VICTORIA, B.C.- Medical Services Plan (MSP) premiums are going to be cut in half on January 1st.

The provincial government said that in addition to the 50 per cent rate reduction, the income threshold for full exemption from the MSP premiums under the premium assistance program will be raised by $2,000 to $26,000 as of January 1st.

“MSP premiums are unfair and place a significant burden on British Columbians,” said Finance Minister Carole James in a provincial news release.

“I’m proud that we are moving away from these regressive fees and creating a more equitable system by eliminating MSP premiums entirely within four years.”

MSP rates are paid monthly to help meet a portion of the costs of B.C.’s health-care system.

Last month, James established a task force to look at the best ways to replace the revenue from eliminating MSP premiums.

The task force is made up of experts in economics, law and public policy. The government will receive its report by March 31st, 2018.

Changes to MSP premiums, effective January 1st, will mean:

  • An individual earning up to $26,000 per year will pay no premiums.
  • A couple making up t0 $29,000 per year will pay no premiums.
  • A senior couple earning up to $35,000 per year will pay no premiums.
  • A single parent with two children earning up to $32,000 per year will pay no premiums.
  • A couple with two children earning up to $35,000 per year will pay no premiums.

Premium amounts will automatically be adjusted starting January 1st. For more on MSP premiums, and to provide feedback to the task force, visit the government of B.C.’s website.