Regular Premium Assistance
Medical Services Plan (MSP) Premiums will be eliminated as of January 1, 2020. Applications for Regular Premium Assistance will be accepted until December 31, 2019. Retroactive Premium Assistance will remain available based on previous years’ income.
MSP enrolment must be complete for you (and your spouse, if applicable) to qualify for Regular Premium Assistance. To complete MSP enrolment, submit the MSP Application for Enrolment form and obtain a Photo BC Services Card by visiting an Insurance Corporation of BC (ICBC) driver licensing office. To find an ICBC driver licensing office near you, please visit icbc.com.
In addition, to be eligible for Regular Premium Assistance, you must:
- be a resident of British Columbia (B.C.) as defined by the Medicare Protection Act;
- have resided in Canada as a Canadian citizen or holder of permanent resident status (landed immigrant) for at least the last 12 months immediately preceding this application; and
- not be exempt from liability to pay income tax by reason of any other act.
Regular Premium Assistance is tailored to your level of financial need. It’s based on your annual net income from last year as confirmed by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) (or combined net income for you and your spouse), less deductions for:
- Your age (and the age of your spouse);
- Family size;
- Disability; and
- Any income from the Universal Child Care Benefit and Registered Disability Savings Plan.
The amount left is called “adjusted net income.” If it is less than $42,000, your family may qualify for financial assistance.
You only need to apply once for assistance if you:
- Remain eligible for MSP coverage.
- File your taxes every year.
Note: Eligibility for Regular Premium Assistance may be impacted if you do not file your taxes each year with CRA; or if you do not update your MSP account if you marry or begin living in a marriage-like relationship. (For information on combining or linking accounts, see Adding and Removing Dependents).
Income verification: The application process includes giving permission to CRA to release Notice of Assessment or Notice of Reassessment information for you (and your spouse if applicable) to the Ministry of Health and/or Health Insurance BC (HIBC). We will continue to verify your income each year, and maintain or adjust your level of assistance automatically. To avoid losing your assistance or having to reapply, make sure to file your taxes each year.
Are you on a group plan? If you are on a group plan, please contact your group administrator for more information about receiving Regular Premium Assistance.
The online application takes about 15 minutes to complete. The data you enter will be saved locally to the computer or device you are using up until the point that you close your browser window or submit the form.
Note: If you use a screen reader or assistive device, please apply using the paper form. We are currently working to fix this high priority accessibility issue.
Before you start, make sure that:
- You are using one of these web browsers: Internet Explorer 11 or the latest version of Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome or Apple Safari.
- You have a Notice of Assessment or Reassessment from CRA for you (and your spouse) from last year and any previous years when you might have qualified for assistance (up to six previous years can be included).
- You have a personal health number for you and your spouse, if applicable.
- You have a Social Insurance Number for you and your spouse, if applicable.
- You are able to include a Power of Attorney letter if you are applying on behalf of someone else.
You can also apply by mail using a paper application form:
Mail the completed application form along with copies of a Notice of Assessment or Reassessment from CRA for you (and your spouse):
Health Insurance BC
Medical Services Plan
PO Box 9677 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria BC V8W 9P7
After You Apply
If you qualify, the monthly premium you need to pay will be adjusted. Depending on the level of assistance you’re qualified for, you may still need to pay a small amount. A monthly invoice will be sent to you.
If there’s a credit on your account, it will be applied to your monthly premium until the credit is used up. A refund cheque will only be mailed to you if there’s a credit on your account and you do not owe a monthly premium.
If you do not qualify, you will continue to receive an invoice to pay your monthly premium.
While your application is being processed, you may continue receiving invoices to pay full MSP premiums. Do your best to pay them. If you can’t pay:
- Your MSP coverage will not be cancelled because of overdue or unpaid premiums if you continue to be a B.C. resident.
- Let any collection agencies that contact you know you have applied for Regular Premium Assistance.
Changes to Your Premiums
Based on your income tax information from CRA, your level of assistance may change. For example, if your net income for the previous year was higher than usual (e.g., you cashed in RRSPs), it could affect your eligibility for assistance for a period of time.
If your tax return has been reassessed and you think this might change your premium, send a copy of the Notice of Reassessment for you (and your spouse if applicable) to HIBC.
If you don’t think the information about your Notice of Assessment or Notice of Reassessment from the CRA is correct, contact HIBC.
Assistance Through Other Programs
Your application may be used to determine eligibility for other income-based programs: Supplementary Benefits, BC Emergency Health Services and Healthy Kids.
Under Healthy Kids, families receiving premium assistance may be eligible for basic dental treatment, optical care and hearing assistance through the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction
Supplementary health-care benefits are provided to persons receiving premium assistance. Learn more about these benefits.
Fair PharmaCare helps BC residents with eligible costs of prescriptions and certain medical supplies. For more information, or to register, visit: