(Eric Hunsaker/Flickr)

B.C. to axe PharmaCare deductibles for low-income families

Households earning up to $30,000 pay no deductible starting next year

The B.C. government plans to eliminate PharmaCare deductibles for low-income families.

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced Friday that $105-million over three years is set to eliminate or reduce deductibles for roughly 240,000 families who earn a household net income of under $45,000. Effective Jan. 1, 2019, households earning up to $30,000 will have their deductible eliminated, saving them up to $900 per year.

Dix told Black Press the change has to wait for next year because it requires updated income information from the tax system to calculate the eligibility. It’s the first change to the system since

For families earning more than $30,000 per year, the deductible is reduced. For income between $31,667 and $35,000, for example, the deductible goes from $1,000 down to $800. For household income of more than $41,667, the deductible remains at $1,300.

Dix said the cost of pharmaceuticals to the province is rising with an aging population, and the relief for low income people comes on top of a new federal-provincial agreement on generic drugs that reduces the costs somewhat.

“There’s no question that there’s going to be enormous pressure on this budget in the coming years,” Dix said.

Co-payments will also be eliminated for families with someone aged 79 and older with net incomes below $13,750, and lowered for all families with net incomes under $45,000.

“We know that in families earning under $30,000 in net income, needed prescriptions go unfilled too often because PharmaCare deductibles are too high,” Dix said. “The step we’re taking today is a significant one, as deductibles have not been changed in 15 years.”

Prior to these changes, prescription deductibles rose from $0 to $300 when a family’s net income reached $15,000, and jumped another $300, from $600 to $900, when their net income reached $30,000.

Just Posted

ZONE 8: Gabby Knox is a 2nd-generation BC Summer Games competitor

Both parents competed in softball, but Knox of Williams Lake is making waves in the pool

This year’s 25th anniversary of Tour de Cariboo to be the last

This year’s Tour de Cariboo fundraiser will celebrate 25 years of memories.

Tl’etinqox community strengthed by 2017 wildfires, says chief

Residents denied evacuation order to help themselves

West Fraser continues burned timber salvage in the Cariboo Chilcotin

Two cutting permits will allow the company to harvest 227,000 cubic metres of burnt timber

2017 fire babies pose for photo one year later

23 babies and their moms gathered for a photo shoot at the Williams Lake Fire Department

BC Wildfire merges two Okanagan wildfires

Large plume of smoke seen over the fire was a controlled event

Lower Mainland teams battle for baseball gold at BC Games

Vancouver Coastal squeaked out a 3-2 win against Fraser Valley

The Northern Secwepemc te Qelmucw people signed an agreement-in-principle with the B.C. government

The signing ceremony, at the Eliza Archie Memorial School, was 25 years in the making

Ping-pong balls of fire dropped to merge two B.C. wildfires

The merger is considered successful by BC Wildfire Services

Canada to resettle dozens of White Helmets and their families from Syria

There are fears the volunteers would become a target for government troops

Francesco Molinari wins British Open at Carnoustie

It is his first win at a major and the first by an Italian

Government sets full-time salary range for Justin Trudeau’s nanny

At its top range, the order works out to a rate of $21.79 per hour, assuming a 40-hour work week

ZONE 7: Players’ insistence delivers North West softball team to BC Games

North West hasn’t had a girls softball team since 2010 but that changed at the Cowichan Summer Games

Recovery high schools could help teens before addiction takes hold: B.C. parents

Schools could provide mental health supports and let parents discuss their children’s drug use openly

Most Read