MSP premiums are being replaced by a new employer health tax. (Black Press)

A few reminders about MSP premiums

Premiums may be a thing of the past, but the government has a few reminders for British Columbians

The new year marks the end of Medical Services Plan (MSP) premiums, saving B.C. families up to $1,800 a year and individuals up to $900 a year, according to the provincial government, but while premiums may be a thing of the past, the government has a few important reminders for British Columbians.

British Columbians who had been paying their premiums using auto-payments through their credit card or financial institution are reminded to cancel those automated payments.

British Columbians must also keep their address up to date, which can be done online at www.gov.bc.ca/managingyourmspaccount

Although British Columbians will no longer be invoiced for new premiums starting Jan. 1, 2020, elimination of MSP premiums does not forgive outstanding premiums owed. The province says individuals and businesses still owe $422 million in overdue MSP fees.

People may be eligible for relief on premium amounts still owing. For example, retroactive premium assistance could be provided based on net income for a given tax year, family size and disability status.

Although British Columbians no longer pay premiums, they must remain enrolled in MSP. The plan will continue to provide eligible B.C. residents with provincially insured health-care benefits.

For questions about making a payment or account balances, contact Revenue Services of BC, Monday to Thursday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; or Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Pacific time) at 1 877 405-4909 (toll-free).

For questions about retroactive premium assistance, or to update a MSP account, contact Health Insurance BC, Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Pacific time) at 1 800 663-7100 (toll-free).

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