Medical Services Plan (MSP)
The Medical Services Plan (MSP) insures eligible British Columbians for medically required services by physicians and health care practitioners.
The employer covers the cost of MSP premiums for eligible BC public service employees and their families. However, you must apply to receive this benefit. Coverage begins the first day of the month after you become a regular employee, an eligible auxiliary employee or when you sign up, whichever is later.
Note: Effective Jan 1, 2018 no premiums for children under 19 or overage dependants (19-24) in school full time will continue. MSP premium rates will be reduced by 50% and will be based on the number of adults on the account (for example, you and your spouse). The MSP premium rate for two adults is twice the amount of the single adult rate.
If you are new or returning to B.C., there is a waiting period of three months. This includes the month you arrive plus two additional months.
New residents from other parts of Canada should maintain coverage with their former medical plan during the waiting period. Residents arriving from outside Canada should contact a private insurance company.
In B.C., the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) has a partnership with MSP. Driver’s licenses and BC Care Cards are linked. The BC Care Card, which is replaced with the BC Services Card, is the card that shows you have MSP coverage with a unique lifetime identifier for health care called a Personal Health Number.
On February 22, 2018, there will be changes to the Medicare Protection Act and the Medical and Health Care Service Regulations. On and after this date, new and returning residents 19 or older must complete a two-step enrolment process.
What to do
To be enroled in the group plan, new or returning BC Public Service employees must complete this two-step process as soon as they arrive. This allows time to process the application so enrolment and coverage for you and your dependents under the group plan will not be delayed:
- Visit an ICBC office
- Let them know you are new to the province and applying for MSP coverage
- Provide proof of your identity. ICBC communicates with MSP to confirm you've completed this step. If you are unsure what documents to bring, contact ICBC
- Complete the MSP Application for Group Enrolment (PDF, 580KB) and submit it through an AskMyHR service request
Group Plan Timelines
Your group plan coverage is effective after you have completed the three-month waiting period and you have completed both of the steps in the process (visiting ICBC and sending your application through AskMyHR).
For example, after you have completed the three-month waiting period and
- You complete both steps in May, your coverage starts in June, or
- You complete the first step in May and the second step in June, your coverage starts in July
You are responsible for any MSP premiums before your group-plan coverage starts. Time gaps between steps are not covered.
For more information about new or returning residents to B.C., visit the Ministry of Health website.
First Nations residents can enrol in MSP through the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA). If your dependants do not qualify for FNHA coverage and you would like to add them, you must cancel your coverage with FNHA. Instead, you need to apply for MSP coverage through your employer and add your dependants through your employer.
B.C. residents are required by law to enrol themselves along with their spouse and children who are B.C. residents. To apply for group enrolment, refer to the Enrol and Update page of the applicable benefit plan.
Do NOT send your MSP form directly to Health Insurance BC. You must send it to your employer for processing.
Baby Enrolment/Addition of Newborn
The easiest way to enrol your newborn is to complete the Online Birth Registration through the Vital Statistics Agency. The agency sends your baby's information to Health Insurance BC. If you have MSP coverage through work, you must also complete the Baby Enrolment (PDF, 137KB) form or the Medical Services Plan Group Change Request (PDF, 591KB) and forward it to your employer.
For more information please visit the Baby Enrolment/Addition of Newborn page on the Ministry of Health website.