In B.C., premiums are payable for MSP coverage and are based on family size and income. The monthly rates are:
$54 for one person
$96 for a family of two
$108 for a family of three or more
For information about the payment of premiums, see the Ministry of Small Business and Revenue's web site under How to Pay Your Premiums (MSP premium billing is administered by that Ministry, through Revenue Services of British Columbia).
A person who is no longer eligible for benefits (no longer a resident of B.C.) must notify MSP of the reason for cancellation, the date of the departure from B.C. and his/her new address (see the form for Permanent Move Outside B.C.). Failure to pay premiums does not constitute notification to cancel benefits.
Assistance with the payment of premiums is available to Canadian citizens or holders of permanent resident status (landed immigrants) who have held that status and been resident in Canada for the past 12 consecutive months.
There are two premium assistance programs that offer subsidies to those in financial need: regular premium assistance and temporary premium assistance.
Regular Premium Assistance
Regular premium assistance offers subsidies ranging from 20 to 100 per cent, based on an individual's net income (or a couple's combined net income) for the two preceding tax years, less deductions for age, family size and disability. If the resulting amount referred to as "adjusted net income" is $28,000 or below, a subsidy is available. See the Monthly Premium Rates chart below for full details of premium assistance rates.
The current adjusted net income thresholds are:
$20,000 - 100 percent subsidy
$22,000 - 80 percent subsidy
$24,000 - 60 percent subsidy
$26,000 - 40 percent subsidy
$28,000 - 20 percent subsidy
The regular premium assistance program has been enhanced effective July 1, 2005, to allow more British Columbians to qualify and to allow those already receiving a partial subsidy to qualify for a higher subsidy level.
Prior to July 1, 2005, the adjusted net income thresholds were:
$16,000 - 100 percent subsidy
$18,000 - 80 percent subsidy
$20,000 - 60 percent subsidy
$22,000 - 40 percent subsidy
$24,000 - 20 percent subsidy
To apply for premium assistance, you need to complete and return an application form to MSP. Forms are available online (go to Application for Premium Assistance), through MSP's Forms-by-Fax service, at Government Agents/B.C. Access Centres or by contacting MSP.
If you are applying for assistance based on the earlier tax year please provide a photocopy of the Notice of Assessment/Re-assessment from the Canada Revenue Agency which shows net income for that taxation year. If you are married, or living in a marriage-like relationship, a photocopy of your spouse's Notice of Assessment/Re-assessment is also required.
Note: Families receiving full and partial premium assistance may be eligible for additional health care services through the Healthy Kids program of the Ministry of Employment and Income Assistance.
Temporary Premium Assistance
Temporary premium assistance offers a 100 per cent subsidy for a short term based on unexpected financial hardship. See the Ministry of Small Business and Revenue's web site, under Temporary Premium Assistance, for more information.
Monthly Premium Rates
Five levels of assistance, based on adjusted net income for the previous year, are available. Current rates:
|Adjusted Net Income
||Family of Two
||Family of 3 or more
|$0 - $20,000
||100% premium assistance
|$20,001 - $22,000
||80% premium assistance
|$22,001 - $24,000
||60% premium assistance
|$24,001 - $26,000
||40% premium assistance
|$26,001 - $28,000
||20% premium assistance
To verify eligibility, each person who applies for premium assistance authorizes the Canada Revenue Agency to release income information to the Ministry of Health and/or Health Insurance BC from the person's tax returns. Verification takes place each year and, where appropriate, MSP adjusts the monthly premium of beneficiaries upward or downward based on the information received.
Last Revised: September 22, 2006