On January 1, 2018, 4,400 prescription medications become free for everyone in Ontario who is age 24 and under through OHIP+. Also, Ontario is making it easier for families and youth to find out what medications will be covered with a new online search tool.
Kathryn McGarry, nurse and MPP for Cambridge, says a new, online friendly tool will help people quickly and easily search through a list of more than 4,400 publicly funded medications and other drug products.
“Pharmacare is going to be a game-changer for young people and their families,” McGarry said.
“No longer will young people families have to choose between paying for medication and other necessities. I know the personal and financial stress that creates. In the 1990s, our son needed $1,000 a month in medication -- and our family had no drug benefits from work. No family should have to endure this kind of turmoil, while at the same time worrying about their child’s health.”
With OHIP+, Ontario is the first province to provide prescription medication coverage at no cost for children and youth age 24 and under, helping more people afford the medications they need to stay healthy. This includes asthma inhalers, antibiotics, EpiPens, diabetes test strips, contraceptives and drugs to treat depression, anxiety, epilepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Enrollment will be automatic with no co-payment or annual deductible. Eligible prescriptions can be filled free of charge at any Ontario pharmacy – all that's needed is an Ontario health card or health card number.
Ontario's plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
“We are taking a historic step forward with OHIP+ by eliminating the financial barriers and ensuring all young people can access the medication they need at no cost. OHIP+ is a major step towards our vision of a national pharmacare program that will help young people live healthier lives,” said Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.
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