(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 flights cancelled to and from Penticton

Most Air Canada flights to and from Vancouver have been cancelled from Penticton

Car crashes through Penticton Sandman wall

It doesn’t appear any serious injuries were suffered in the incident

Penticton’s overdose death rate most likely tops Kelowna’s

Preliminary data released to the Western News show up to 20 died last year of overdose in Penticton

Okanagan man dies suddenly in Costa Rica

Well known and popular former hockey and lacrosse player dies in accident while travelling

Feature Friday: Life in the sex trade

A view into the life from one Kelowna prostitute and the issues it can cause for women

VIDEO: What you need to know today at the B.C. Games

All 19 events are underway across Kamloops, where five to 10 cm of snow is expected to fall

Maritimes want their own CFL team

Their biggest hurdle is getting a stadium commitment in place

Cautious optimism on lifted wine ban at B.C. Wine Institute

The B.C. wine advocates say they are conferring with lawyers and members on next steps

Gold for Kelowna’s Kelsey Serwa

Kelsey Serwa wins the gold medal in thrilling fashion in PyeongChang

Sask. school shooter to be sentenced as adult

The man was just shy of his 18th birthday when he killed four people and injured seven others

Internet questions PM’s fashion choices in India

The Trudeaus’ eight-day visit has been dogged by various controversies since it began Feb. 17

Adopted potbelly pig killed and eaten on Vancouver Island

Animal had been adopted out from the SPCA in Duncan; staff are devastated by news

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Most Read