Applying for Regular Premium Assistance

Regular Premium Assistance is available to residents who meet all of the following requirements:

  1. They have been a resident in Canada and been a Canadian citizen or holder of permanent resident status (landed immigrant) for the last 12 consecutive months.
  2. They are not exempt from liability to pay income tax by reason of any other Act.
  3. Their adjusted net income for the preceding year did not exceed a given level (indicated on the front of the Application for Regular Premium Assistance).

Regular Premium Assistance Year

The Regular Premium Assistance year runs from July 1 of one year to June 30 of the next year.

Administering Regular Premium Assistance On Your Group Plan

Administering Regular Premium Assistance under a group plan allows group members who meet the requirements above to apply for reductions in MSP premium rates.

Administering Regular Premium Assistance Under Your Current Group Plan

If you do not administer Regular Premium Assistance under your current group plan and wish to do so, please submit a written request to HIBC on company letterhead. This will enable HIBC to set up your group to allow premium assistance rates to be applied to your member accounts, if confirmed by HIBC to be eligible for these rates. Your group members can apply directly to HIBC for Regular Premium Assistance and HIBC will determine eligibility. There is no need for your group administrator to receive, review or approve the premium assistance application.

Administering Regular Premium Assistance Under A New Group Plan

When setting up a new group plan, you can opt to administer Regular Premium Assistance by checking the appropriate field on the MSP Third Party Registration form (HLTH 201). This will enable HIBC to set up your group to allow premium assistance rates to be applied to your member accounts, if confirmed by HIBC to be eligible for these rates. Your members can apply directly to HIBC for Regular Premium Assistance and HIBC will determine eligibility. There is no need for your group administrator to receive, review or approve the application.

Removal Of Authorization For Your Group Plan

If you currently authorize applications for Regular Premium Assistance and wish to discontinue doing so, please submit a written request to HIBC on company letterhead. Your members can apply directly to HIBC for Regular Premium Assistance and HIBC will determine eligibility. There is no need for your group administrator to receive, review or approve the application.

Regular Premium Assistance For A New Group Member

If you are enrolling a new group member and the group member wants to apply for reduced premiums, please have him/her complete an Application for Regular Premium Assistance and send it to HIBC with the application for group enrolment. If the group member is already receiving Regular Premium Assistance on their previous MSP account, this must be indicated on the employee’s group application and HIBC will provide the same reduced premium rate on the group account.

Note: If your group plan does not administer Regular Premium Assistance, group members who meet the requirements above can apply to HIBC to determine eligibility for income-based benefits such as MSP Supplementary Benefits, a waiver of BC Ambulance fees and access to the Healthy Kids program, if the family’s adjusted net income is $42,000 or less.

Calculation Of Adjusted Net Income

Regular Premium Assistance is based on the previous year’s adjusted net income. Adjusted net income is a person’s net income adjusted:

  1. By the following additions, as applicable:
    1. If the eligible person has a spouse, the net income of the spouse;
    2. If the eligible person is married to, or in a marriage-like relationship with, another person who is not a resident, the net income of the other person;
    3. If the eligible person is a minor and is supported by a parent or person who stands in place of a parent, the net income of the parent or person who stands in place of a parent, and
  2. By the following deductions, as applicable:
    1. $3 000 for a dependant spouse;
    2. $3 000 for each of the eligible person and his or her spouse who has attained the age of 65 years on or before December 31 of the current taxation year;
    3. $3 000 for each dependant child who is a resident, minus 1/2 of the child care expense deduction the eligible person is entitled to claim under the Income Tax Act (Canada);
    4. $3 000 for each family member who had a disability within the meaning of the Income Tax Act (Canada) during the immediately preceding taxation year;
    5. The amount the eligible person or his or her spouse received under section 4 of the Universal Child Care Benefit Act (Canada) in the immediately preceding taxation year;
    6. The amounts in respect of a registered disability savings plan the eligible person or his or her spouse was required, by section 146.4 of the Income Tax Act (Canada), to include in computing income for the immediately preceding taxation year

Ongoing Premium Assistance

For group members who receive Regular Premium Assistance, MSP will, on an ongoing basis, verify income with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), thus eliminating the need for most of these members to re-apply in subsequent years.

Regular Premium Assistance And Supplementary Benefits

If your group does not permit members to receive Regular Premium Assistance, your members may still want to apply in order to establish eligibility for health-related programs. If your group members would like to be considered for these programs, they can complete, sign and submit an Application for Regular Premium Assistance to HIBC.

Verification of Adjusted Net Income

As authorized by the applicant’s signature, each year MSP verifies income information with the CRA to ensure the applicant is receiving the level of assistance for which he/she is eligible. Eligibility is based on a person’s net income for the preceding year, combined with that of his/her spouse, if applicable, less deductions for age, family size, disability and any reported Universal Child Care Benefit and Registered Disability Savings Plan income. If required, MSP premium rates are adjusted upward or downward as of the date the assistance is effective. If the adjustment is retroactive and the rate increases, you will be debited for the difference in premiums. It is then your responsibility to recover this amount from the employee/pensioner, if applicable. If the rate is adjusted, you will be advised in writing.