OHIP+ free prescription drug benefit changes begin in April

Mar 21 2019, 3:24 pm

As of April 1, the Ontario government will no longer offer free prescriptions to children and young adults with private coverage.

These changes will impact OHIP-insured children and youth under the age of 25 years.

For those without a private plan, children and youth under 25 will remain automatically enrolled in OHIP+, according to Sick Kids. For those with a private plan, children and youth will no longer be eligible for OHIP+, and will access prescribed medicines through the private plan.

For those without private medication insurance, OHIP+ will continue to cover the cost of more than 4,400 drug products that are currently available through the Ontario Drug Benefit program.

Those with a private plan wondering what medications are insured are encouraged to contact private insurers to inquire. Individuals or families who have significant out-of-pocket costs, despite having a private plan, can apply for additional financial support through the Trillium Drug Program.

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News that this change would be implemented came just months after the Liberal Party granted Ontario residents 24 and under with private coverage access to free prescription drugs as part of the province’s OHIP+ program.

Christine Elliott, the province’s health minister, made the announcement a day after she was officially sworn in, saying “Premier Ford promised the people he would find efficiencies without compromising service or jobs, and we are delivering.”

Elliott says the new system would be more efficient, saving the taxpayers money and dedicating resources to those who need it most.

“Even more importantly, it would continue to guarantee that children and youth still receive the prescription drugs they need,” reads Elliott’s statement.

With files from Ainsley Smith.