Fair PharmaCare plan

Fair PharmaCare helps B.C. families pay for eligible prescription drugs, dispensing fees and some medical 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 registered.

If you registered but no longer have coverage, see reinstating your coverage.

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 (income is from 2 years prior)

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

The following people who may not have filed a tax return in Canada 2 years ago should contact us to register:

  • New residents to Canada
  • British Columbians who have been living and working overseas
  • People turning 19
  • People who were exempt from filing a Canadian tax return

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

See Children and students for more information about dependent children.

What does Fair PharmaCare cover?

Fair PharmaCare covers:

  • Eligible prescription drugs
  • Some medical devices
  • Eligible dispensing fees and some pharmacy services (such as medication reviews for persons prescribed five medications or more)

See What BC PharmaCare coversUse the PharmaCare Formulary Search to see which what drugs are covered (click on a drug's DIN/PIN/NPN to see under which plans).

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

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 the 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. This letter will have information about your coverage for the calendar year

PharmaCare adjusts your coverage based on the income information PharmaCare receives from the CRA each year.

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

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

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 they reach their deductible, PharmaCare pays 70% of costs; or 75% of costs 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 expenses for the rest of the year
  • Estimate your deductible at Fair PharmaCare assistance levels

January 2021

The Garcia family enrols with Fair PharmaCare in January. Their family income is $30,589.

The Garcias’ deductible is $650.

The Garcia family pays the full price for each eligible drug, dispensing fee and medical supply until they reach their deductible.

January to May

Between January and May, the Garcias pay to fill prescriptions that cost $650 in eligible expenses.

The family has met their Fair PharmaCare deductible.

June to September

Between June and September, the Garcia family need prescriptions worth $833 in eligible drug and dispensing fees.

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 prescriptions to their family maximum of $900.

October to December

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

January 2022

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

If the Garcias know that their prescriptions will cost more than their deductible for the year, they can sign up for the Monthly Deductible Payment Option and PharmaCare will help with their prescription costs immediately.


Children and students

Dependent children who receive Fair PharmaCare coverage are:

  • Under the age of 19
  • 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 belong to only one parent’s MSP plan)  
  • Not married or living in a marriage-like relationship

Children who are not considered dependent:

  • Can register for Fair PharmaCare on their own plan once they turn 19
  • Will receive a letter from MSP when they turn 19 asking them to register for Fair PharmaCare

Note: People aged 19 and over, and who are not full-time students, should register for their own Fair PharmaCare account. Their parents' incomes will not affect their deductible or family maximum, so they may be able to get more coverage.

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


Contact us. We provide interpreter services in over 140 languages.

Register online for Fair PharmaCare

Register by phone:

  • Vancouver & Lower Mainland: 604-683-7151
  • Rest of B.C.: 1-800-663-7100

Related links

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