Effective May 1, 2022, Medical Services Plan (MSP) policy will be updated so individuals who remain in B.C. with maintained status will have access to temporary MSP coverage until a decision is made by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on their application for extension.
Maintained status holders are non-Canadians who are legally authorized by IRCC to work or study in Canada on a temporary basis, even though they are not in possession of a valid work or study permit.
In response to COVID-19 and to address the IRCC delays in processing work and study permit extensions, temporary MSP coverage was made available to eligible maintained status holders until April 30, 2022 through a temporary COVID-19 policy.
With the expiry of this policy set for April 30, 2022, the Medical Services Commission and the Ministry of Health have approved an update to normal MSP policy to solidify coverage for maintained status holders.
This change in policy will ensure those with an active application for extension of their work or study permits with IRCC do not need to worry about whether or not they will continue to have access to health care in the province.
A backgrounder follows.