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Nova Scotia pharmacare program likely to cost seniors more next year: opposition

Click to play video: 'Nova Scotia seniors could soon pay $10M more for Pharmacare' Nova Scotia seniors could soon pay $10M more for Pharmacare
WATCH ABOVE: Two weeks ago, the Nova Scotia government announced changes to the Seniors Pharmacare program that it said would be revenue neutral. Now it appears the changes could leave seniors paying more. Global’s legislative reporter Marieke Walsh reports. – Jan 28, 2016

Nova Scotia’s opposition parties are accusing the Liberal government of designing a seniors drug plan that will save the government money, but cost seniors more.

One scenario released today by the Liberals suggests under the pharmacare system that starts on April 1, the province will contribute about $110 million in 2016-17 – $10 million less than the current system.

READ MORE: No ‘secrecy’ in costs of pharmacare changes, but no details yet either

Pharmacare is a blend of government contributions and premiums charged to seniors, which under the new system will be based on the incomes of single people and couples.

Health Minister Leo Glavine says under the changed system, 12,000 seniors who previously paid a premium won’t pay one beginning April 1, while wealthier seniors will see their payments rise.

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But Tory Leader Jamie Baillie says the government hasn’t clearly stated to seniors that overall the changes are likely to cost more, based on the recently released figures.

Acting NDP Leader Maureen MacDonald says the old system was functioning well, and exempted the payment of premiums by poor seniors who received the guaranteed income supplement.

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