget.alberta.ca.

Honourable Diana McQueen, MLA

Drayton Valley-Devon

Minister of Municipal Affairs

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta has 3,651 active cases of COVID-19. (File photo)
432 new COVID cases sets another record Friday

Central zone holds steady at 126 active cases

"We are looking seriously at the spread and determining what our next steps should be," says Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, as the daily number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb.
427 new COVID cases is highest in Alberta ever

Central zone has 126 active cases of COVID-19

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Temporary COVID-19 testing sites coming to Wetaskiwin and Ponoka

The Wetaskiwin location will open Oct. 23, 2020 and the Ponoka location will open Oct. 29.

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
City and County of Wetaskiwin reporting active cases

Both the City of Wetaskiwin and County of Wetaskiwin have active cases.

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw updates media on the Covid-19 situation in Edmonton on Friday March 20, 2020. nbsp;Alberta is reporting it's highest daily number of COVID-19 cases, with 364 new infections. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta confirmed 323 COVID-19 cases Tuesday

Central zone active cases at 145

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. NDP leader John Horgan and B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau. (Black Press Media)
VIDEO: One day until B.C. voters go to the polls in snap election defined by pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan’s decision to call an election comes more than a year ahead of schedule and during a pandemic

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Leader of the Opposition Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons Thursday October 22, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
O’Toole tells Alberta UCP AGM Liberals were ‘late and confused’ on COVID response

He says Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has taken charge and not waited to make things happen

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives for an announcement at a news conference in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Inquiry into oil and gas foes to deliver report next year: Kenney

A lawsuit filed by environmental law firm Ecojustice argues the inquiry is politically motivated

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

This photo provided by Air Force Reserve shows a sky view of Hurricane Epsilon taken by Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter team over the Atlantic Ocean taken Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020.   Epsilon’s maximum sustained winds have dropped slightly as it prepares to sideswipe Bermuda on a path over the Atlantic Ocean.  The National Hurricane Center says it should come close enough Thursday, Oct. 22, evening to merit a tropical storm warning for the island.  (Air Force Reserve via AP)
Hurricane Epsilon expected to remain offshore but will push waves at Atlantic Canada

Epsilon is not expected to have any real impact on land

A voter places her absentee ballot in the ballot box, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020, at Merrill Auditorium in Portland, Maine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Robert F. Bukaty
American voters living in Canada increasingly being counted in presidential race

The largest number of Canadian-based American voters cast their ballots in New York and California

A composite image of three photographs shows BC NDP Leader John Horgan, left, in Coquitlam, B.C., on Sept. 25, 2020; BC Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau, centre, in Victoria on Sept. 24, 2020; and BC Liberal Party Leader Andrew Wilkinson Pitt Meadows, B.C., on Sept. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck, Chad Hipolito
British Columbia votes in snap election called during COVID-19 pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan called the snap election one year before the fixed voting date

Nunavut's provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, on Tuesday June 30, 2020. The annual report from Nunavut's representative for children and youth says "complacency and a lack of accountability" in the territory's public service means basic information about young people needing services isn’t tracked. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Nunavut’s young people ‘should be expecting more’ from government services: advocate

‘The majority of information we requested is not tracked or was not provided by departments’

Most Read