OHIP+ to cover drug costs for children and youth
On April 27, 2017, the Ontario government announced that it intends to introduce a new program called OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare to provide drug coverage to Ontarians aged 24 and under, effective January 1, 2018.
Enrollment in the program will be automatic for children and youth aged 24 and under, regardless of family income. The program plans to completely cover the cost (with no deductible or co-payment) of more than 4,400 drugs currently funded through the Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) program and will also include the Limited Use (LU) program and Exceptional Access program (EAP). OHIP+ will be first payer where children or youth have coverage under a private drug plan.
Since the announcement, Manulife has been actively engaged in industry discussions with CLHIA and the Ministry of Health, in preparation of the OHIP+ launch. Joint working group meetings are already underway to clarify the list of drugs, understand the patient experience, and validate the integration process.
We support the Ontario government’s initiative to pay for many of the prescription medicines needed by young people in Ontario under the newly proposed plan. The Ministry of Health has been very open to engaging with us to work together to make sure that no youth lose coverage when their program is rolled out.
Manulife is proud to work with more than 11,000 employers to provide prescription drug coverage to more than 5 million Canadians. We are working to ensure that employers and the government understand that, even when the government rolls out its plan, employers should consider the need to continue to offer a plan that provides coverage for medicines not covered by the Ontario plan.
We will continue to provide regular updates as we learn more.