As British Columbia moves to eliminate MSP premiums for all residents by 2020, one group of people will continue to contribute to the province’s health care system.

An updated payment system will ensure that international students in BC will pay $75 per month for health care coverage starting January 1st, 2020, when MSP premiums will be eliminated for all other residents.

See also: Provincial legislation moves to eliminate MSP premiums by 2020

To phase in this new system, all international K-12 and post-secondary students will begin paying a monthly health-care coverage fee of $37.50.

“For almost 30 years, B.C. has provided international students with provincial health coverage, while asking them to contribute a reasonable amount to help cover those costs. This updated payment method for international students continues that commitment,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health.

“We have an exceptional health-care system in B.C., and we want to ensure it remains a fair system for everyone,” said Dix.

“In eliminating MSP premiums for British Columbians and through the health services fee for post-secondary and K-12 international students, we’re ensuring that we all continue to contribute to and benefit from public health care in B.C.”

Employer Health Tax

To replace the MSP premium model, the Employer Health Tax (EHT) was introduced on January 1st, 2019.

The move shifts the majority of healthcare costs from individuals to businesses, which has been met with mixed reception.

In October 2018, the Ministry of Finance assured business owners that less than 5% of BC businesses will pay the full EHT rate of 1.95%, with the majority of small business being bolstered by a $500,000 exemption amount.

British Columbia is the only province in Canada to still charge a monthly health-care premium.

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