MSP Premium Elimination: Jan. 1, 2020

Medical Services Plan (MSP) premiums will be eliminated as of January 1, 2020. The information below will help you prepare for premium elimination.

Elimination of MSP Premiums

British Columbia (B.C.) residents will no longer be charged monthly MSP premiums as of January 1, 2020. Enrolment in MSP remains mandatory for all residents.

MSP premium debts owing prior to January 1, 2020 will still be owed. Collections will continue for outstanding MSP premium debts. For information on how to pay outstanding premiums, visit Paying Your Invoice.

MSP Account Structure

After January 1, 2020, the structure of MSP accounts will remain the same. Accounts will still include an account holder and, if applicable, a spouse and/or children.

New and returning residents will still be required to complete two steps for MSP enrolment: submit an Application for MSP Enrolment to Health Insurance BC (HIBC) and obtain a BC Services Card by visiting an Insurance Corporation of BC driver licensing office.

Note: as of January 1, 2020, individuals applying for MSP enrolment on group accounts who have not completed enrolment by obtaining a BC Services Card will no longer be placed on self-administered accounts. All group members will be placed on your group account. Those who have completed enrolment will be placed on the account with active MSP coverage. Those who have not completed enrolment will be placed on the account with pending (inactive) MSP coverage.

B.C. residents must continue to fulfill their MSP obligations under the Medicare Protection Act, including updating their MSP account due to address changes. HIBC and the Ministry of Health offer easy online services to ensure that their MSP account information and address stay current. To update an MSP account, beneficiaries can visit gov.bc.ca/managingyourMSPaccount.

Cancelling Your Group Plan

Cancelling an MSP Group Plan is a significant undertaking which must be carefully considered. If your organization decides to cancel its MSP group(s), you must:

  1. Submit an MSP Group Plan Termination Form (HLTH 295) to HIBC with at least 90 days’ notice;
  2. Notify your third-party organizations and technical interface providers as appropriate;
  3. Notify your group members and confirm that all address and family structure information in MSP is correct before termination of the group plan.

For more information visit Group Plan Cancellation.

Regular Premium Assistance

Eligible MSP beneficiaries can continue to receive Regular Premium Assistance, which supports payment of MSP premiums, until December 31, 2019. New Applications for Regular Premium Assistance will be accepted until December 31, 2019.

Beneficiaries can continue to apply for Retroactive Premium Assistance following January 1, 2020. For more information, visit gov.bc.ca/MSP/retropremiumassistance. If a beneficiary’s MSP premiums were covered by your group (employer, union or pension plan) during the applicable tax year, you must authorize the application before it is submitted.

Supplementary Benefits

MSP supplementary benefits provide partial payment for certain medical services obtained in B.C. (for example, massage therapy and chiropractic services) and may provide access to other income-based programs.

The supplementary benefits program does not require group authorization or administration: the information below is to help you provide advice and support to your group members/employees:

  • If a group member has already applied for Regular Premium Assistance, HIBC will continue to verify their income to determine eligibility for supplementary benefits.
  • Your members can apply for supplementary benefits by applying for Regular Premium Assistance. Visit gov.bc.ca/premiumassistance.
  • The annual adjusted net income eligible for supplementary benefits will remain $42,000 or less following January 1, 2020. (Eligibility requirements are subject to change.)