April 5, 2016 4:09 pm

Ontario’s reversal on seniors’ drugs prices to cost government an extra $100M

Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins said Tuesday the estimated impact would be about $100 million this fiscal year.

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TORONTO — It will cost the Ontario government an extra $100 million dollars to backtrack on a budget promise that would have increased drug costs for most seniors.

The government proposed in the budget to raise the Ontario Drug Benefit low-income threshold so that single seniors making less than $19,300 would pay no deductible.

But the Liberals had also planned to increase the deductible for seniors above that threshold from $100 to $170 and have their co-payments rise as well.

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READ MORE: Wynne Liberals backtrack on changes that would have increased seniors’ drug costs

Following an outcry from seniors’ groups, the health minister announced Monday that he was cancelling those changes for seniors above the threshold, and that the threshold itself will rise with inflation.

Health Minister Eric Hoskins did not know off-hand Monday morning how much that would cost, and though he said his ministry could get that information momentarily, staff were not able to come up with a figure all day.

Hoskins says today the estimated impact will be about $100 million this fiscal year.

WATCH: Province scraps plan to increase drug costs for some seniors

© 2016 The Canadian Press

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