The enhanced BC Services Card reached an important milestone, with the two millionth card being issued this week.
The BC Services Card is the highly secure form of identification that replaces the pre-existing CareCard and can also be combined with a B.C. driver’s licence. Prior to the BC Services Card, there were about 9.5 million CareCards issued for 4.5 million Medical Services Plan beneficiaries.
With anti-counterfeiting measures and significant advancements in technology, the card provides a secure piece of photo identification with enhanced features to protect citizens’ personal information. The addition of photo ID also helps reduce fraud in the healthcare sector.
Most adults can fulfil their obligation to renew enrolment in the Medical Services Plan when they renew their driver’s licence with ICBC. While at the ICBC counter, they can also get their BC Services Card and save time. It is anticipated that all British Columbians will have a BC Services card by 2018.
Public consultations were held in December 2013 on the future of digital service delivery and how the BC Services Card could be used to access government services online. British Columbians were clear that while they want government to deliver high-value digital services, any new service or use of the BC Services Card must be designed with a continued commitment to protecting citizens’ privacy and with open, ongoing communication about the card.
The feedback from the 2013 consultation is the basis for the ongoing discussions within government on the next potential uses for the BC Services Card.
Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services Minister Amrik Virk -
“The BC Services Card is a next-generation identity document with the potential to provide more access, convenience and value in the future. As more and more people adopt the new card, they will gain improved access to the services they care about while improving the safety and security of their personal information and privacy.”
Health Minister Terry Lake -
“This milestone means more British Columbians are receiving even higher levels of patient safety as the card makes it easier for health providers to ensure services are being delivered to the right person. I encourage British Columbians to renew enrolment in the Medical Services Plan and get their BC Services Card.”
ICBC president and CEO Mark Blucher -
“We’re pleased to be a partner in this valuable program and to deliver the added convenience of a combined BC Services Card and driver’s licence to our customers.”
- The old CareCard was introduced in 1989 and has not been significantly updated over the last 20 years.
- Citizens have the option to combine the BC Services Card with their B.C. driver’s licence.
- The BC Services Card has advanced high-tech anti-counterfeit and fraud protection design.
- The new card includes a contactless chip, similar to a debit or credit card, which could be used in the future by an individual with a passcode to prove that they are who they say they are when they access digital services. The chip contains no personal information.
- In 2013, the Province consulted with the public, as well as experts in identity management, privacy and related fields, leading to recommendations on government’s overall approach to digital service delivery.
Information on the BC Services Card: www.bcservicescard.ca
Report on the public consultation on the BC Services Card: www.gov.bc.ca/citz/reports_publications.html
Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services