HALIFAX – Community Services is phasing out its extended pharmacare benefit and new clients can enrol in the Nova Scotia family pharmacare program.
"Supporting low-income Nova Scotians under the family pharmacare program makes sense," said Community Services Minister Joanne Bernard. "It streamlines a much-needed service, makes more efficient use of resources and ensures vulnerable and low-income Nova Scotians continue to have access to affordable prescription drugs."
Only 300 Nova Scotians currently receive benefits through the extended pharmacare program, compared with more than 34,000 individuals enrolled in the provincial family pharmacare program, one of Nova Scotia's largest affordable drug programs.
The department's extended pharmacare program, which has been in place since 2001, was created before the provincial family pharmacare program was established in 2008.
Current extended pharmacare clients will be grandfathered.
"Low-income Nova Scotians who are currently in the extended pharmacare program will not lose any of the benefits they currently receive," said Bernard.
Extended pharmacare allows coverage for low-income individuals who are no longer financially eligible for income assistance, but still struggle to pay their drug costs. The co-payment is $5 per prescription.
"Ensuring access to affordable prescription drugs is our priority," said Bernard. "Low-income Nova Scotians who still have difficulty covering the cost of their drugs can still get help from other programs."
Nova Scotians without drug coverage or facing high drug costs not covered by their insurance can enrol in the Nova Scotia family pharmacare program. There is no premium or fee to join the family pharmacare program. Co-payments are set at 20 per cent of the cost of each prescription and deductible maximums are based on family size and annual income.
For more information on the Nova Scotia Family Pharmacare program visit: http://novascotia.ca/dhw/pharmacare/ .