Last bills mark end of MSP premiums in B.C.
People in B.C. will receive their last bill for Medical Services Plan (MSP) premiums this month, putting some money back into the pockets of British Columbians.
“The cost of health care should not be a burden on people, but for too long, unfair MSP premiums made it hard to get ahead,” said Premier John Horgan. “Our government is making different choices and we’re working to make life more affordable for people in B.C. This represents one of the largest middle-class tax cuts in B.C.’s history and will make a big difference in people’s lives.”
As of Jan. 1, 2020, MSP premiums will be fully eliminated. Government took the first step towards elimination with a 50% cut in premiums as part of the 2017 Budget. Budget 2018 and Budget 2019 provided the road map to one of the largest tax cuts for middle-class British Columbians in B.C.’s history – full elimination of MSP premiums for British Columbians.
The elimination of MSP premiums represents a net tax cut of $800 million. Individuals will save up to $900 a year. Families will save up to $1,800 a year.
“For decades, people in our province had to pay unfair MSP premiums instead of using that money to buy food, help pay the rent or even put their child in after-school care,” said Carole James, Minister of Finance. “With the complete elimination of MSP premiums, families have more money for themselves and to invest in B.C. businesses. This is good for British Columbians and good for B.C.’s resilient, sustainable economy.”
MSP beneficiaries who have auto-payments through their financial institution are reminded to cancel that arrangement to ensure payments to the province do not continue. They are also reminded to keep their accounts up-to-date with MSP, including address changes.
Before fully eliminating MSP premiums, B.C. was one of the last provinces in Canada to have user premiums for health care.
Although MSP premiums are being eliminated, the MSP program will continue to provide eligible B.C. residents with provincially insured health-care benefits.
B.C. residents must continue to fulfil their MSP obligations under the Medicare Protection Act and regulations, such as proof of identity, to complete enrolment in MSP and to obtain a BC Services Card, and updating their account in the case of family and address changes.