Most of your health care is covered by the Medical Services Plan (MSP). As of January 1, 2020, the MSP premiums have been eliminated but you still need to be registered to access health care. There are also services that help you pay for prescriptions and 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:
- Submit an MSP application for Enrolment to Health Insurance BC (HIBC); AND
Get a BC Services card at an ICBC office.
If you have low income:
- 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
- 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?
As of January 1st 2020, there is no cost for MSP.
How do I apply for MSP?
1. Fill out an application online OR
2. Print and fill out the application form and
Mail the form to:
Health Insurance BC
PO Box 9678
Stn Prov Govt.
Victoria, B.C. V8W 9P7
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
- Chiropractor or massage visits
- Physical therapy
- Counsellors or psychologists
You can get extended health insurance to cover what MSP doesn't cover, but there is a cost.
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.
How do I apply for Fair Pharmacare?
- Gather your BC Services Card (Care Card), Social Insurance Number (SIN), and tax return from the last year. (i.e. if it's currently 2020 you need your 2019 tax return)
- 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
- Ambulance rides
- 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
Not all places will take NIHB. Call 1-800-317-7878 to find services near you.