Healthcare :: Residents urged to register for fair pharmacare

The provincial government is encouraging all British Columbians and their families to register for Fair PharmaCare if they have not done so already.

British Columbia’s Fair PharmaCare plan provides financial assistance for eligible prescription drugs and designated medical supplies to B.C. families based on their net income. Fair PharmaCare focuses financial assistance on B.C. families who need it most.

Prior to the launch of Fair PharmaCare in May 2003, many low-income families were paying more for their drugs than individuals and families with higher incomes. To date, Fair PharmaCare has lowered the drug costs of approximately 300,000 British Columbia families. As of June 1, 2007, there were approximately 1.3 million families registered for the program, out of a total of 2.2 million families.

For the past four years since the plan’s launch, a transition period has enabled patients to be reimbursed for prescriptions dispensed before the date they registered for Fair PharmaCare if those costs exceeded their Fair PharmaCare deductible amount. Starting Jan. 1, 2008, PharmaCare will no longer reimburse amounts paid above the deductible amount that occurred before the date the family registered. PharmaCare will continue to count a family’s eligible prescription and medical supply costs towards their Fair PharmaCare deductible amount – but they will not be reimbursed for expenses prior to registration.

There are two ways to register:

· Online at;

· Phone Health Insurance BC, from the Lower Mainland at 604-683-7151 or from the rest of B.C. toll-free at 1-800-663-7100.

Fair PharmaCare assistance is available immediately for those who register by phone or online. There is no charge to register and no premiums to pay. New residents in the province need to register as soon as they receive their B.C. CareCard from the B.C. Medical Services Plan.

Registering for Fair PharmaCare does not affect Ministry of Employment and Income Assistance coverage. Recipients are advised to register for Fair PharmaCare so that it is in place should they need it in the future. PharmaCare will continue to reimburse families and individuals whose level of Fair PharmaCare assistance is increased partway through the year as a result of a decrease in net income.

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