June 30, 2018 3:23 pm
Updated: June 30, 2018 9:18 pm

Ontario’s new health minister says free meds for youth with private coverage no more

Candidate Christine Elliott attends the Ontario Progressive Conservative Leadership announcement in Markham, Ont. on Saturday, March 10, 2018.

Chris Young / File / The Canadian Press

TORONTO – Ontario’s new health minister says the province will no longer offer free prescriptions to kids and young adults with private coverage.

In a news release issued Saturday, Christine Elliott says the move is intended to make the program more cost-effective.

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She says children and youth who are not covered by private benefits will continue to receive their eligible prescriptions for free.

The people covered by private plans will bill those plans first, according to the news release, and the government will cover the remaining eligible costs of prescriptions.

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The news release does not specify when the new system comes into effect.

The announcement comes a day after Elliott was sworn in as minister of health and long-term care as part of the new Progressive Conservative cabinet.

OHIP+, enacted by the previous Liberal government, offered free prescription medication to Ontarians under the age of 25.

It covered the 4,400-plus drugs included in the Ontario Drug Benefit Program, which is used by seniors and those on social assistance.

A spokesperson for Elliott did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

© 2018 The Canadian Press

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