Medical Services Plan & Medical Coverage

Overview

The ministry assists eligible recipients and their families to access Ministry of Health premium-free medical coverage through the Medical Services Plan (MSP).

This medical coverage is provided to recipients of income assistance, hardship assistance, and disability assistance who meet the MSP residency criteria. Refugee Claimants in receipt of assistance must also have a valid work permit.

Policy

Effective:  February 22, 2018

The ministry assists eligible recipients and their families to access Ministry of Health premium-free medical coverage through the Medical Services Plan (MSP).

Recipients of income assistance, hardship assistance, disability assistance and eligible Medical Services Only (MSO) and Transitional Health Services (THS) recipients are eligible to receive premium-free medical coverage through the Medical Services Plan (MSP).  Refugee Claimants in receipt of assistance may also be eligible for premium-free MSP coverage if they meet residency requirements and have a valid Work Permit.

[For more information on MSO, see Related Links – Medical Services Only.]

The MSP coverage available to eligible ministry recipients is called Plan C and is identical to the coverage offered to the general public. The ministry’s role is limited to applying to the Ministry of Health (MoH) on behalf of the recipient and the recipient’s dependants. At the time of enrolment in MSP,  recipients should be encouraged to register for the Fair PharmaCare program as soon as they receive their Personal Health Number.

The ministry has no authority to meet the costs of medical services not covered by MSP, unless clearly specified in the Employment and Assistance Act or Regulation or the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act or Regulation.

When a case is closed, Medical Services Plan coverage continues for six months to provide time for the former recipient to apply for their own MSP coverage.  However, prescription coverage through PharmaCare ends immediately. If the recipient  has registered for Fair PharmaCare, the recipient  may still be eligible for coverage based on their income.  Coverage for dental, optical and hearing supplements cease at the end of the month of case closure, or the end of the month a dependant is deleted from a case.

[For information on PharmaCare, see Related Links – PharmaCare.]

 

Ministry of Health (MOH) Criteria for MSP Coverage

Effective:  February 22, 2018

Recipients must meet all of the following MoH criteria to be eligible for Medical Services Plan (MSP) coverage:

  • have the legal right to reside in Canada
  • make their home in BC
  • have resided for three continuous months in BC (for example, if the arrival date is mid-June, the eligibility date is September 1)
  • be physically present in BC for six months per calendar year

Note: MOH requires primary and secondary identification to confirm the above criteria.  See Procedures – Registering for MSP Coverage.

If the recipient does not meet the MSP residency requirements outlined above, MSP coverage will be post-dated for three months. New residents from other parts of Canada should maintain coverage with their former medical plan during the three-month waiting period. [For information on eligibility for PharmaCare during this period, see Related Links – PharmaCare.]

 

Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction Health Supplements

Effective:  December 1, 2003

In addition to medical services covered by Medical Services Plan (MSP), the ministry may provide specified health supplements to eligible recipients based on their client categories.

[For information on health supplements, see Related Links – Health Supplement Summary.]

Procedures

Effective:  December 1, 2003

Medical Services Plan (MSP) coverage remains in effect when an individual is temporarily out of the province.  However, this does not include PharmaCare assistance or ambulance coverage obtained out of the province. 

Recipients should contact MSP directly for clarification on what will be covered in their specific circumstances when leaving the province.  [see Contacts]

 

Registering for MSP Coverage 

Effective:  February 22, 2018

Registering for MSP coverage is now a 2 step process.

Step 1 (to be completed by EAW)

To register a recipient for Plan C coverage with Medical Services Plan (MSP) follow these steps:

  1. Ensure that the recipient has signed the MSP Client Release on page 2 of the Application for Assistance – Consents (Part 1) (HR0080B) [see Forms and Letters].
  2. Apply for coverage to be effective in the month the recipient becomes eligible for assistance.
  3. For recipients who previously met eligibility requirements but coverage was not applied for, MSP can only be backdated for up to one year or to the open date of the case. Note full details.
  4. All MSP applications are processed electronically except for persons who are non-Canadians (including children born in Canada to non-Canadians).  Print and forward to MSP the application, accompanied by either of the following for each non-Canadian on the MSP application:
  • Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM5292) and Permanent Resident Card or prior to June 28, 2002:  Record of Landing (IMM1000)
  • if deemed a Convention refugee, a copy of the letter (notice of decision) from the Convention Refugee Determination Division of Citizenship and Immigration Canada
  • if the  recipient is a Refugee Claimant, and has lived in BC for 3 consecutive months, a copy of a valid Work Permit and confirmation of Refugee Claim (IMM1442).

Step 2 (to be completed by recipient)

  1. If the recipient is a current resident of BC, and does not have a current BC Services Card or combined BC Driver’s Licence/Services card,  they must complete the MSP application process by doing one of the following:
     
       - Attend an ICBC driver licensing office with two pieces of ICBC approved identification to apply for the BC Services Card [see Additional Resources – ICBC - Accepted ID]
       - Contact Health Insurance BC by email or phone to apply for the BC Services Card, if the recipient does not have two pieces of identification or is unable to attend an ICBC driver licensing office.

    Note: recipients who do not have two pieces of identification may be eligible for an ICBC Secondary ID attestation process and should be referred to Health Insurance BC or ICBC drivers licensing office for additional information [see Contacts].
  2. If a recipient is a new or returning resident to BC, they must complete the Identity Proofing Process to secure permanent MSP coverage. Recipients in this category will have 42 days of pre-authorized health coverage.
     
       - Recipients must attend an ICBC drivers licensing office with two pieces of identification to complete this step.
       - Recipients who do not have two pieces of identification may be eligible for an ICBC Secondary ID attestation process and should be referred to Health Insurance BC or ICBC drivers licensing office for additional information

    Note: If the identity proofing requirement is not met within the 42 day allotted time frame, their health coverage may be suspended. Please review the MOH screen to confirm if a recipient’s health coverage is active.

Effective:  February 22, 2018

Ministry staff can add dependants through the Medical Services Plan (MSP) Information Update.

  • Adding a newborn to an existing case: Most newborns are now given PHNs as soon as they are born; therefore a PHN should already exist on the database.
  • When adding MSP coverage for a newborn the MSP Person Select By Name screen will likely display requiring a selection to be made from the list of possible matches. The “name” used to assign a PHN for the newborn at the hospital may be different from the newborn’s given name and surname on the live birth registration which is the name that is entered on the case.

Therefore when selecting a match be aware of the following:

  • The newborn’s surname will likely appear as the surname the mother was registered under in the hospital.
  • The newborn’s first name will likely show as “Baby Girl” or “Baby Boy” for single birth; and “Baby Girl A,” “Baby Boy B,” “Baby Boy C,” etc., for multiple births.

If you cannot find the newborn’s PHN call the Registries Admin Service Desk [see Contacts] to get the correct PHN.

When dependants are deleted from a case or a case closes, MSP will automatically be cancelled through a system-generated message to MSP. A system-generated message will also be sent to Pacific Blue Cross cancelling coverage for dental, optical and hearing supplements at the end of that calendar month.

Following the initial application, the recipient must report any changes to names, sex, or birthdates to MSP.  [see Contacts]