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
[email protected]

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

PHOTOS: Weaving wool the Salish way

Learning the tricks of the trade at the Agassiz-Harrison Museum

Fraser Valley couple wins $500K after finding scratch-and-win while moving

  • Robert Walters and Lois Gueret of Agassiz win half a million from Scratch & Win ticket

GUEST COLUMN: Farmland is for growing food

Guest columnist Detmar Schwichtenberg advocates for keeping Teacup properties as farmland

UPDATE: High-risk sex offender living in Chilliwack has supervision order extended

Former mayor and residents wanted James Conway gone from residential neighbourhood two years ago

Court orders Hope-area First Nation council to accept long-contested memberships

Federal judge rules Peters Band Council acted “irrationally, unreasonably” in rejecting applications

VIDEO: Minister says consider coronavirus outbreak when planning for spring break

Foreign Affairs minister points to rash of new cases appearing in places like Italy and Iran

Donations pour in for family who lost father, son in fatal crash on B.C. highway

Mike Cochlin and sons Liam and Quinn were travelling on Highway 5A

Alberta tourist dies after plunge from 70-metre cliff in Stanley Park

The 26-year-old hopped a fence at Prospect Point on fell to a walkway below, police said

B.C. man who pulled a gun on off-duty cop gets two years in prison

Encounter also led police to a home where 100 guns and explosives were found

New Westminster woman’s ‘out of character’ disappearance probed by police

She left without telling anyone, prompting investigation by Major Crimes Unit, police say

EDITORIAL: Fraser Health needs to be transparent to fight coronavirus panic

Fraser Health and other authorities are not helping by being vague in recent communications

Riverdale actress Lili Reinhart rescues puppy from Langley shelter

American actress named her adopted pup Milo

How clean is your favourite local restaurant or café?

Online inspection reports allow consumers to find health hazard of all food facilities in region

Most Read