Province’s new MSP premiums will mean savings for some

Chart courtesy of BC Gov

by EVAN MATTHEWS

One of B.C. Liberal Government’s most controversial taxes will see reform, with changes to Medical Services Plan (MSP) Premiums.

The biggest change to MSP premiums is the Province is no longer charging for children and dependent post-secondary students, which includes all minors and international students, according to the Province.

The Liberal’s planned four per cent increase to premiums has been cancelled, according to the government, meaning the full premium rate for one adult earning an income of over $30,000 will not increase, remaining at the 2016 rate of $75.

In addition, rates for those receiving Regular Premium Assistance will be reduced by roughly four per cent beyond what was in 2016.

The MSP rate for two adults is now twice the amount of the single adult rate, according to the Province, saying there is no longer a discount, though the total monthly premium will still be cheaper than 2016.

For earners in the lowest income bracket, the Province has increased the max income to $24,000. Those earning $24,000 or less now have no monthly premium.

This news comes just shy of the campaign period, as voters will head to the polls for the B.C. Provincial Election on May 9, 2017

In 2016, those who earned between $22,001 and $24,000 paid monthly premiums of $12.80 for one adult, $23.20 for a family of two, and $25.60 for a family of three or more. These same folks will have no premiums in 2017.

For income earners between $24,001 and $30,000 annually, the rates have been cut in half, roughly, more so for those with children.

For example, someone who earned $27,000 in 2016 would have paid $38.40 for one person, $69.60 for two people, and $76.80 for a family of three or more, whereas in 2017 the same earner will pay a monthly premium of $23.00 for one person, or $46.00 for a family of two or more.

The included chart has a comprehensive overview of pricing differences.

People currently receiving Regular Premium Assistance will automatically be adjusted to the new rates in 2017, according to the province, and these people do not need to re-apply.

On Sept. 15, 2016, the B.C. Liberal Government announced updates to the previously published 2017 MSP premiums and Regular Premium Assistance rates.

This news comes just shy of the campaign period, as voters will head to the polls for the B.C. Provincial Election on May 9, 2017.

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