Victoria – As promised in the election campaign, the Horgan government has introduced legislation that sets the stage for the elimination of Medical Services Plan (MSP) premiums on January 1, 2020. Eliminating MSP premiums should save individuals up to $900 a year and families as much as $1,800 a year.

MSP is the provincial health insurance program that eligible B.C. residents enroll in to receive provincially insured health-care benefits. British Columbia is the only Canadian jurisdiction to still charge a monthly health-care premium.

The medicare protection amendment act, 2019, removes the sections related to MSP premiums and premium assistance from the Medicare Protection Act, ensuring that MSP beneficiaries are not required to pay any new premiums for enrollment periods after January 1, 2020.

The concern remains (for small business in particular) the “double Dipping” will continue for the rest of the year. Those businesses have to still pat MSP premiums until January as well Employer Health Tax as paying into the EHT – Employers Health Tax. As of January 1, 2019, the Employer Health Tax (EHT) was implemented in BC. Employers whose total annual payroll in BC is less than $500,000 will not pay EHT, and rates for employers with annual payroll greater than $500,000 are dependent on total payroll.

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