The B.C. government began issuing photo identification cards for health coverage in 2013, after finding that there were 9.1 million CareCards in circulation, and only 4.5 people living in the province. (B.C. government)

B.C. still struggling to control non-resident medical care fraud

Unpaid bills, out-of-province claimants a costly legacy of MSP

With more than $400 million in unpaid Medical Service Plan bills still owing, the B.C. government is also dealing with a legacy of millions of people illegally claiming health insurance from outside the province.

Health Insurance B.C. is sending out letters this month to MSP account holders, reminding them to notify the provincial health insurance agency if they plan to be out of the province for six months or more.

“B.C. residents must fulfill their MSP obligations under the Medicare Protection Act, such as updating their MSP account due to address changes,” the form letter states. “HIBC and the Ministry of Health offer easy online services to ensure that your MSP account information and address stay current. To update your MSP account, visit gov.bc.ca/managingyourMSPaccount.

“Any MSP premium debts from before Jan. 1, 2020 remain payable to Revenue Services of British Columbia.”

MSP billings officially came to an end Jan. 1, as Canada’s only remaining health care fee was phased out and replaced with the “employer health tax” on payrolls of more than $500,000. The finance ministry confirmed to Black Press this month that as of Dec. 31, B.C. residents and businesses still owed $422 million in unpaid MSP charges, with the Canada Revenue Agency assisting with collections taken from tax refunds and credits.

RELATED: B.C. residents still owe $422 million in medical premiums

RELATED: New B.C. identity cards developed to stop health fraud

Non-residents living in the U.S. and elsewhere while claiming B.C. health benefits is another huge financial problem that lingers today. In 2013, the B.C. government started issuing the new “B.C. Services Card” with photo and secure identification, which can be combined with a B.C. driver’s licence.

The new cards were developed after the health ministry calculated that it had 9.1 million of the old “B.C. CareCard” health cards in circulation. B.C.’s total population was only 4.5 million, with most of additional cards considered to be obtained for health care fraud.

B.C. residents can obtain or renew a B.C. Services Card at any ICBC motor vehicle office. The single-purpose health card is available at no cost, expiring after five years like a driver’s licence.

For combined driver’s licence and health cards, a renewal fee of $75 applies, discounted to $17 for seniors. The health card is free, but still requires a photo of the holder and the card will be mailed once B.C. residence is established.

An expiring B.C. Services Card or CareCard is acceptable as identification for enrolment.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Daytripping: From Port Alberni to Ucluelet, visit the ‘wild west’

Whether you’re looking to stroll, sip, sup or stay, Ucluelet has something for you

Port Alberni Food Hub opens to seafood processors

Four ‘anchor’ tenants welcomed

Port Alberni City Council mulls request to buy big screen for AV Multiplex

$200K request comes on heels of RFP for renaming rights to AV Multiplex

Alberni Farmers Institute offers slaughter training course

Alberni Valley residents interested in obtaining a Class D Slaughter License can take part

Spill response vessel arrives in Port Alberni

Base isn’t finished, but team is ready for emergencies

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

Man arrested for allegedly pushing unsuspecting seniors, jumping on cars at Parksville mall

Cops arrest man after ‘aggressive incident’ at Wembley Mall in Parksville

Beloved Island woman dies at 106

Dorothy Adair adored by the many people she met in Chemainus in two short years

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

Most Read