The Department of Health is overhauling the way New Brunswickers renew their medicare cards as the department attempts to trim costs.
Health Minister Ted Flemming announced on Monday that residents will no longer receive an expiry notice as of Aug. 1.
Instead, medicare cards will be automatically renewed and the cards will be sent to the resident’s address.
Further, medicare cards will now be valid for five years instead of three years.
“These changes will make the renewal of medicare cards more efficient,” Flemming said in a statement.
“The automatic renewal of cards means less paperwork for New Brunswickers and less processing by medicare.”
The changes will save roughly $218,000 each year, according to the department.
The health department, similar to other government departments, has been under pressure to control budget costs.
Flemming told the legislature in May that his department came in $44 million under budget in 2013-14. He said it was the first “zero growth health-care budget in recent memory.”
The health department’s $2.5-billion budget is the largest expenditure in the province’s $7.9-billion budget.