If you're a British Columbia resident, you're eligible for MSP. It is mandatory to enroll yourself and your dependents with MSP failure to which you'll have to pay for medical costs independently.
In the past, your income would have determined the monthly fee you would be required to pay. However, as of January 1, 2020, the MSP program completely eliminated those fees.
PharmaCare is B.C's publicly funded program that's handy for residents when it comes to paying for;
Health coverage changes once you leave British Columbia. For starters, MSP does not provide coverage for treatment offered by health care practitioners (physical therapists, chiropractors, nurse practitioners, or physician assistants) outside the province.
If medical care isn't offered by a physician or you need an ambulance service or prescription while outside Canada or in another province, you'll cater for the entire cost of medical service offered. The Ministry of Health won't reimburse the fees, which often can range from several hundred to thousand dollars.
If you're eligible for coverage while absent from British Columbia temporarily, MSP caters for unexpected medical services on the condition that the services are medically necessary. Additionally, the services should be provided by a certified/licensed physician and insured by MSP.
Reimbursement for the doctor's services will be in Canadian funds. Payment won't exceed the amount payable if similar services had been rendered in British Columbia. You're responsible for any excess cost.
PharmaCare does not offer coverage for medical supplies or prescription drugs obtained outside British Columbia. Moreover, the provincial assistant isn't offered to reduce payment for ambulance services outside British Columbia.
Although British Columbia does not offer similar coverage for emergency hospital care when traveling outside Canada, it limits coverage to a daily payment of $75CAD maximum.
When purchasing travel insurance, it is prudent to obtain insurance that covers the extra costs for hospital care, physician, and provincial services not insured outside British Columbia like ambulance services, prescription, etc.
Purchasing additional private, additional insurance to supplement basic coverage before leaving the province or country is prudent.
Find more information on health care benefits when outside the province or Canada here.
Before applying for health insurance coverage in British Columbia, having a valid BC Services Card is necessary. The government-issued card verifies both your age and identity. In addition to accessing health, the card can also be handy to open a bank account or access government services.
If you are a new Canadian resident, you need to apply for the MSP immediately after you arrive. Your coverage starts three months after the arrival date in B.C. While you wait, you need to obtain health care insurance.
If moving from another province, it is necessary to arrange for coverage with a former medical plan during the waiting period. If the rest of your family isn't here yet, they should maintain their existing provincial health care. Whenever they get back, you can submit an application to add them to your plan. The waiting period for every family member starts on the individual arrival date.
If the MSP coverage will be under a group plan via your pension plan, union, or employer, you need to contact your group administrator for more details on applying.
Do you already have MSP coverage and obtained a letter of notification informing you to renew your British Columbia Services card? If yes, then there's no need to submit a new application for registration. The only thing you need to do is renew your British Columbia Services Card.
You can apply offline, in-person by downloading, completing, and sending a paper application form >> Application for Enrolment. Once you've completed the form, send it to:
The online application isn't complicated. It takes roughly 15 minutes to complete. All the data you provide is saved locally to the device or computer you're using until you submit the form or close your browser window.
Note: If you're using an assistive device or screen reader, apply using this paper form.
The online application supports both female (F) and male (M) gender designations. For submissions touching on a non-binary gender (X) designation, contact Health Insurance BC.
Before you begin your online application, ensure you're using any of these web browsers;
One of the requirements for online application is identification. You'll be needed to upload digital images of all forms or documents that support the name and immigration status or Canadian citizenship of all persons.
If your current name does not match the names on your ID, you'll need to have a legal name or divorce decree certification, or a marriage certificate.
From February 22, 2018, to fully complete the enrolment for MSP, adult Canadian citizens, as well as Permanent Residents, need to get a Photo BC Services Card through visiting the ICBC (Insurance Corporation of BC) driver licensing office.
Note: Getting the BC Services Card is free, you don't need to pay for anything. If you opt to combine the card with a driver's license, you'll have to pay for fees that apply to a regular driver's license. The BC Services Card is handy when accessing benefits touching on provincial health care. Your card will contain your PHN.
Individuals below the age of 18 years and 6 months of age automatically get a Non-Photo BC Services Card from the HIBC in their mail. If you need more information on the BC Services Card, visit gov.bc.ca/bcservicescard.
Enhanced security levels not only make your card secure but also help protect privacy meaning you have to do several things to renew or replace your card. The steps you need to take depend on the type of British Columbia Services Card since each has unique eligibility requirements.
You can renew your card before the current one expires or if it has already expired. It is necessary to have an unexpired valid BC Services Card to set up your BC Services Card app for effortless access to government services online.
The steps to replace a damaged, stolen, or lost card depend on the type. If you have a combined Services Card and BC Driver's License or Photo BC Services Card, do the following:
If yours is a Non-Photo BC Services Card, Call Health Insurance BC immediately.
For one reason or another, it might be necessary to change your address. Remember it is essential that you keep your personal information as current as possible. You can update your address for your British Columbia Health Card online.
If your card has a photo, you'll get an updated address sticker that you'll attach to the card.
Note: Updating your address online isn't possible for those with an enhanced EIC, a British Columbia Identification Card, or an EDL. In these scenarios, you have to contact ICBC directly.
Effective September 1, 2019, every international post-secondary and k-12 student will start to pay a healthcare coverage fee of $37.50 monthly per month. With the abolition of MSP premiums, the health coverage fee for every international student is $75/month.
The health fee applies to international students.
MSP is a provincial insurance program that caters to your necessary medical services. These comprise medically necessary offered by midwives and physicians, as well as oral surgery and dental surgery conducted in a hospital.
Moreover, the services handle eye examinations if medically necessary and several orthodontic services. MSP also pays for diagnostic services including but not limited to x-rays. Supplementary benefits offered by health care practitioners might also be covered. They include non-surgical podiatry, physical therapy, naturopathy, massage therapy, chiropractic, and acupuncture.
In summary, MSP covers the following;
For more information on everything covered by the Health Plan visit the MSP BC Website.
In summary, MSP does not cover the following:
Services not deemed medically necessary like cosmetic surgery
For more information on what isn't covered by the BC MSP Health Plan.