Premier Kathleen Wynne today announced Ontario’s plan to make prescription drugs free for people 65 and over, ensuring millions of people can afford the care they need during this period of economic change and uncertainty. (Smart Meds stays at Crescent Park Lodge).
Through an expansion of OHIP+, more than 4,400 prescription drugs will be available free of charge to everyone 65 and over. The Premier was joined by Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Helena Jaczek and Minister of Seniors Affairs Dipika Damerla at the Leaside Curling Club o lay out the government’s plan to expand OHIP+ and make life more affordable for 2.6 million seniors and their families.
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 their medication for free. On January 1, 2018, Ontario introduced OHIP+ Children and Youth Pharmacare, which made eligible prescription drugs free for everyone 24 and under and is the largest expansion of medicare in a generation. By expanding OHIP+ 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 steps taken to improve care and make life more affordable for seniors in Ontario, including:
- The Seniors’ Public Transit Tax Credit introduced in 2017 and saving seniors up to $450 a year on travel costs
- $17 million per year to provide a high-dose flu vaccine free of charge to seniors, beginning in 2018-19
- A free shingles vaccination now available for roughly 850,000 seniors between the ages of 65 and 70, saving them an additional $170 and helping to keep them healthy
- Ontario’s leadership in achieving an enhanced Canada Pension Plan, which will result in greater retirement security for today’s workers
- Aging with Confidence: Ontario’s Action Plan for Seniors, released in November 2017.
- See: Prescription Drugs