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. medical coverage extended to residents returning from COVID-19-affected areas

Expired service cards can be extended without visit to ICBC office

The B.C. government is waiving its waiting period for people applying for Medical Services Plan coverage after returning to B.C. from regions affected by COVID-19 outbreaks.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the Medical Services Commission has approved several changes to deal with the new coronavirus that has upended society in recent weeks.

“The MSP coverage wait period will be waived for those who are returning from impacted areas and intend to stay in B.C.” Dix said March 19. “They’re also waiving the wait period for those who are returning to B.C. and it is found that they were outside the province for longer than the allowable time period to obtain MSP coverage.”

RELATED: B.C. still struggling with non-resident medical fraud

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Temporary access to provincially funded medical care may also be available for people who are outside the province and are unable to return due to border restrictions and travel cancellations.And those with expired B.C. Services cards can make arrangements without going to an Insurance Corp. of B.C. office to get a new photo card, which can also be combined with the driver’s licence.

“Beneficiaries who are either unwilling or unable to attend an ICBC office can contact Health Insurance B.C. and request a confirmation of coverage letter advising that their MSP coverage is still effective,” Dix said. “The MSP user may use the personal health number on their expired B.C. Services card to access provincially funded health care services. They just need to show another piece of ID.”


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