The new year marks the end of Medical Services Plan (MSP) premiums, saving B.C. families up to $1,800 a year and individuals up to $900 a year.
While MSP premiums are a thing of the past as of Jan. 1, 2020, here are some important reminders for British Columbians.
British Columbians who had been paying their premiums using auto-payments through their credit card or financial institution are reminded to cancel those automated payments.
British Columbians must also keep their address up to date, which can be done online at: www.gov.bc.ca/managingyourmspaccount
Although British Columbians will no longer be invoiced for new premiums starting Jan. 1, 2020, elimination of MSP premiums does not forgive outstanding premiums owed.
People may be eligible for relief on premium amounts still owing. For example, retroactive premium assistance could be provided based on net income for a given tax year, family size and disability status.
Although British Columbians no longer pay premiums, they must remain enrolled in MSP. The plan will continue to provide eligible B.C. residents with provincially insured health-care benefits.
For questions about making a payment or account balances, contact Revenue Services of BC, Monday to Thursday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; or Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Pacific time) at 1 877 405-4909 (toll-free).
For questions about retroactive premium assistance, or to update a MSP account, contact Health Insurance BC, Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Pacific time) at 1 800 663-7100 (toll-free) or 604 683-7151 (Lower Mainland).
To learn more about the elimination of MSP premiums in B.C., visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2019PREM0126-002326
To learn more and to apply for retroactive premium assistance, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/health-drug-coverage/msp/bc-residents/premiums/retroactive-premium-assistance
A backgrounder follows.