Saskatchewan broke another population record in 2017. Strong growth continued in 2018. More people now live in this prairie province than ever before.
Whether you’re a lifelong resident or you recently moved, you have questions about Saskatchewan health benefits. Some of those questions likely apply to the Saskatchewan drug plan. Since there have been changes to the plan, it’s only natural to have questions.
This guide will help you understand what the plan currently covers. It will also help you decide if you’re eligible to receive these benefits. Finally, we’ll look at why extra drug coverage is a good idea.
The Changing Nature of the Saskatchewan Drug Plan
When Saskatchewan introduced its drug plan, every resident could receive benefits for prescriptions.
Over the years, the government has changed the plan a lot. Most of these changes keep costs in check. As a result, the plan no longer covers everyone who lives in Saskatchewan.
The drug plan is an important part of Saskatchewan health care coverage. You should check government websites and publications for the most up-to-date information. News sites and trusted blogs can also help you learn about changes.
Knowing what’s covered is important. It can help you make better choices for your health.
What Does the Plan Cover?
Like most Canadian provinces, Saskatchewan Health covers medications given in hospitals. Sask Health coverage doesn’t usually include medications given outside hospitals.
The drug plan helps people living in Saskatchewan manage prescriptions costs. The plan features several different programs. These include:
- the Children’s Drug Plan
- Seniors Drug Plan
- High Drug Cost Assistance
- Exception Drug Status
- Emergency Assistance for Prescription Drugs
- Palliative Care Drug Coverage
Programs like Family Health Benefits also provide coverage for prescriptions.
On the whole, Saskatchewan has some of the most comprehensive drug coverage in Canada.
How the Plan Works
Different programs deliver their benefits in different ways. The Children’s Drug Plan offers up to $25 for medications for children 14 and under. Palliative Care Drug Coverage offers benefits for patients with terminal illnesses.
High Drug Cost Assistance and Family Health Benefits are based on your income. Programs like Exception Drug Status cover certain prescription drugs. The provincial formulary lists which medications qualify.
The government maintains the Saskatchewan Formulary, which lists covered medications. The list doesn’t include all medications. For example, many name brand drugs aren’t covered.
Support for Seniors
Saskatchewan has several programs to help seniors with the cost of their medications. If you’re a senior living in Saskatchewan, you may qualify for Saskatchewan benefits like:
- Seniors Income Plan (SIP)
- Guaranteed Income Supplement for Seniors (GIS)
- Saskatchewan Aids to Independent Living (SAIL)
If you’re aged 65 or older, you also qualify for the Saskatchewan Seniors Drug Plan. This plan offers coverage for prescription medications to senior citizens. Like the Children’s Drug Plan, it offers $25 for each prescription.
There are also other programs for seniors living in Saskatchewan. An example is Exception Drug Status. If your medication is rarely prescribed, this program could help you with the cost.
Seniors must apply for the drug plan. They don’t need any special cards or other identification when they visit the pharmacy. Their pharmacist will know, since the information is in the province’s system.
Who’s Eligible for Drug Benefits in Saskatchewan?
The Saskatchewan drug plan doesn’t cover everyone. It does cover many residents under one program or another.
You may need to meet certain criteria to qualify for a specific plan. For example, children under the age of 14 qualify for the Children’s Drug Plan. Seniors over the age of 65 with an income of less than $67,000 qualify for the Seniors Drug Plan.
Some people aren’t eligible for drug coverage under provincial health insurance. Canadian Armed Forces veterans, federal inmates, and Indigenous people aren’t eligible. They’re covered by various programs offered by the federal government of Canada.
Newcomers to Canada may need to wait until they get their permanent resident card. For Canadian citizens moving from another province, there’s a three-month waiting period.
Getting Your Health Card
If you want to use health services in Saskatchewan, you’ll need a Saskatchewan health card. Applying for one is easy.
Download the form or fill it out online. It takes about 20 business days to process an application. Once you have your card, be sure to keep it up to date.
Do Saskatchewan Residents Need More Drug Coverage?
As we noted, Saskatchewan has one of the most complete drug plans in Canada. Other provinces offer less when it comes to medical costs.
Not every Saskatchewan resident has the coverage they need. Parents may find the Children’s Drug Plan doesn’t offer enough coverage. Seniors or those living with several health conditions may not be able to afford all their medications.
The plan also makes use of generic drugs. This creates problems for people who need name brand medications. Caps on allowances are also in place, which limit the benefits a person can get.
Finally, the Saskatchewan Formulary lists a limited number of medications. If yours isn’t listed, it isn’t covered by the province.
It’s easy to see why Saskatchewanians want to invest in supplemental health insurance. More coverage gives you more peace of mind. Extra coverage is almost never a bad thing when it comes to your health.
Boost Your Coverage and Protect Your Health
The Saskatchewan Drug Plan offers much-needed coverage for some prescription medications. For many Saskatchewan families, it still isn’t enough.
Saskatchewan health insurance coverage has its limits. There are many other health benefits you might want to buy extra coverage for.
Services such as dentistry and vision care are often not covered. Private insurance can help you bridge the gaps.
If you need extra coverage, talk to the experts today. They can help you find the best insurance for the lowest prices in Saskatchewan. Getting the health insurance you need is just a click away.