International students continue to contribute to B.C. health care as MSP premiums eliminated

Article from: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2019HLTH0114-001555

As the Province eliminates Medical Service Plan (MSP) premiums for British Columbians, an updated payment method will ensure international students continue to contribute to, and benefit from, B.C.‘s health-care coverage.

Under the old MSP system, international students, like all British Columbians, were required to pay premiums as part of their health-care coverage. On Jan. 1, 2020, MSP premiums will be eliminated and a new method is required by which international students contribute to their coverage under the B.C. health-care system.

Under the updated system, effective Sept. 1, 2019, all international K-12 and post-secondary students will begin paying a monthly health-care coverage fee of $37.50. On Jan. 1, 2020, with the elimination of MSP premiums, the health-care coverage fee for international students will be $75 per month.

“For almost 30 years, B.C. has provided international students with provincial health coverage, while asking them to contribute a reasonable amount to help cover those costs. This updated payment method for international students continues that commitment,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health.

Earlier this year, the Province passed legislation to end MSP premiums on Jan. 1, 2020, in one of the largest middle-class tax cuts in British Columbia’s history. The updated health-care coverage requirements for international students are part of this transition.

“We have an exceptional health-care system in B.C., and we want to ensure it remains a fair system for everyone,” said Dix. “In eliminating MSP premiums for British Columbians and through the health services fee for post-secondary and K-12 international students, we’re ensuring that we all continue to contribute to and benefit from public health care in B.C.”

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