Fair PharmaCare Plan
We encourage all British Columbians with Medical Services Plan (MSP) coverage to register for Fair PharmaCare.
Coverage under this plan is based on family net income. It is available to single people or to families.
>> See "Families and PharmaCare" below to learn more about registering your family for Fair PharmaCare.
Haven't registered yet? Coverage begins immediately if you register online or by phone. There is no charge to register and there are no premiums to pay.
Fair PharmaCare is changing to provide more assistance to the families that need it most. See Upcoming Fair PharmaCare Changes in 2019.
Who is eligible for Fair PharmaCare?
To be eligible for Fair PharmaCare, you must have:
- valid MSP coverage; and
- filed an income tax return for the relevant taxation year (that is, two years ago).
If you have not filed an income tax return in Canada because you are a new Canadian resident, refer to Registration for New Residents of Canada.
When you enrol in MSP, you will receive a BC Services Card with a Personal Health Number (PHN), which allows you to access publicly funded health services in British Columbia.
If you or your spouse does not meet the eligibility requirements, other eligible members of your family can still register. If either you or your spouse do not have a Personal Health Number, you will need to register by phone.
Your "family" includes you, your children, and/or your spouse. Dependent children on the same MSP contract as you or your spouse will receive Fair PharmaCare coverage as part of your family.
Dependent children are:
- under the age of 19, or 19-24 attending school or post-secondary education
- supported by you and/or your spouse
- neither married nor living in a marriage-like relationship
Once you are registered with Fair PharmaCare as a family, your deductible and maximum are calculated on family income, not individual.
Children must register for Fair PharmaCare separately before the end of the year in which they are no longer considered dependents by MSP. Individuals receive a letter from MSP when they turn 19 informing them of their individual MSP premium responsibilities and prompting them to register for Fair PharmaCare. (Full-time students can call Health Insurance BC and notify them of their status to retain their family coverage.)
When does Fair PharmaCare coverage begin?
The start date of your Fair PharmaCare coverage depends on your MSP coverage, the date you registered, and whether we are able to verify your income. The table below provides information for your situation.
|When you are...||Are you covered?|
Not enrolled in MSP and not registered for Fair PharmaCare
|Your costs do not count towards your Fair PharmaCare deductible and cannot be reimbursed.|
|Enrolled in MSP but not registered for Fair PharmaCare||
Eligible costs for the current calendar year (from the later of January 1 or the date you enrolled in MSP) count towards your Fair PharmaCare deductible but cannot be reimbursed.
|Enrolled in MSP and registered for Fair PharmaCare||
Eligible costs for the current calendar year count towards your deductible (from the later of the date you enrolled in MSP, the date you registered for Fair PharmaCare). After you meet your deductible, PharmaCare contributes to your additional eligible costs for the rest of the year.
Important: You cannot be reimbursed for costs from:
What You Need to Register
To register your family with Fair PharmaCare, you will need:
For all family members:
- Personal Health Number (found on your BC Services Card/CareCard)
- birth dates
For you and your spouse:
- Social Insurance numbers
- Net income from Line 236 of your income tax return from two years ago
- The amount of any Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) payments you received two years ago. This amount is reported on Line 117 of your income tax return.
- Any income from a Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) you received two years ago. This amount is reported on Line 125 of your income tax return.
UCCB payments and RDSP income are deducted from your net income when calculating your level of Fair PharmaCare coverage.
How to Register for Fair PharmaCare
Have you already registered? You do not need to register again or in the future.
To register immediately, use online registration or call Health Insurance BC. Please do not register more than once.
When you register online or by telephone, your temporary assistance starts the same day, based on the income information you provide. PharmaCare will then send you a consent form.
To complete your registration and ensure your temporary coverage does not lapse, sign and return the consent form to Health Insurance BC within 30 days. This important step allows us to confirm your income with the Canada Revenue Agency to make sure you receive the maximum assistance available to you.
When we have verified your net income with the Canada Revenue Agency, we will send you a letter confirming your level of assistance. It may take up to 90 days for us to confirm your income information and send a confirmation letter.
New residents of Canada, see Registration for New Residents of Canada.
After You Register
Have you returned your signed consent form?
PharmaCare needs your authorization to verify your income with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and confirm your level of Fair PharmaCare assistance.
Lost your consent form? You can request a replacement consent form online. Return the form to us as soon as possible to ensure your temporary coverage continues.