B.C. says bye bye to Medical Services Plan premiums
The last bills for monthly MSP premiums are in the mail and starting Jan. 1, B.C. will be MSP premium free
The last Medical Service Plan premium bills are now in the mail as British Columbians get set to ring in the new year by joining all Canadians in not paying monthly rates for health care.
Premiums under the province's MSP will be eliminated starting Jan. 1, saving individuals up to $900 a year. Families stand to save up to $1,800 annually. The total amount of the net tax cut is $800 million.
"This represents one of the largest middle-class tax cuts in B.C.'s history and will make a big difference in people's lives," said B.C. Premier John Horgan.
Finance Minister Carole James says overseeing MSP premiums has been the most complex of any of the province's programs. Eliminating it will save over $50 million annually in administrative costs.
The change comes a year after premiums were halved and B.C. introduced a new employer health tax of 1.95 per cent for businesses with a payroll over $1.5 million.
Companies with a payroll under $500,000 are exempt from the health tax, while those who fall in between will pay a reduced rate.
Some business owners have complained the new tax is an unfair burden to their bottom line.
Before fully eliminating MSP premiums, B.C. was one of the last provinces in Canada to have user premiums for health care.
The very last MSP invoices have now been sent. As of January 1st, MSP premiums are fully eliminated. This is an important day for people like Joyce and her family, who have been burdened by these monthly bills for far too long. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/bcpoli?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#bcpoli</a> <a href="https://t.co/qpMRsmibtL">pic.twitter.com/qpMRsmibtL</a>—@jjhorgan
With files from Canadian Press