If you recently moved to British Columbia, there are regulations and payments to be aware of. When you go to the hospital, you are insured by the Medical Services Plan (MSP).
However, as residents of British Columbia, you need to see if you are eligible to participate in the Medical Services Plan. Under the Medicare Protection Act, it is mandatory for all eligible residents and their dependents to make monthly payments to receive medical coverage.
For new B.C. residents, you must wait three months before registering for MSP. Now that you are all caught up, you might have a few questions about MSP. Here’s the rundown on MSP eligibility and what happens when you skip out on the payments in B.C.
How do I know if I am eligible for MSP?
There are four groups of people that will fall under eligibility for MSP:
- First Nations’ residents
- Other individuals in B.C.
For more detailed information on eligibility criteria, please check out the British Columbia government website.
Can I opt out of MSP coverage?
Although enrolment in MSP is mandatory, adults are still able to opt-out by completing and signing an Election to Opt Out document. Submitting that statement to the Ministry of Health will only bar you from having to pay MSP payments for that year.
In the case you do decide to opt-out, you will be responsible for the payment of all medical, hospital, and other health care services for that year. In the case you still owe the government any outstanding MSP premium debt, that debt is still owed to the province even if you opt-out.
If I don’t pay my MSP premiums on time, what happens?
If you happen to miss paying the MSP premiums on the required due date in full, your account will be considered overdue and you will be charged interest on any overdue amount. Don’t delay in paying your premiums as interest can add up quickly.
The government compounds the interest monthly on any overdue accounts. At a rate of prime plus 3%, interest is charged on to all overdue MSP group premiums, premium adjustments, and previously invoiced interest.
How will interest on MSP add up?
Your account will only collect interest on overdue payments if you owe more than five dollars of interest. If it is the first time that interest was charged on your invoice, it is calculated from the first day the amount became overdue up to the date the invoice was generated.
It is important to note you have 30 days to pay the interest to avoid any further charges or else your interest will begin compounding retroactively to the date interest was due.
Will not paying MSP affect my credit?
If you let your premiums add up and get overdue, you might run the risk of your case being sent to collections or the CRA. This can negatively affect your credit rating in the long run. Best to pay those premiums and sleep easy at night.