Health Insurance Plans

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Learn about British Columbia Health Insurance Plan

Besides Ontario and Quebec, British Columbia (BC) is the most populated Canadian province with a population estimate of 4.8 million as of 2017. This means that British Columbians constitute up to 13% of Canada’s population. The province was formally a British colony until it evolved from British possession to its present state in 1871. British Columbia was originally inhabited by First Nations, a tribe of people with over 10,000 years of history in the area, comprising the Inuit, the Metis and so forth.

A 2013 statistic on British Columbia shows that 45% of the residents are overweight or obese, with 30.7% overweight and 14.3% obese.

To learn more about healthcare in British Columbia, click here.

What Does the British Columbia Health Plan Not Cover?

British Columbia’s public health insurance is known as the Medical Service Plan (MSP). This plan includes the cost of medically required insured doctor services.  The plan covers several services but some services are not covered; these include:

  • Services that are not medically required such as cosmetic surgery.
  • Regular eye examination for residents between 19 and 64.
  • Prescription drugs.
  • The services of paramedics such as chiropractors, physical therapy, acupuncture, naturopathy, massage therapists and so forth.
  • Certificates, tests and medical exams required for school or university, employment, life insurance, driving a motor vehicle, immigration purposes, recreational activities etc.
  • Screening tests and preventive services without evidence of medical effectiveness.

To learn more about supplemental health insurance companies and products in British Columbia, click here.

Optometric Services Not Covered by the Provincial Plan

MCP covers several optometric services for British Columbians; however, some optometric services are not covered. The following optometric services may not be covered.

  • Routine eye exams for patients aged between 19 and 64.
  • Only medically required conditions are covered. These include ocular disease, injury or trauma, systemic diseases related to the risk of ocular health, and medications associated with a noticeable risk to ocular health.
  • Services rendered by optometrists who are not enrolled in MSP are not covered.

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Prescription Drugs Not Covered by the Provincial Plan

The pharmacare program is designed to provide coverage for prescription drugs. BC pharmacare is one of the most inclusive drug programs in Canada. However, pharmacare does not cover the following services:

  • Drug costs above the maximum drug price recognized by Pharmacare.
  • Drugs or supplies purchased from pharmacies that are not enrolled in the Pharmacare program.
  • Drugs purchased over-the-counter unless the drug is eligible under a specific PharmaCare plan.

To get Prescription Drug Health quote click here.

Dental Coverage Not Covered by the Provincial Plan

MSP provides coverage for dental services to BC residents. However, the dentist is required to enroll in MSP. Moreover, only dental services listed under MSP dental benefits are covered.

To get a Dental Health quote click here.

British Columbia Health News

According to Premier John Horgan, B.C government is increasing staffing levels in residential care homes in order to provide seniors with quality care. The premier pointed out that the provincial government would be investing $240 million over a three-year interval (from 2018 to 2021) in order to increase the direct care available to seniors by 3.36 hours per resident day.

To learn more about health care issues in British Columbia click here.

British Columbia Health Issues

The emergency department wait time in British Columbia is steadily rising every year but the wait time for Canada fell between the year 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 but remained the same from 2013-2014 till 2016-2017.

The emergency wait time for British Columbia and Canada in 2016-2017 was 2.9 and 3.1 respectively. B.C emergency wait time was 2.5 in 2013-2014, 2.7 in 2014-2015, and 2.8 in 2015-2016. But for the years considered, the emergency wait time for Canada, in general, has remained at 3.1.

To learn more about statistics on British Columbia health insurance, click here.

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British Columbia Health Plan FAQ

I am new to BC, when will my coverage begin?

If you are an employee, you may apply for MSP as soon as you arrive in BC. New residents may have to wait for a balance of the month of arrival plus two months (constituting the waiting period) to apply. If you travel outside Canada for more than 30 days within the waiting period, your eligibility may be affected.

What is the cost and premium for MSP coverage?

If you are an employee, your employer may cater to your MSP cost. However, individuals may have to pay their premiums. MSP will send the next month premiums to you every month.

Will MSP cover me during my wait period?

No, MSP does not provide coverage during the waiting period. You are advised to seek out alternative coverage options during the waiting period.

Where can I obtain MSP enrollment form?

You can enroll for MSP either online or by mail. If you wish to enroll by mail, the application for can be easily downloaded online.

To learn more about British Columbia Health, click here.