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British Columbia provincial health plan

What’s covered by the provincial government health plan?

The Medical Services Plan (MSP) and PharmaCare are the provincial plans for all eligible B.C. residents. It provides coverage for most of your basic healthcare and prescription drug services. You must be enrolled in MSP before obtaining PharmaCare coverage.

Are you covered?

To qualify, you must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and reside in B.C. for at least 6 months every year. Certain exceptions applyOpens a new website in a new window - Opens in a new window .

What’s covered with MSP and Pharmacare
Prescription drugs

The Fair PharmaCare ProgramOpens a new website in a new window - Opens in a new window covers you for eligible prescription drugs, insulin, syringes, needles, limited quantity of test stripsOpens a new website in a new window - Opens in a new window , and certain ostomy. Your coverage is income-based which means the annual deductible and family maximum are calculated based on net family income.

Members of the First Nations Health Authority are covered by the B.C. PharmaCare First Nations Health Benefits Plan (FNBC)Opens a new website in a new window - Opens in a new window and those previously covered with NIHB are automatically enrolled in this program. This covers all your eligible ingredient costs and dispense fees for covered drugs and is the first payer, with your private plan as the second payer.

B.C. PharmaCare launched the Biosimilars InitiativeOpens a new website in a new window - Opens in a new window which means PharmaCare will only cover the biosimilar versions of eligible drugs.

Ambulance

You are not covered for ambulance fees unless you have a valid B.C. Care card covered through MSP, in which you pay a subsidized flat fee.

To learn more about ambulance services, visit B.C. Emergency Health ServicesOpens a new website in a new window - Opens in a new window .

Dental benefits

You are covered for medically required in-hospital dental surgeries and orthodontic services related to severe congenital face abnormalities. You are not covered for most dental procedures.

Find out what dental services are availableOpens a new website in a new window - Opens in a new window .

Vision care

You are covered for routine eye exams if you are under 18 years old or 65 years and older. You are also covered for medically required eye exams regardless of age.

Learn more about eye exam coverageOpens a new website in a new window - Opens in a new window .

Hospital

You are covered for standard ward rooms. Private or semi-private rooms may be available for an extra fee.

Learn more about hospital staysOpens a new website in a new window - Opens in a new window .

Paramedicals

Essential extended services may be covered if you are eligible for general health supplements. A medical practitioner or nurse must confirm an acute need with no other resources available.

Find out what extended medical therapies are coveredOpens a new website in a new window - Opens in a new window .

Hearing aids

You are covered for the least expensive, appropriate hearing devices and associated repairs if you require financial aid to meet this need.

Learn more about hearing aidsOpens a new website in a new window - Opens in a new window .

Nursing benefits and home care Publicly subsidized care services provide a variety of services in your own home or supportive housing environment. Coverage and type of care varies by needOpens a new website in a new window - Opens in a new window .
Medical supplies

PharmaCare covers insulin pumps for eligible individualsOpens a new website in a new window - Opens in a new window who meet the medical criteria and have Special Authority approval for coverage. Only the OmniPod Management system or MiniMed system are covered and all other insulin pumps are ineligible.

You are covered for certain prothesesOpens a new website in a new window - Opens in a new window needed to maintain basic functionality, provided you meet the requirements. You may also be covered for some ostomy supplies and orthosesOpens a new website in a new window - Opens in a new window .

Accidental death and dismemberment MSP does not provide any coverage for accidental death and dismemberment.
Out of country MSP covers medically required emergency situationsOpens a new website in a new window - Opens in a new window rendered by a licensed physician, with a maximum daily payment. You pay for any excess cost. MSP does not cover out-patient services.

How personal insurance can keep you covered

Personal health insurance can help supplement your coverage where you need it most.

  • Cover unexpected costs

    Though you’re covered, you still pay for some of your provincial health coverage. Personal health insurance can help make sure you aren't paying out of pocket for unexpected expenses.

  • Plan ahead

    Knowing the gaps in provincial plans and the workplace coverage you have can help make sure you have the coverage you and your family needs.

  • Help save money

    Taking care of your health now means avoiding serious illnesses or paying for expensive treatments later. Personal insurance can help you get the services and care you need without the big cost.

Talk to an advisor today

Government health coverage varies from province-to-province. Let’s build a plan so you and your family are protected.

These highlights from the British Columbia Medical Services Plan are for general reference only and are subject to change, corrections and updates. Other government programs may also be available. For more information on the latest coverage details, contact:

Health Insurance BC
P.O. Box 9035 Stn Prov. Govt.
Victoria, BC V8W 9E3Lower Mainland: 604-683-7151
Elsewhere in B.C.: 1-800-663-7100 (toll-free)
British ColumbiaOpens a new website in a new window - Opens in a new window

 

Last updated: March 2021