The BC government is helping lower income families with their prescription drug costs.
Health Minister Adrian Dix has announced a 105 million dollar investment over three years to reduce or eliminate deductibles and co-payments for lower income households.
Dix (pictured) says the program will benefit 240,000 BC families earning 45-thousand dollars a year or less including seniors.
He says those on the lower end previously would have to pay between $300 and $600 in deductibles before Fair PharmaCare would start to provide coverage assistance.
“No one should have to make the difficult decision between their family’s health and putting food on the table. We know that for many working households, needed prescriptions were going unfilled too often because Fair PharmaCare deductibles were too high. The changes we have made will provide thousands of families with the relief they need,” says Dix.
“These are the first ever changes to Fair PharmaCare deductibles and co-payments since the program was created 15 years ago – a long overdue step forward in improving the health and lives of thousands of British Columbians. For example, as of Jan. 1, households earning up to $30,000 in net income annually no longer have a deductible, meaning the Province will help pay for eligible prescription drug costs right away.”
Previously, a household earning a net annual income between $15,000 and $30,000 would have to pay between $300 and $600 in deductibles before Fair PharmaCare would start to provide coverage assistance.
Ministry of Health data has shown a link between low-income levels, deductibles and decreased drug spending, indicating that families will forgo filling prescriptions because of the cost, opting for other essentials, such as housing and groceries.
Families earning under $45,000 in net annual income are also benefiting from this investment. Deductibles and co-payments have been lowered for households earning between $30,000 and $45,000 net, annually. Fair PharmaCare co-payments have also been eliminated for seniors born before 1940 earning a household net annual income up to $14,000, and for the lowest income households – those earning up to $13,750.