The Ontario Health Coalition is raising concerns over Premier Doug Ford’s plan to alter OHIP-plus coverage.
OHIP-plus was first rolled out by the Liberal government in January 2018. It offered kids and adults under 24 free prescription medication. This included more than 4,400 drugs in the Ontario drug benefit program.
The province has now announced that it will require Ontarians in that age range to tap into private benefits before billing the government.
Coalition executive director Natalie Mehra says it’s a disturbing first act from the Progressive Conservatives under Ford.
“For people with kids with cancer or with serious illnesses, drugs can run up to $5,000 or even more,” she said. “That means co-payments of hundreds of dollars a month.”
“Who gets hurt the most? Well, it’s people with the sickest kids.”
Mehra says it’s unclear how the system between insurance providers and the province will work, and what costs OHIP-plus will consider eligible for reimbursement.
The coalition is calling on Premier Ford to reverse the policy decision and have public consultations about how this reform will work and the potential impact on Ontarians financially.
“We want to put some pressure on the government to say, ‘No, this is not right — it’s a cut, it’s not neutral.'”