British Columbia residents will receive their last bill for Medical Service Plan (MSP) premiums in December, in an effort to make life more affordable for people, according to the provincial government.
It added that MSP premiums will be fully ended as of January 1, 2020, making it one of the largest tax cuts for middle-class citizens in the history of B.C. The Government adds that the removal of MSP premiums represents a total net tax cut of $800 million. Individuals will save up to $900 a year, while family savings range up to $1,800 from the cuts.
“The people of our province should be able to access British Columbia’s world-class health care system without having to worry whether or not they can pay their MSP premium,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “With this last bill, people will continue to receive the health care they deserve, while enjoying their savings as a result of the MSP premiums being eliminated.”
“For decades, people in our province had to pay unfair MSP premiums instead of using that money to buy food, help pay the rent or even put their child in after-school care,” said Carole James, Minister of Finance. “With the complete elimination of MSP premiums, families have more money for themselves and to invest in B.C. businesses. This is good for British Columbians and good for B.C.’s resilient, sustainable economy.”
Residents will still have to meet MSP obligations to complete the enrolment and obtain a B.C. Services Card, and provide account updates as needed, such as address changes. Despite the removal of MSP premiums that cost has since been put onto businesses in the form of the Employer Health Tax.
The provincial government instituted the Employer Health Tax on January 1st of 2019, with incremental tax charges based on how much money a business makes. Businesses making more than $1.5 million a year pays 1.95% times its annual income. While income between $500,000.01 and $1.5 million is taxed at 2.925% times its income, minus $500,000. Businesses with income less than $500,000 are exempt from the B.C. Employer Health Tax
Before its elimination, B.C. was one of the last provinces in Canada to have health care premiums.