Ontario is making prescription drugs free for everyone 65 and over, ensuring people in [community] can afford the care they need during this period of economic change and uncertainty.
Starting August 1, 2019, anyone aged 65 or older will no longer have to pay a deductible or co-payment and would be able to present their eligible prescription and OHIP number at any Ontario pharmacy and receive more than 4,400 prescription drugs for free. By expanding OHIP+, which already covers youth under 25, to seniors in Budget 2018, people 65 and over will now save an average of $240 every year. Prescription drugs covered by this program include medications for cholesterol, hypertension, thyroid conditions, diabetes and asthma.
Today’s announcement builds on other new initiatives and steps taken to improve care and make life more affordable for seniors in Ontario, including:
The government’s plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable 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, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
“Everybody in this province, no matter their age, deserves the chance to lead healthy, happy lives. Providing prescription drugs to seniors at no cost moves us one step closer to the goal of pharmacare for all people in Ontario.”
–– Dr. Helena Jaczek, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
“Through investments like this, Ontario is furthering its goal of being the best place in the world to grow older. Providing the supports seniors need to be independent, healthy and active, safe and socially connected, is a priority of our government. Ensuring seniors have access to free prescription drugs will help them remain healthy, so they can live their best lives.”
–– Dipika Damerla, Minister of Seniors Affairs
Currently, everyone 65 and over is eligible for prescription drug coverage through the Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) program, which requires seniors to pay deductibles and co-payments based on their income and other factors. Under the ODB, seniors are paying an average of $240 a year out of pocket for their medications.
This expansion of OHIP+ will eliminate the ODB’s deductible and co-payments for seniors, making over 4,400 medications completely free for everyone 65 and older who is OHIP-insured. Ontario will invest approximately $575 million by 2020-21 to align our seniors program with OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare.
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