Lower income British Columbians are now no longer paying deductibles and co-payments for prescription drugs.
Health Minister Adrian Dix spoke to reporters on Friday about the 240,000 families that, as of January, 1 can access the three-year, $105-million investment made by the provincial government.
“No one should have to make the difficult decision between their family’s health and putting food on the table,” Dix said.
“We know that for many working households, needed prescriptions were going unfilled too often because Fair PharmaCare deductibles were too high. The changes we have made will provide thousands of families with the relief they need,” Dix said.
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British Columbians must register to benefit from the program.
According to the province, these are the first changes to the Fair PharmaCare deductible since the program was created 15 years ago. For example, households earning up to $30,000 in net income annually no longer have a deductible.
Previously, a household earning a net annual income between $15,000 and $30,000 would have to pay between $300 and $600 in deductibles before Fair PharmaCare would start to provide coverage assistance.
“The deductible and co-payment changes rank among the most progressive policy changes made to a provincial public drug plan in recent times,” Dix said.
“While we continue to be engaged with our provincial, territorial and federal partners and remain hopeful for a national pharmacare plan, our government is taking action now to help people access the prescription medication they need today.”
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Families earning under $45,000 in net annual income also benefit from the change, with a decrease in the deductibles and co-payments for British Columbians in that wage range.