According to an announcement made by the Ministry of Health today, hundreds of thousands of lower-income families in BC can expect to pay less for prescription drugs this year.

The province says that a three-year, $105 million investment into Fair PharmaCare will reduce or eliminate deductibles and co-payments for approximately 240,000 lower-income households.

“No one should have to make the difficult decision between their family’s health and putting food on the table,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health in a statement.

“We know that for many working households, needed prescriptions were going unfilled too often because Fair PharmaCare deductibles were too high. The changes we have made will provide thousands of families with the relief they need.”

By the numbers

As of January 1st, 2019, households that earn up to $30,000 in net income annually no longer have a deductible, meaning that the province will help pay for eligible prescription costs immediately.

Previously, a family that earned between $15,000 and $30,000 would have to pay roughly $300 – $600 in deductibles before Fair PharmaCare would provide coverage assistance.

Meanwhile, deductibles and co-payments have been lowered for households that earn between $30,000 and $45,000 in net annual income.

For seniors, Fair PharmaCare co-payments have also been eliminated for households that earn less than $14,000 annually.

The Ministry of Health says that decreasing prescription drug costs was important, as ministry data indicates that low-income families will often forgo filling prescriptions in favor of other essentials, like housing and groceries.

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