As part of the 2017 Budget, Ontario is giving children and youth a better start in life by moving to make prescription medications free.
Premier Kathleen Wynne was joined today by Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, and Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance, at Jenner Jean-Marie Community Centre in Toronto to announce the new OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare Program.
Beginning January 1, 2018, all children and youth 24 years of age or younger will be able to get their prescription medications for free by simply showing their Ontario health card number and a prescription. Coverage will be automatic, with no upfront costs.
The proposed new program will improve access to prescription medications for more than four million children and young people, and will help many families to afford the medications their children need to stay healthy.
Beyond the most common prescriptions, OHIP+ will give young people access to more than 4,400 drugs reimbursed under the Ontario Drug Benefit Program, including medications listed under the Exceptional Access Program, at no cost. These include drugs to treat cancer and rare diseases.
Ontario’s drug funding program is already one of the country’s most generous, helping to pay for needed prescription medications for seniors, people with high drug costs, and other vulnerable populations. Ontario is investing $465 million to expand coverage through OHIP+.
Making prescription medications more affordable for families is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.
How or when savings may be passed on to the plan sponsors of benefit plans is yet to be determined. For most employers, the affected age group represents a marginal portion of total drug spend, and private plans will still be liable for non-ODB formulary drugs.
As the launch date of OHIP+ approaches, we expect further direction and information to be released by insurance carriers. We foresee some cost relief for plan sponsors as a result of OHIP+, but it is not anticipated to have a major impact on overall drug plan spend.
Article Source: Ontario.ca