British Columbians will be saving a few bucks moving forward as the BC Medical Service Plan (MSP) monthly charge has been reduced by 50%. Residents are charged premiums based on their family size and income; however, there will be no need to apply for this new rate as it was automatically set as of Monday, January 1st 2018.
Families that net $26,000 a year or less will pay no MSP premiums at all. In previous years, the minimum amount for a family to make before the MSP Premium break was $24,000; a $2,000 increase from last year.
Kootenay West, MLA Katrine Conroy stated in an email to the Revelstoke Current in regards to this new reduction.
“On January 1st, MSP premiums were cut by 50%, marking an important step toward improving fairness for all British Columbians. Under the previous BC Liberal government, MSP fees doubled, costing most families an extra $900 a year, all while giving the wealthiest in B.C. a billion dollar tax break. The BC NDP government is putting people first by cutting this regressive tax in half and working to eliminate MSP premiums entirely within four years. I’m proud that we’re taking the first steps to make government work for everyone, not just the people at the top.??”
This reduction is a promise that was made by the New Democratic Party (NDP) during their recent campaign, and followed through with their promise. The goal was to eliminate premiums within a four-year period, which would cut $2.6 billion in annual revenue.
The Revelstoke Current caught up with MLA Doug Clovechok who responded to this new reduction and what his take on it was. “The BC Liberals were very clear that we were going to cut premiums by 50% without raising other taxes. These guys (NDP) have a governing policy that has no plans or aim. I am happy people will get their 50% reduction. The problem is they have established this MSP task force that is still looking for a way to pay for this. They are going to likely roll this into an income tax. They are going to pay hide the tax and hope that nobody notices it.”
The NDP budget is completed, but the release will be in February.
With an individual British Columbian saving roughly 450 dollars, a couple at 900 dollars per year, and companies that include these premiums as a benefit for employment will reap the rewards.