British Columbia

B.C. signals change to MSP premiums for single-parent families

CBC News has learned the B.C. government plans to reduce monthly health premiums for single-parent families in its next budget.

The changes would take effect in January 2017

The structure of MSP premiums in B.C. has been criticized by many.

CBC News has learned the B.C. government plans to reduce monthly health premiums for single-parent families in its next budget.

The province has repeatedly come under fire for how its medical services plan fees are structured. 

Currently, families of three or more who earn over $30,000 a year all pay $150 a month in fees. Those who earn less than $30,000 can apply for premium assistance to pay less.

CBC legislative reporter Richard Zussman has learned the province will officially announce in its Feb. 16 budget that it will change the MSP fee structure, allowing single-parent families to save $75 a month. 

The changes would take effect Jan. 1, 2017. 

MSP premium rates have gone up 39 per cent since 2009 and have been criticized by many.

B.C. Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver's first election promise was to replace the fees with a system based on income levels. 

Weaver said B.C. should adopt the Ontario model, which has a sliding scale for incomes between zero and $200,000.

With files from Richard Zussman


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