What Your Provincial Health Plan Covers: British Columbia

Doctors demand action
B.C. has one of the most
comprehensive drug programs
in the country.

The B.C. provincial health insurance plan, called Health Insurance B.C., started as universal public medical insurance in 1968, although letters were written by the provincial government to urge the federal government to institute a nationwide health insurance plan as early as 1922.

It is a three-tired system consisting of the Medical Services Plan, which is mandatory for all B.C. residents and their dependents and covers the main thrust of hospital services in the province. Premiums are billed once a month in advance and are determined based on income and family size. Pharmacare covers prescription drugs and medical supplies and Fair Pharmacare provides subsidies for prescription costs. The subsidies are based on income and other eligibility criteria.

What is Covered by the Medical Services Plan

  • Medical services
  • Maternity care
  • Medically required eye exams
  • Diagnostic services when required by a doctor, midwife, podiatrists, dental and oral surgeons
  • Some Orthodontic services
  • Podiatry that’s surgically required

Premium Assistance Services

  • Regular premium assistance services based on income and MSP deductions
  • Temporary premium assistance services based on unexpected financial hardship

What is Covered by Pharmacare

  • Fair Pharmacare subsidy is based on net income and a deductible is determined based on this and the plan will assistance with paying the rest once the deductible is met. Those in the lowest income bracket do not have to pay a deductible and will receive health immediately.
  • Plan B: coverage for permanent residents of licensed residential care facilities.
  • Plan C: for B.C. residents who receive medical benefits and/or income assistance.
  • Plan D: for people who are registered with a provincial Cystic Fibrosis Clinic and need digestive enzymes.
  • Plan F: for children in the At Home Program of the Ministry of Children and Family Development who would otherwise be reliant on institutional care.
  • Plan G: for individuals of any age who are registered with a mental health services centre and are in financial and clinical need of medication.
  • B.C. Palliative Care Program: for provincial residents who want palliative care in their home.
  • B.C. Center for Excellence in HIV/AIDS: anti-retroviral drugs will be covered for those people who are HIV positive and enrolled with the centre.

For more information on B.C. Health Insurance, visit their website. If you’re interested in purchasing supplemental medical insurance coverage, please contact us at 1-866-899-4849.

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