Victoria – For 240,000 British Columbian families, the new year brings the help they need with prescription drugs, thanks to a three-year $105-million investment that is reducing or eliminating deductibles and co-payments for lower-income households.
To learn more and register with Fair PharmaCare, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/fairpharmacare
Adrian Dix, Minister of Health noted “These are the first ever changes to Fair PharmaCare deductibles and co-payments since the program was created 15 years ago – a long overdue step forward in improving the health and lives of thousands of British Columbians. For example, as of Jan. 1, households earning up to $30,000 in net income annually no longer have a deductible, meaning the Province will help pay for eligible prescription drug costs right away.”
Previously, a household earning a net annual income between $15,000 and $30,000 would have to pay between $300 and $600 in deductibles before Fair PharmaCare would start to provide coverage assistance.
Ministry of Health data has shown a link between low-income levels, deductibles and decreased drug spending, indicating that families will forgo filling prescriptions because of the cost, opting for other essentials, such as housing and groceries.
Families earning under $45,000 in net annual income are also benefiting from this investment. Deductibles and co-payments have been lowered for households earning between $30,000 and $45,000 net, annually. Fair PharmaCare co-payments have also been eliminated for seniors born before 1940 earning a household net annual income up to $14,000, and for the lowest income households – those earning up to $13,750.
Previously, anyone registered with Fair PharmaCare, even people with the lowest incomes, would have to pay out-of-pocket before receiving 100% coverage. For example, previous coverage levels stated that a family earning $11,250 net a year was required to spend $200 on prescriptions before PharmaCare would begin to pay for all eligible drug costs.
By eliminating the family maximum for the lowest-earning families and reducing it for those earning less than a net annual income of $45,000, families will save more on prescriptions throughout the year.