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Medical services premiums to be cut by half in January

The Province of B.C. has announced plans to cut medical services plan premiums by 50 per cent, effective Jan. 1, 2018.
December 27, 2017 - 10:13 AM

VICTORIA - The Province of British Columbia takes an initial step towards the elimination of medical services plan fees with a cut to the premium to start the new year.

Finance Minister Carole James announced today, Dec. 27, a 50 per cent cut to services plan premiums will take place on Jan. 1, 2018, calling the move an important step toward improving fairness for all British Columbians.

The income threshold for full exemption from medical services plan premiums under the premium assistance program will also rise by $2,000 on Jan. 1. This will mean an individual earning up to $26,000 annually will no longer be required to pay premiums, and a senior couple earning up to $35,000 annually will also no longer be required to pay premiums.

A task force was established in November to examine the best approach to replacing revenue from medical services premiums. The government is expected to receive a report by March 31, 2018.

Finance Minister James called the premiums “unfair,” claiming they placed a significant burden on British Columbians.

“I’m proud that we are moving away from these regressive fees and creating a more equitable system by eliminating premiums entirely within four years,” James said.

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