B.C. eliminates prescription deductibles for families with incomes under $30,000

British Columbia has announced plans to eliminate or reduce prescription-drug deductibles for low-income earners.

No more co-payments for people over 79, reduced for households earning less than $45,000

Families earning between $15,000 and $30,000 will no longer pay any deductibles for medication in British Columbia, effective Jan. 1, 2019. (Getty Images/Darren McCollester)

British Columbia has announced plans to eliminate or reduce prescription-drug deductibles for low-income earners.

Health Minister Adrian Dix says single people and families with a net household income under $45,000 will benefit from changes to the Fair PharmaCare plan starting Jan. 1, 2019.

Families earning between $15,000 and $30,000 will no longer pay any deductibles for medication.

"Many, many British Columbians will benefit from these changes," said Dix. 

He says people with a net annual income of $15,000 have paid deductibles of $300, and those earning $30,000 have had to shell out $900 a year.

"Fundamentally, it's a change that makes our health policy more progressive."

He says the cost means people have sometimes not filled prescriptions in order to pay for other essentials such as groceries.

Green Party spokeswoman Sonia Furstenau says the $105-million investment in Fair PharmaCare will improve the health of families facing an affordability crisis.

With files from CBC News