top of page
What Is Fair PharmaCare?
Fair PharmaCare helps BC families pay for eligible prescription drugs, some medical supplies and devices, and eligible pharmacy services. PharmaCare is income-based; the less a family earns, the more help they get.
What You Get
Fair PharmaCare covers
Eligible prescription drugs
Eligible medical supplies and devices
Eligible dispensing fees
Fees for some other pharmacy services
Under the Fair PharmaCare plan, you pay your family’s prescription costs until you meet your deductible. After that, PharmaCare helps you with eligible costs for the rest of the year. If you reach your family maximum, PharmaCare will pay 100% of your eligible costs for the rest of the year. You can get an estimate of your level of coverage under the plan using an online Fair PharmaCare calculator.
All BC residents are eligible for Fair PharmaCare coverage if they
Have Medical Services Plan (MSP) coverage, and
Give PharmaCare permission to check their income with the Canada Revenue Agency (income is from 2 years prior)
Coverage is family-based. A family can be a
Married or common-law couple
Single person with dependent children
Couple with dependent children
Your annual net family income determines the level of coverage you receive. If you have a spouse, or are in a marriage-like relationship, you must include your spouse in your registration.
You can register online, by phone, or by mailing in a paper form. If you register online or by phone, your coverage will begin immediately. You only need to register once. If you registered previously and no longer have coverage, please contact Heatlh Insurance BC.
To register you need the following for all family members
Personal Health Number
To register you need the following for you and your spouse (if you have one)
Social Insurance Number
Income from the tax return from two years ago, including:
net income (line 236 of the return)
any income from a Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) (line 125)
PharmaCare uses income tax data from two years ago to calculate the Fair PharmaCare coverage your family receives. For example, your 2021 coverage will be calculated using your 2019 tax return. PharmaCare automatically renews your coverage as long as your income information from two years prior is available from the Canada Revenue Agency.
After you register, Health Insurance BC will send you a consent form that you must fill in, sign, and send back within 30 days, so that your income can be verified with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)
If you do not return your consent form, temporary coverage ends and your family's deductible will be set at $10,000
It may take up to 90 days to confirm your income with the CRA
Once your income is verified, PharmaCare will send you a confirmation letter within 30 days
A Your 'family' can include you, your children, and/or your spouse. Dependent children on the same MSP contract as you or your spouse will receive Fair PharmaCare coverage as part of your family. Dependent children are:
Under the age of 19, or 19-24 attending school or post-secondary education
Supported by you and/or your spouse
Neither married nor living in a marriage-like relationship
A The child must be registered on the account of a parent on whose Medical Services Plan (MSP) account the child is registered. MSP and PharmaCare share family structure information, so children must be on the same parent’s account for both MSP and PharmaCare. While children may be on both parents’ MSP accounts, they may be one only one parent’s Fair PharmaCare account.
A When you turn 19 years old, you must establish your own Medical Services Plan (MSP) account. If you no longer qualify as a dependent for MSP, you can get separate Fair PharmaCare coverage right away or stay as a dependent in your family until the end of the calendar year in which you turn 19.
If you qualify as a dependent for MSP (for example, because you are attending school full-time), you will stay on your parents’ Fair PharmaCare plan.
A For Fair PharmaCare, a dependent is:
A resident who is the legal ward or child of the registrant, and
Supported by the registrant, and
Neither married nor living and cohabitating in a marriage-like relationship, and
Either 18 years or younger or aged 19 to 24 and attending school or university full-time
Dependents must live with the family whose PharmaCare plan they belong to. In cases of joint custody, children must be on only one parent’s Fair PharmaCare account, and they must be on the MSP account for that parent.
A If your spouse is not eligible for Fair PharmaCare coverage, you still need to report their income when you register, because Fair PharmaCare coverage is based on family net income
A You have two options:
You and your former spouse can establish separate MSP accounts. Then you can contact Health Insurance BC and register for separate Fair PharmaCare accounts.
You can register for Fair PharmaCare as a family and report your combined net income
A Your spouse's coverage by the federal insurer (for example, the Canadian Forces, Veteran's Affairs Canada or the Non-Insured Health Benefits program) will not change, but you will still need to include their income when you register, because Fair PharmaCare coverage is based on family net income.
A As a guardian/power of attorney, you can register a friend/family member by phone or online. When you return the consent form, include a copy of the Power of Attorney that shows you have authority to act on the person's behalf.
A family’s deductible is the amount they need to spend each year on eligible costs before Fair PharmaCare starts to help with these costs. Once they reach their deductible, PharmaCare pays 70% of costs; or 75% of costs for families with a member born before 1940.
A The family maximum is the most a family needs to spend, per year, on eligible drugs, fees, and medical supplies before Fair PharmaCare pays 100% of eligible expenses.You can calculate your family maximum using Fair PharmaCare estimator.
A You can cancel your income-based coverage at any time by withdrawing your consent to check your income
A Your net income is the income you reported on your tax return from two years ago. If you are registering in 2020, use your net income from 2018. Your net income is the amount reported on Line 236 of your income tax return minus income from a Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) (line 125).
bottom of page