BC Government announces modified MSP coverage in response to coronavirus

Mar 20 2020, 11:32 am

The provincial government has announced several changes to Medical Service Plans (MSP) for British Columbians. The decisions, shared on Thursday afternoon by BC Health Minister Adrian Dix, have been made to better help residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

First, the MSP coverage wait period will be waved for anyone returning from an impacted area that intends to stay in British Columbia. The provincial government has also waived the waiting period for residents who were outside of the province for longer than the allowable period of time.

Prior to these changes, a person would need to be physically present in BC for at least six months in a calendar year to be eligible. If they were out of the province on vacation, they could only be absent for up to seven months.

Residents who are eligible for MSP but are out of the province and unable to return may also be assisted through temporary coverage.

While beneficiaries are typically not allowed to use an expired BC services card, they will be able to use the provincial health number on said card if they show another piece of identification. During this time, those who are unwilling or unable to renew their card can request a “Confirmation of Coverage letter,” which advises that their MSP coverage is still active.

This can be done by contacting Health Insurance BC.

The provincial government has also stated that they will be providing MSP to those who have applied but have yet to complete their enrolment. Those individuals will be given temporary coverage and a letter with an issued provincial health number.

Further information regarding benefits, as well as eligibility and enrolment for MSP, can be found on the BC government website.

With coronavirus on the rise, the BC Ministry of Health is reminding individuals who attend events and large gatherings to monitor their health for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. And if you’re not feeling well, they recommend staying home at this time. Also, due to unexpected cancellations, please check the event you plan to attend is still taking place. Keep up with COVID-19 news here.