(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

Two-year-old attacked by cougar in Cascade Falls Regional Park

Boy not seriously injured in incident on Monday afternoon near Mission

Trial date postponed for man charged with killing Abbotsford police officer

Oscar Arfmann’s trial pushed back from January to May 2019

VIDEO: SUV crashes into Downtown Abbotsford store

Front window of Jazz-Ma-Tazz destroyed in afternoon crash

Publication ban lifted on Letisha Reimer’s name

Reimer’s family had supported an application by The News to lift ban

Mission girl gets her wish to go to Disneyworld

Children’s Wish Foundation, Vancouver Christmas Market and Vancouver Canucks help raise funds

Story of the Year: Deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash

The Canadian Press annual survey of newsrooms across the country saw 53 out of 129 editors cast their votes for the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.

Emergency task force calls for safe supply of drugs in Vancouver to prevent ODs

Dr. Patricia Daly says more people are dying alone in the city than elsewhere in the province

‘A start:’ Alberta critical of Ottawa’s $1.6B package for ailing energy sector

A further $150 million is to be used for clean growth and infrastructure projects

New B.C. Lions coach DeVone Claybrooks adds eight to coaching staff

DeVone Claybrooks has filled out his staff for the 2019 season

Road to the World Juniors leads through B.C.

Finland plays Denmark on Wednesday, United States takes on Czech Republic on Saturday

Trump signs order to create US Space Command

President Donald Trump signs an executive order to create a U.S. Space Command.

Groups preparing new pipeline legal challenge, argue government’s mind made up

A Vancouver-based environment charity is readying itself to go back to court if the federal government reapproves the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Notorious Toronto triple killer gets third consecutive life sentence

Dellen Millard gets third consecutive life sentence for father’s death.

‘Subdued’ housing market predicted in B.C. through 2021: report

The Central 1 Credit Union report predicts “rising but subdued sales” over the next three years, with little movement in median home prices.

Most Read