Home Government Government of BC BC finally shuts down individual MSP premiums

BC finally shuts down individual MSP premiums

Families get direct benefit of MSP Premiums being eliminated, with load shifted to large-payroll enterprises

Thursday January 2, 2020 ~ BC

~ West Shore Voice News

As of January 1, 2020 there are no longer any individual MSP premiums to be paid. British Columbia has been the last province in Canada to maintain Medical Services Plan premiums.

The new year marks the end of Medical Services Plan (MSP) premiums, saving BC families up to $1,800 a year and individuals up to $900 a year.

Health care still requires taxpayer input. That now happens through the Employer Health Tax that was implemented in 2018 sees premiums levied from businesses and organizations with a payroll over $500,000.

Today the BC Ministry of Finance issued some important reminders for British Columbians about the MSP change and how to manage your MSP account:

  • British Columbians who had been paying their premiums using auto-payments through their credit card or financial institution are reminded to cancel those automated payments.
  • British Columbians must keep their address up to date, which can be done online at: www.gov.bc.ca/managingyourmspaccount
  • Although British Columbians will no longer be invoiced for new premiums starting January 1, 2020, elimination of MSP premiums does not forgive outstanding premiums owed.
  • People may be eligible for relief on premium amounts still owing. For example, retroactive premium assistance could be provided based on net income for a given tax year, family size and disability status.
  • Although British Columbians no longer pay premiums, they must remain enrolled in MSP. The plan will continue to provide eligible BC residents with provincially insured health-care benefits.

For questions about making a payment or account balances, contact Revenue Services of BC, Monday to Thursday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; or Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Pacific time) at 1 877 405-4909 (toll-free).

For questions about retroactive premium assistance, or to update a MSP account, contact Health Insurance BC, Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Pacific time) at 1 800 663-7100 (toll-free) or 604 683-7151 (Lower Mainland).

Learn More:

To learn more about the elimination of MSP premiums in B.C., visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2019PREM0126-002326

To learn more and to apply for retroactive premium assistance, visit: www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/health-drug-coverage/msp/bc-residents/premiums/retroactive-regular-premium-assistance (https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/health-drug-coverage/msp/bc-residents/premiums/retroactive-regular-premium-assistance)

==== Facts about MSP premiums in B.C.

* MSP premiums were introduced in B.C. in 1965. The monthly unassisted premium rates at that time were for: one person: $5; two people: $10; three or more people: $12.50.

* In 2000, a couple paid approximately $768 annually in MSP premiums.

* In 2003, MSP premiums increased to $1,152 annually per couple and continued to rise until 2017, when couples paid $1,800 in MSP premiums every year.

* In 2018, MSP premiums were reduced by 50%, and as of January 1, 2020, were eliminated – representing a net tax cut of $800 million.