Changes to the Seniors’ Pharmacare program mean Nova Scotians enrolled in the program will soon pay less each time they pick up a prescription.
Starting April 1, Seniors’ Pharmacare members will start paying a 20 per cent co-payment for each prescription, down from 30 per cent, to a maximum co-pay of $382 a year.
The changes also mean that seniors with lower incomes are no longer expected to pay the same premiums as those with higher incomes. This change is a fair approach and consistent with the way rates are set for many other programs. Most members will pay the same premium or less than they do now.
“Because of our government’s changes, 12,000 seniors who previously paid a premium won’t pay one this year,” said Health and Wellness Minister Leo Glavine. “Our changes also mean that 29,000 seniors will pay a reduced premium.”
“This is good news for low to moderate income seniors,” said Anne Corbin, executive director, Community Links, a provincial organization that promotes quality of life for Nova Scotia seniors. “Basing premiums on income is a more equitable funding approach, and reducing the prescription co-pay should help those on fixed incomes to manage their costs.”
“We made these changes because a senior earning more than $100,000 a year should not pay the same premium as someone earning only $24,000,” said Mr. Glavine.
In the weeks ahead, Pharmacare members and Nova Scotians approaching age 65 will start to receive information packages about the program.
For more information, visit www.nspharmacare.ca.