Adding/Removing Spouse or Children
If your family unit has changed, you must update your Medical Services Plan (MSP) account. For example, you must update if you were recently married or are living in a marriage-like relationship, recently divorced or separated, or if you recently had a child.
Eligibility requirements must be met in order for another person to be added to your account. Learn who can be covered under your account:
Adding a Spouse (Including Common-Law) or Children
Add/Remove a Spouse or Child Online
Requests to add or remove a spouse (including Common-law) and/or children from an MSP account may be submitted using an online form, including the submission of supporting documentation.
The MSP Account Change Request online form takes about 15 minutes to complete. No login or password is required: the Account Holder’s Personal Health Number (PHN) will be used to verify your account.
If you are covered under a group plan administered by your employer, union or pension office, please do not use this application. Contact your Group Plan Administrator to complete a Group Change Request (PDF, 568KB).
Add Spouse (including Common-law) or Child(ren)
To add a spouse or child who is an existing MSP beneficiary (already has MSP coverage), no documentation is required.
If you are adding a spouse or child(ren) who is not an MSP beneficiary (has no MSP coverage), you will be required to upload one or more of the following:
- Canadian Birth Certificate
- Canadian Citizenship Card or Certificate
- Canadian Passport
- Landed Immigration Documents
- Permanent Resident Card (front and back)
- Study Permit
- Work Permit
- Confirmation of your religious service from your religious order
- Permit indicating Religious Worker
- Verification of Adoption
If a family has applied for and been deemed eligible for MSP supplementary benefits, a spouse added to the account will gain eligibility for the current year, after which the account holder and spouse must re-apply for supplementary benefits to be assessed for ongoing eligibility.
To complete MSP enrolment adult Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents must obtain a Photo BC Services Card by visiting a BC driver licensing office. To ensure the best possible service, book an appointment at your desired driver licensing office. Otherwise, check for available walk-in hours. For more information, please visit icbc.com/appointment.
Remove Spouse (including Common-law) or Child(ren)
If you are removing a spouse, you will be required to upload one of the following:
- A divorce decree
- A legal separation agreement
- A notarized statement or affidavit signed by you and/or your spouse; or
- A statement dated and signed by you and/or your spouse, including
- The date of your divorce or separation
- Full names for you and your former spouse
- Your former spouse’s current address, or an indication that the new address is unknown; and
- Account Numbers or PHNs for you and your spouse
If a family has applied for and been deemed eligible for MSP supplementary benefits, a spouse establishing coverage on their own account will maintain eligibility for the current year, after which they must re-apply for supplementary benefits on their own account.
If you are removing a child, you do not need to upload supporting documentation. However, the child (0-18) must have coverage under another account. A child 19 years of age or over will be set up on their own account.
Once the form has been submitted, a reference number will be displayed. Please allow 21 days for account change requests to be reviewed and processed. If your request is successful and no additional information is required, your account will be updated. You will receive a letter from Health Insurance BC (HIBC) if additional information is required.
- Please use one of these web browsers: latest version of Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome or Apple Safari.
- The data you enter will remain locally on the computer or device you are using until you close your browser window. If you close the window you are working in, all data will be lost.
- If you use a screen reader or assistive device, please apply using a paper MSP Account Change form (PDF, 570KB).
For more information about adding a spouse or child to your account, or to submit your request using alternate methods, please review the information below.
More Information About Adding a Spouse or Children
Adding a Spouse
When you marry or begin living in a marriage-like relationship, you should combine separate MSP accounts into one family account. If you choose to remain on separate accounts, you must contact HIBC to link your accounts. Eligibility for supplementary benefits may be impacted if you do not update your MSP account if you marry or begin living in a marriage-like relationship.
Adding a Newborn Child
If the mother of a newborn has MSP coverage, the easiest way to enrol the newborn in MSP is by completing the Electronic Birth Registration through the Vital Statistics Agency. When you complete the Electronic Birth Registration, the Vital Statistics Agency sends the baby’s information to HIBC through a secure communications network. HIBC will then process the application and determine the baby’s eligibility for MSP coverage. Learn more about adding your newborn child to your MSP account at the same time as you register his/her birth.
