All residents of BC with Medical Services Plan (MSP) coverage can register for Fair PharmaCare, a program that helps you pay for some medications, devices and supplies. The program is income-based, meaning the lower your annual income is, the more assistance you can receive under Fair Pharma.
BC Fair PharmaCare is a provincial government program designed to assist British Columbians in managing the costs of prescription medications. Functioning as a financial assistance plan, PharmaCare aims to make essential drugs more accessible and affordable for residents, ensuring that individuals do not face financial barriers to the medications they need to maintain their health.
While anyone living in BC with MSP coverage can register for Fair PharmaCare, there are several factors that determine how much assistance you are eligible to receive. The program is designed to provide assistance to a wide range of individuals and families, recognizing that healthcare needs can vary significantly.
There are two variables that will affect your coverage:
Your deductible: Depending on your household income, you will need to pay a designated deductible before Fair Pharma coverage kicks in. Your deductible is linked to your annual income. If your income is below a certain threshold, you will not have to pay a deductible.
After your household has reached its deductible, FairPharma will cover up to 70% of eligible costs, or 75% for households with a family member born before 1940.
Your annual household income is $60,000, setting your deductible at $1,800. FairPharma won’t provide coverage until you have spent $1,800 in prescriptions, devices and supplies. Once the deductible has been reached, future expenses will be up to 70% covered.
Your family maximum: Your family maximum is the maximum your household has to pay before Fair PharmaCare covers 100% of your eligible costs. The lower your annual income, the lower your family maximum is.
Your annual household income is $30,000 and you do not live with a family member born before 1940. Your deductible, therefore, is $0. You will receive up to 70% coverage until you reach your family maximum of $800. After that point, you will receive 100% coverage under Fair PharmaCare.
Even if your household income is high enough that receiving Fair PharmaCare coverage is not realistic, it is still worthwhile for every BC resident to register.
You only have to register once. Should your income drop or your prescription costs increase in the future, you can immediately start receiving coverage if you already registered in the past.
You can still receive coverage through Fair PharmaCare if you have private health insurance. Your private health insurance may cover costs not eligible under Fair PharmaCare, including amounts under your deductible.
In addition, some insurance plans may require you to enroll in Fair PharmaCare and will put your coverage on hold until you are registered. Essentially, every British Columbian should register for Fair PharmaCare, regardless of their income or number of prescriptions.
Registering for BC Fair PharmaCare is a straightforward process that involves a few key steps. Ensuring that you are enrolled in the program can make a significant difference in managing your healthcare costs. Here's a step-by-step guide:
Gather information: Before starting the registration process, gather essential information such as your Personal Health Number, income details, and information about any existing private insurance plans.
Online registration: The most convenient way to register for BC Fair PharmaCare is through the online registration portal. Visit the official PharmaCare website and follow the step-by-step instructions to create an account and submit your application.
Mail-in application: For those who prefer a non-digital approach, printable application forms are available on the PharmaCare website. Complete the form with accurate information and mail it to the address specified on the form.
Register by phone: You can also register by phone. See the BC PharmaCare contact page for more details.
Our pharmacists and support staff at Lakeside Medicine Centre are always happy to help you navigate your coverage. Give us a call or ask us about Fair Pharma coverage next time you’re in the pharmacy.