Fair PharmaCare plan

Last updated on March 13, 2024

Fair PharmaCare helps B.C. families pay for many prescription drugs, dispensing fees and some medical devices and supplies. The plan is based on income. The less a family earns, the more help they get.

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See if you're already registered. If you registered but no longer have coverage, see reinstating your coverage.

You can also register by paper (PDF) or phone.

On this page: Eligibility | What Fair PharmaCare covers | Consent to check income | What is a deductible | What is a family maximum | Children and students

Who is eligible for Fair PharmaCare?

All residents of B.C. are eligible for Fair PharmaCare coverage if they:

  • Have Medical Services Plan (MSP) coverage, and
  • Give PharmaCare permission to check their income with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)

Temporary coverage starts the same day you register by phone or online, based on the income information you provide.

Coverage is for families, not individuals. A family can be a:

  • Single person
  • Married or common-law couple
  • Single person with dependent children
  • Couple with dependent children

If one or more family members do not meet eligibility requirements, other family members can still register.

Refer to Children and students for more information about dependent children.

What does Fair PharmaCare cover?

Fair PharmaCare covers some:

  • Prescription drugs
  • Medical devices
  • Pharmacy services

For more information refer to What BC PharmaCare coversUse the PharmaCare Formulary Search to check which which drugs are covered (click on a drug's DIN/PIN/NPN in your search results for coverage details, including plans).

Important: Fair PharmaCare does not cover costs from previous years or from times when the family’s MSP coverage was not active.

What you need to register

For all family members:

  • Personal Health Number (found on the back of your driver’s licence or BC Services Card)
  • Birth dates

For you and your spouse (if you have one):

  • Social Insurance Numbers
  • Income from your tax return from two years ago, including:
    • Net income (line 23600)
    • Any income from a Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) (line 12500)

Consent to check income

After you register, PharmaCare will send you a consent form that you must fill in, sign and send back within 30 days, so that we can check your income with CRA.

  • If you do not return your CRA consent form, temporary coverage will end, and your family's deductible will be set at $10,000
  • It may take up to 90 days to confirm your income with the CRA
  • Once we verify your income, PharmaCare will send you a confirmation letter within 30 days, which will explain your coverage for the calendar year

PharmaCare calculates your coverage each year based on the income information PharmaCare receives from the CRA. Each year's coverage is based on your income from 2 years prior.

As long as PharmaCare is able to verify your income each year with the CRA, your coverage continues.

Lost your consent form? Visit Request consent form or contact us. Return the form as soon as possible to ensure temporary coverage continues.

If you did not file taxes in Canada 2 years ago: If you are a new resident of Canada, or were working overseas, or recently turned 19, or were otherwise exempt from filing taxes in Canada 2 years ago, you may be able to submit a Fair PharmaCare Proof of Income Affidavit (PDF, 763 KB)

Can't find your tax return? You can request your notice of assessment from previous years by contacting CRA, toll-free, at 1 800 959-8281 or through your CRA My Account. You can use the BC Services Card app to access CRA My Account.

What is a deductible?

A family’s deductible is the amount they need to spend each year on eligible costs before Fair PharmaCare starts to help with these costs. Once a family reaches their deductible, PharmaCare pays 70% of eligible costs, or 75% if a family member was born before 1940.

What is a family maximum?

The family maximum is the most a family will spend out of pocket per year on eligible drugs, fees and medical supplies.

  • After a family reaches their family maximum, Fair PharmaCare pays 100% of their eligible costs for the rest of the year
  • Estimate your family maximum at Fair PharmaCare assistance levels

How deductibles and family maximums work

January 2023

The Garcia family registers with Fair PharmaCare in January. Their family income in 2021 was $30,589.

The Garcias’ deductible is $650, based on that income. Their family maximum is $900.

January to May

Between January and May, the Garcias The Garcia family pays the full price for each eligible drug, dispensing fee and medical supply until they have paid $650 in eligible costs.

The family has met their Fair PharmaCare deductible. PharmaCare starts to pay 70% of their eligible costs.

June to September

Between June and September, the Garcia family pay for prescriptions worth $833 in eligible costs.

PharmaCare pays $583 (70% of $833). The Garcias pay $250.

The $250 is added to their deductible amount of $650. This brings the total amount they have spent on eligible prescription costs to their family maximum of $900.

October to December

PharmaCare pays 100% of the Garcias’ eligible costs for the rest of the year.

January 2024

In January, the Garcia's deductible is reset to $650, and the Garcias again pay the full amount for their eligible prescriptions until they have met their deductible.


Children and students

To receive Fair PharmaCare coverage, dependent children are:

  • Under the age of 19 OR age 19-24 and attending school full time
    • full-time students can contact us to stay on their family’s plan
  • Included on their parents' MSP plan (in the case of shared custody, they must be on only one parent's PharmaCare account and on that parent’s MSP plan)
  • Not married or living in a marriage-like relationship

When someone who is not considered dependent turns 19, they should register for Fair PharmaCare on their own plan. Their parents' incomes will not affect their deductible or family maximum, so they may be eligible for more coverage.

If you have private health insurance, you may still get help with costs from Fair PharmaCare.

Register now