Nearing June’s election date, Kathleen Wynne’s government continues to make promises regarding health care, as Ontario announced more free prescription drugs.
Last year, the province announced that OHIP+, which was implemented on January 1 and gives free drug coverage for everyone under 25.
Yesterday, during the Throne Speech, Wynne promised more spending on health care, mental health, and child care.
Now, the province says it’s making prescription drugs free for people 65 and over.
According to the government, through an expansion of OHIP+, more than 4,400 prescription drugs will be available free of charge to seniors who are 65 and over starting August 1, 2019.
During that time, those 65+ will no longer have to pay a deductible or co-payment and would be able to present their eligible prescription and OHIP number at any Ontario pharmacy and receive their medication for free.
Ontario will invest approximately $575 million by 2020-21 to align our seniors program with OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare.
Prescription drugs covered by this program include medications for cholesterol, hypertension, thyroid conditions, diabetes and asthma.
“It is the right thing to do for seniors and their families,” said Wynne in a statement. “Providing prescription drugs at no cost for millions of seniors is going to make life more affordable and help seniors stay healthy and independent.”
By expanding OHIP+ to seniors in Budget 2018, the province says that seniors will now save an average of $240 every year. Today’s announcement comes ahead of the delivery of the 2018 Ontario Budget, set to be unveiled on March 28.
“With nearly one in two people now to receive free prescriptions, we are that much closer to the universal pharmacare program that people need,” Wynne said. “We are leading Canada forward. And we can’t turn back now.”