OHIP + for those under 24 and a new minimum wage - good legislation and and election gambit?

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

January 12th, 2018



The fact that there is a provincial election months away does change the level of information sent out by the different ministries – that however should not take away from the really good programs that are being introduced.

The province created OHIP + the biggest expansion to Medicare in a generation by providing drug coverage to over four million children and youth.

ohipplusIn only 11 days into the New Year, more than 220,000 young people age 24 years and under have had their prescriptions filled at no cost through OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare.

More than 350,000 prescriptions have been filled to date under OHIP+ and the numbers continue to grow, making a real difference in the lives of people and families across the province.

Free drug celebration Queens ParkUnder OHIP+, more than 4,400 medications are covered, including asthma inhalers, drugs to treat depression, anxiety, epilepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, antibiotics, epinephrine auto-injectors like EpiPens, insulin, diabetes test strips, oral contraceptives, some medications to treat childhood cancers and other rare conditions, and many others.

All people need to do is present their Ontario health card number along with a valid prescription for an eligible medication at an Ontario pharmacy and the medicine will be provided free of charge.

The introduction of a significant increase in the minimum wage has created a controversy that has put what people who are on the lower end of the income spectrum on the table.

One can argue, fairly, that this should have been done years ago and that the increase should have been more gradually. That should not however detract from the fact that the wage has been increased and that those funds will work themselves into the economy.

All facts to be kept in mind as we move into a phase of the provincial election where positions will begin to be taken.

Time to pay attention.

There is a search tool on the province’s web site that helps people learn just which drugs are covered. You might find that useful.

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3 comments to OHIP + for those under 24 and a new minimum wage – good legislation and and election gambit?

  • Brian Roach

    Once again, bad policy decision to get votes. There were already so many people that have drug coverage through their own insurance policies. I understand wanting to pay for people who can’t get coverage, but why are we paying for people that already had it (I think the figure is close to 57% of people under 25 were already covered under a private plan).

    You’re also going to find now that many employers will drop benefits altogether for people under 25 OR they will only cover the 4400 prescriptions that they deem medically necessary, not the many more that they had covered under their private plans.

    The commercials sound great “we’re providing you all these drugs free!” Only thing is, they don’t understand what ‘free’ is. By expanding a giant bureaucracy and taxing everybody to pay for drugs that were already paid for, this will be far from ‘free’.

  • Stephen White

    I don’t dispute that providing drug coverage is a worthwhile initiative. However, what about all the citizens who are on life-saving drugs that cost a fortune and are not covered under the Ministry of Health’s drug formulary or private health care? Where is the support for these individuals?

    It seems every week I’m hearing about citizens with medical conditions and the cost of their medication is astronomical. These drug costs can literally bankrupt a family. Where is their support?

  • D.Duck

    Who would want or trust a gov’t that only passes these descent policy just months prior to an election so they can influence the election’s outcome. Would they have done this if the pre-election polls said they were way ahead of the other two parties…………I think not. This is an election ploy at its worst because individuals are being manipulated for the egos of the political power elite.

    Trust is earned by behaviour and action.

    In the last 4years the Liberals have increased minimum wage by only 10cents a year and the three prior to that it was kept at zero. This will cost jobs which will not be offset by the slightly increased tax revenue from the $14 dollar per hour jobs.

    As for the OHIP+, it too is long over due. Though again done only for political gains. Tax payers will have to pick up the tab while private drug benefit companies will increase their bottom line from premiums without providing the cost of the medical outlay for individuals under 24yo. Not all drugs are covered, and many will be generic with poor quality control as has already been documented. But still, something that should have been slowly introduced by this gov’t over the last decade of power.

    Wynne must truly belief that we are a stupid and that is the cruz, she may be correct.

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