Get free medical help

Most of your health care is covered by the Medical Service Plan (MSP) for a monthly fee. There are services that help you pay for MSP and prescriptions. If you have a Status Card, you can get additional health benefits for free.

How do I get covered for health care?

You should definitely:

  • Apply for MSP and get a BC Services Card (CareCard).

If you have low income:

  • Apply for MSP Premium Assistance.
  • Apply for Fair Pharmacare.

If you have a Status Card:

  • Apply for Non-Insured Health Benefits.

MSP and the BC Services Card

Why do I need MSP?

MSP pays for basic medical services:

  • Doctor visits
  • Walk-in clinics
  • Hospital visits and surgeries
  • Midwives 
  • Surgical procedures

Do I have MSP?

If you have a BC Services Card (CareCard) then you are registered. If you don't have one, get a BC Services Card.

How much does MSP cost?

It costs $37.50 per month for a single person. 

If you have low income, you can apply for Premium Assistance to help cover the cost.

Insider Tip

If you qualify for Premium Assistance but don't apply, you'll be be billed and owe the provincial government the full MSP rate of $37.50 per month.

How do I apply for MSP?

1. Fill out and print the application form.

2. Mail the form to: 

Medical Services Plan 
PO Box 9678 
Stn Prov Govt.
Victoria, B.C. V8W 9P7 

Insider Tip

Don't have a printer? Pick up and submit your application form at any Service BC office.

What does MSP not cover?

MSP doesn't cover:

  • Services that aren't medically needed, like cosmetic surgery
  • Dentist visits
  • Eye exams or glasses
  • Prescriptions
  • Chiropractor or massage visits
  • Naturopathy
  • Physical therapy
  • Counsellors or psychologists

Insider Tip

You can get extended health insurance to cover what MSP doesn't cover, but it costs more.

MSP Premium Assistance

How do I apply for Premium Assistance?

  1. Gather your BC Services Card (CareCard), Social Insurance Number (SIN), and last year's tax return.
  2. Fill out and print the form
  3. Mail the form to:

Medical Services Plan
PO Box 9678
Stn Prov Govt
Victoria, B.C. V8W 9P7 

Insider Tip

Don't have a printer? Pick up and submit your application form at any Service BC office.

Fair Pharmacare

What is Fair Pharmacare?

Fair Pharmacare pays for some of your prescriptions and medical supplies. The program is based on your income and you have to apply before receiving coverage.

Watch and learn about Fair Pharmacare:

How do I apply for Fair Pharmacare?

  1. Gather your BC Services Card (Care Card), Social Insurance Number (SIN), and tax return from the last year. (i.e. if it's currently 2015 you need your 2014 tax return)
  2. Apply online.

Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB)

I have a Status Card. What medical services am I covered for?

If you have a Status Card, you can register for Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) for free. This covers:

  • Eye exams and glasses
  • Dentists
  • Ambulance rides
  • Prescriptions
  • Medical supplies and equipment
  • Short-term crisis counselling

How do I apply for NIHB?

To register for NIHB contact:

First Nations Health Authority, Health Benefits Department
Vancouver and lower mainland: 604-666-3331
Other areas of BC: 1-800-317-7878

Insider Tip

Not all places will take NIHB. Call 1-800-317-7878 to find services near you.

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