- If the newborn is a B.C. resident, he/she must be enrolled in MSP. This is true even if the hospital assigns the newborn a Personal Health Number.
- If MSP coverage is being provided through an employer, another group plan (including the First Nations Health Authority), or the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction (SDPR), the group administrator or SDPR must be advised that the baby is being enrolled in MSP.
- There are circumstances where the Electronic Birth Registration service cannot be used to enrol a newborn in MSP; for example, the father is requesting coverage for the newborn under an account that does not include the mother. Or it may simply be that a different method of enrolling the baby in MSP is preferred. Whatever the reason, application can be made by completing a Baby Enrolment (HLTH 115) form (PDF, 140KB).
- Parents who are new to the province and who are arriving with a baby should include the baby on the same form they are completing to obtain coverage.
- A BC Services Card will be issued when the baby is enrolled in MSP. Depending on the length of the baby's name, it may not be possible to include the full name on the BC Services Card.
The opportunity to automatically enrol a newborn in MSP via the Electronic Birth Registration is offered in partnership with the Vital Statistics Agency. If you would like further information, please refer to the Enrolling your Newborn in the Medical Services Plan (MSP) (PDF, 164KB).
Adding an Internationally Adopted Child
If you are covered under a self-administered account, you need to complete an MSP Account Change Request (PDF, 570KB).
If you are enrolled under a group plan administered by an employer, union or pension office, you need to complete a Group Change Request (HLTH 170) (PDF, 567KB).
Your form must be submitted with photocopies of documents that support the child’s name and immigration status in Canada. If the child has been granted Canadian citizenship, provide a copy of his/her Canadian citizenship card or Canadian passport. Otherwise, if Citizenship and Immigration Canada has issued the child a “Confirmation of Permanent Residence” document that indicates the adoptive parents’ names, a copy of this document is usually sufficient. If the child either holds a Confirmation of Permanent Residence document that does not include this information, or holds a different immigration document, two items are required:
- A copy of the child’s current immigration document, for example his/her Confirmation of Permanent Residence, Permanent Resident Card (front and back), or Temporary Resident Permit, and
- A letter from the Director, Adoption Branch, Ministry of Children and Family Development, to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, stating that the Ministry has no objection to the adoption (a letter of no objection).
If the child is being adopted from the United States and arrives in B.C. before an immigration document has been issued, include a note to this effect and a copy of the letter described previously, with your completed form.
Removing Spouse or Children
Removing a Former Spouse
If you are covered under a group plan administered by an employer, union, or pension office, please contact your Group Administrator.
Children are no longer eligible for coverage on a parent or guardian’s account when they:
- marry or live together in a marriage-like relationship, or
- turn 19 years of age, unless they are in full-time attendance at a recognized post-secondary institution and are supported by the parent or guardian. (A dependent post-secondary student may include a student enrolled in full-time studies at a trade school, technical school or high school.)
HIBC will send a letter to the Account Holder as a child approaches age 19, advising that coverage for the child under that account will end on the last day of the month the child turns 19. MSP will provide continuous coverage for the child by setting up a new, self-administered account. To receive Supplementary Benefits, the child will have to fulfill eligibility requirements and submit a BC Application for Health and Drug Coverage.
Coverage can continue for children who are full-time students until the last day of the month in which they turn 25, provided they are not married or living in a marriage-like relationship, and are supported by the Account Holder.
Removing Deceased Individuals
When a family member passes away, it is not usually necessary to notify HIBC. When a person dies in B.C., MSP's records are updated automatically. However, if the family member passed away outside B.C. or more than 60 days have elapsed and there is reason to believe MSP's records have not been updated, please contact Health Insurance BC.
If the person was covered under a self-administered account, you can either visit a Service BC location in your area or contact HIBC. You will need to provide the person's name, personal health number and the date he or she passed away.
If the person was covered under a group plan administered by a third party such as an employer, union or pension office, contact that party. They, in turn, will advise HIBC. If the person who passed away was the account holder and other family members were covered under the same account, the group plan will be able to advise whether they will continue to cover the family members.