Prescription drugs are the second largest cost in the Canadian health care system. Analysts estimate the cost reached $30 billion in 2009. In BC, the drug expenditure is estimated to have ranged from $714 and $782 per person.
The BC government's Fair PharmaCare plan helps protect British Columbians from high
drug costs by subsidizing eligible drugs and other designated medical supplies prescribed
by a physician (e.g. certain ostomy supplies, insulin, syringes, needles and test
strips for diabetics). You must register for PharmaCare before you are eligible for reimbursement.
Under Fair PharmaCare, you pay your family's prescription costs until you meet your
PharmaCare deductible. After you meet your PharmaCare deductible, PharmaCare helps
you with eligible costs for the rest of the year.
Your out-of-pocket costs (or a percentage of them) not covered by PharmaCare may
be eligible expenses under your Pacific Blue Cross group or individual extended
health care plan. Drug coverage varies across all Pacific Blue Cross plans, so check
your Member Profile to see what your plan covers.
Your PharmaCare deductible and family maximums are based on income bands so they
are not exact percentages of annual family income. Once your family's net income
has been verified by the Canada Revenue Agency, PharmaCare sends you written confirmation
of your level of assistance.
*After deductible is reached. **Government assists you with your drug costs immediately.
Visit the BC government website for more information about
This summary of government health coverage is based on information provided by Health
Insurance BC. It is intended as a general reference only and may not be up-to-date
when changes to public health coverage are made by the BC government. Other government
programs and services may be available. Always refer to Health Insurance BC for the most up-to-date information
about the government health plan.