The B.C. government’s plan to eliminate prescription drug deductible payments for families making less than $30,000 a year takes effect this week.
Health Minister Adrian Dix said Friday the program will relieve 240,000 low-income B.C. families from paying out of pocket for prescription drugs covered by the province’s Fair Pharmacare program. The move was first announced last February, with $105 million budgeted over the next three years.
“These are the first-ever changes to Fair Pharmacare deductibles and co-payments since the program was created 15 years ago,” Dix said.
Before this year, the program meant a B.C. household earning net 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, the health ministry said in a statement.
Under the new program, families with a net annual income between $30,000 and $45,000 also get reduced prescription drug costs. Information on registering for Pharmacare coverage and details of the plan are available here.
Dix said ministry statistics show low-income people have been spending less on drugs than their prescriptions would indicate, suggesting they are cutting back on prescriptions to pay for other necessary expenses.