MEDICAL Services Plan (MSP) premiums will be cut by 50% on January 1, 2018, marking an important step toward improving fairness for all British Columbians, Finance Minister Carole James said on Wednesday.
“MSP premiums are unfair and place a significant burden on British Columbians,” James said. “I’m proud that we are moving away from these regressive fees and creating a more equitable system by eliminating MSP premiums entirely within four years.”
In addition to the 50% rate cut, the income threshold for full exemption from MSP premiums under the premium assistance program will also be raised by $2,000, as of January 1, 2018.
In November 2017, the Minister of Finance established a task force to examine the best approach to replacing the revenue from eliminating MSP premiums. The task force is comprised of respected experts in economics, law and public policy, to advise on the best path to eliminating MSP premiums. Government will receive its report by March 31, 2018.
- Enhancements to premium assistance, effective January 1, 2018, mean:
- An individual earning up to $26,000 per year will pay no premiums.
- A couple earning up to $29,000 per year will pay no premiums.
- A senior couple earning up to $35,000 per year will pay no premiums.
- A single parent with two children earning up to $32,000 per year will pay no premiums.
- A couple with two children earning up to $35,000 per year will pay no premiums.