Ontario Free Prescription Benefits Changes Coming April 1st

Just over one year ago Ontario introduced free prescription medications for everybody under the age of 25. Now the new government is repealing large parts of the program originally introduced by the province’s previous Liberal administration in 2017. Ontario’s Ministry of Health has released a summary of the upcoming changes.

The biggest change to the policy is that now those under the age of 25 with private insurance plans will no longer be able to use the OHIP+ program as of April 1st, 2019. However, those also under 25 and who are OHIP-insured, but who do not have a private plan, will continue to receive coverage for eligible prescription medications through OHIP+.

The provincial government states the reasoning for these changes is shifting the focus of OHIP+ to children and youth under the age of 25 who do not have private plans and states “This change recognizes the important contribution of private insurers and employers in the provision of health benefits to Ontarians”. In other words, to shift the budget for this program to focus on those without access to coverage.

Also outlined in the redesign is the introduction of a new assistance program called the Trillium Drug Program. It is available to all OHIP-insured residents of Ontario who have high prescription drug cost relative to their household income. There are additional restrictions and deductibles for coverage from this assistance program.

If you’re a BenefitDeck client in Ontario and have questions about what these changes mean to your personal coverage or the coverage of a child on your plan feel free to give us a call or email via the link below.

You can read a full summary of the changes from The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Drugs and Devices Division here.

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