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More health benefits available to Ukrainian migrants

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 2:45 PDT, Fri September 23, 2022

Ukrainians arriving in B.C. with a Canada-Ukraine authorization for emergency travel (CUAET) can receive 100 per cent coverage of eligible prescription costs for one year under PharmaCare's Plan C.

Coverage for the plan is automatic for people receiving benefits and income assistance through the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. Plan C coverage for Ukrainians coming to B.C. with a CUAET visa is automatic with enrolment in Medical Services Plan (MSP).

Government encourages newcomers to enrol for MSP as soon as they arrive in British Columbia by visiting or by calling 1-800-663-7100 for information.

Currently, people new to B.C. can register for Fair Pharmacare after they are enrolled in MSP and have a social insurance number, both of which can take time.

In addition, Fair PharmaCare coverage is based on net income from two years ago, which is information people may not have when they arrive in Canada. It is expected that most newcomers with a CUAET visa would report low to no income.

Plan C is one of BC PharmaCare's 12 plans helping B.C. residents pay for prescription medications, medical devices and supplies, and pharmacy services. The plan, launched in 1974, covers 100 per cent of eligible drug and pharmacy costs, such as dispensing fees, as well as thousands of medications.

In April 2022, changes to the Medical and Health Care Services Regulation extended MSP coverage to all people arriving in B.C. with a CUAET visa. The three-month waiting period for MSP coverage was waived at that time to help ensure immediate access to health services.

In 2021-22, Plan C helped more than 184,000 B.C. residents with drug costs and pharmacy fees.

To learn more about supports available to Ukrainians, or how to support Ukrainians arriving to B.C., visit the Welcoming Ukraine website: or call the Service BC toll-free phone line at 1-800-663-7867

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