PharmaCare helps eligible British Columbia residents with the cost of prescription drugs and designated medical supplies.
All British Columbia residents can register for Fair PharmaCare to receive assistance for the purchase of prescription medicine. Fair PharmaCare is income based. Families with lower incomes will receive more assistance than families with higher incomes. Full prescription costs are covered by the individual until a specific level of payment is reached. Once that level is reached, claims can be submitted to PharmaCare to recover a portion of the costs incurred on the prescription medicine. For more information, please see the PharmaCare website.
HEALTH BENEFITS OPERATIONS
Health Insurance BC (HIBC) administers both the Medical Services Plan (MSP) and PharmaCare programs on behalf of the provincial government.
Health Benefits Operations (HBO) was the administrative unit of the Ministry of Health responsible for registration and claims processing for the Medical Services Plan (MSP) and PharmaCare. In 2004, MAXIMUS was selected by the Province to provide program management and administration services for both MSP and PharmaCare. Under this ten-year contract, MAXIMUS provides services including enrolment, account maintenance, claims processing services, document management and associated IT systems maintenance and production support.
Exhibit 10 shows the ministry’s expenditures on HBO over the past four years.
For more information, please visit the MAXIMUS website.
The HealthLinkBC program provides health information to the public by telephone and website. On the website, users can find:
- medically approved information on more than 5,000 health topics, symptoms and medications,
- tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle,
- an online directory of available health services, and
- a phone number to call from anywhere in British Columbia to speak with a nurse.
On weekdays, a dietitian is also available to talk about nutrition and healthy eating and at night pharmacists are available to answer medication questions.
In 2011/12, the Ministry of Health spent $31 million on HealthLinkBC.
The BC Vital Statistics Agency provides certificates for birth, marriage and death.
Exhibit 11 shows the agency’s expenditures over the past four years from 2008/09 to 2011/12. The expenditures on Vital Statistics show a downward trend over the last four years with the expenditures decreasing from $7.3 million in 2008/09 to $5.4 million in 2011/12. This is a 25 per cent decrease.
Exhibit 12 shows the percentage spent by Vital Statistics in 2011/12 relative to other ministry core business areas in the same year. Vital Statistics is included in the "Other" expenditures category, as are payments to Health Benefits Operations and Emergency and Health Services.
The Other expenditures account for 1 per cent of the total program area expenditures incurred by the Ministry of Health.