Starting Feb. 15, 2013, and over the next five years, eligible British Columbians between the ages of 19 and 74 will be required to replace their CareCard with the new BC Services Card by renewing their enrolment in the Medical Services Plan.
The current CareCard was introduced in 1989 and has not been significantly updated over the last 20 years. The new BC Services Card takes advantage of significant advances in technology since that time, to provide a more convenient and secure piece of identification with enhanced features to protect citizens' personal information. The new card is more secure as it includes a photograph of the beneficiary, anti-forgery features, identity proofing and an expiry date. The card can also be combined with a driver's licence and acts as photo ID- meaning one less card to carry.
To get a new BC Services Card, eligible British Columbians can simply enrol when renewing their driver's licence. People who do not drive can still enrol at the nearest location where driver's licences are issued.
Once a person enrols, they will be issued a new BC Services Card, or a combined card, and will need to re-enrol every five years. Children and certain groups of adults, such as the elderly or those in residential care or extended hospital care - for whom renewed enrolment would be impractical or present a hardship - will be exempted from re-enrolling or managed through special arrangements.
The BC Services Card also provides the foundation for supporting the potential future development of more convenient access for citizens to new online government services.
Government first announced plans to roll out a replacement to the CareCard in May 2011 when amendments to the Medicare Protection Act were introduced to support the introduction of a more secure card, designed to improve patient safety.
To learn more, visit: www.bcservicescard.ca
Media can access high-resolution images of the BC Services Card at: http://sendtonews.com?SK=EGOKPtAFFk
Ryan Jabs, Media Relations Manager
Ministry of Health
250 952-1887 (media line)