Government of B.C.

Eligibility

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 two years prior.)

Coverage is family-based. A family can be a:

  • single person
  • married or common-law couple
  • single person with dependent children
  • couple with dependent children

Your annual net family income determines the level of coverage you receive. If you have a spouse, or are in a marriage-like relationship, you must include your spouse in your registration. 

To register you need:

  • for all family members:
    • Personal Health Number (found on the back of your driver’s license or BC Services Card)
    • birth date
  • for you and your spouse (if you have one):
    • Social Insurance Number
    • income from the tax return from two years ago, including:
      • net income (line 236 of the return)
      • any income from a Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) (line 125)

PharmaCare uses income tax data from two years ago to calculate the Fair PharmaCare coverage your family receives. For example, your 2019 coverage will be calculated using your 2017 tax return. This is because much of the time, your income tax information from the previous year will not yet be available. 

Coverage is provided for a calendar year, from January 1 to December 31. PharmaCare automatically renews your coverage as long as your income information from two years prior is available from the Canada Revenue Agency.

The following people who may not have filed a tax return in Canada two years ago, may need to supply more information:

  • new residents to Canada (please read Information for New Residents)
  • British Columbians who have been living and working overseas
  • people turning 19 (See below)
  • people who were exempt from filing a Canadian tax return

Please contact Health Insurance BC if you have not yet filed a tax return in Canada, or did not file one two years ago.

If you have recently turned 19 and are not a full-time student, you should register for your own Fair PharmaCare account. Your parents' (or guardians') incomes will not affect your deductible or family maximum, and you may be able to get more coverage.

People between the ages of 19 and 25, who are in full-time post-secondary education programs, may remain on their parents' accounts.

For more information on Fair PharmaCare, see:

Overview

Fair PharmaCare helps B.C. families pay for eligible prescription drugs, some medical supplies and devices, and eligible pharmacy services. PharmaCare is income-based; the less a family earns, the more help they get.

You can register online, by phone, or by mailing in a paper form. If you register online or by phone, your coverage will begin immediately. You only need to register once. If you registered previously and no longer have coverage, please contact Heatlh Insurance BC.

PharmaCare checks your income every year to ensure your coverage is correct. To maintain your Fair PharmaCare coverage, you must file a tax return every year.

Get an estimate of your level of Fair PharmaCare coverage using our online calculator.

OR

See the information sheets below for information on coverage levels.

After you register, Health Insurance BC 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 Canada Revenue Agency (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.

Benefits

Fair PharmaCare covers:

It does not cover costs from previous years, or from times when your family’s MSP coverage was not active. For more information, please see What We Cover.

Under the Fair PharmaCare plan, you pay your family’s prescription costs until you meet your deductible. After that, PharmaCare helps you with eligible costs for the rest of the year. If you reach your family maximum, PharmaCare will pay 100% of your eligible costs for the rest of the year. Learn more about Fair PharmaCare, and how deductibles and family maximums work.

Need more assistance?

  • If you are sure your family will meet or exceed your deductible, you may sign up for the Monthly Deductible Payment Option. 
  • If your family's net income has decreased by 10% or more in the past two years, you may be eligible for an Income Review.

Register

Register for Fair PharmaCare

Income-based coverage for eligible prescription drugs, medical supplies and devices, and pharmacy services.

If you have previously registered for Fair PharmaCare and need to change your information or reinstate your income-based coverage, please contact Health Insurance BC.

Check Fair PharmaCare Registration Status

If you registered for Fair PharmaCare but have not received a confirmation letter from Health Insurance BC, use this  to check the status of your registration.

Calculate Fair PharmaCare Coverage

Estimate your level of Fair PharmaCare coverage. You will need to enter your income and your spouse's income (if you have one).

Request Replacement CRA Consent Form

If you lost or did not receive your Canada Revenue Agency consent form within 30 days of registering for Fair PharmaCare, use this to request another.

Request Confirmation of Assistance

Request a letter from PharmaCare confirming details of your coverage, including your deductible and family maximum.

Contact

Health Insurance BC (HIBC) administers the Ministry of Health's PharmaCare program on behalf of the Pharmaceutical Services Division. HIBC can answer your questions about both the Medical Services Plan (MSP) and PharmaCare.

From the Lower Mainland, call 604 683-7151. From the rest of B.C., call toll-free 1 800 663-7100.

For questions about PharmaCare, Customer Service Representatives are available Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (except statutory holidays). You can also register for Fair PharmaCare by phone.

You may send written inquiries to the following address:

Fair PharmaCare Administration
PO Box 9655 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria BC V8W 9P2