Medical Services Plan

What is the Medical Services Plan (MSP)?

Under the Medicare Protection Act, enrolment with the Medical Services Plan (MSP) is mandatory for all eligible BC residents and their dependents. (Please note: The Medical Services Plan is separate and distinct from the OC Group Health Benefits Plan.)

Each BC resident enrolled with the Medical Services Plan (MSP) is given a CareCard with a unique lifetime identifier for health care called a personal health number (PHN). This number remains the same, regardless of any changes to personal status. It is recommended that you carry your CareCard at all times, to have it available to be presented whenever you need health care services. However, if you do not have your card with you, your physician or other health care provider can verify that you are enrolled with MSP.

I am new to BC – when will my MSP coverage begin?

It is recommended that an employee apply for MSP coverage immediately after arriving in BC. New residents or persons re-establishing residence in BC are eligible for coverage after completing a waiting period that normally consists of the balance of the month of arrival plus two months. Please note: If absences from Canada exceed a total of 30 days during the waiting period, eligibility for coverage may be affected.

Will I have medical coverage during the waiting period?

New residents from other parts of Canada are recommended to maintain coverage with their former medical plan during the waiting period. (i.e. OHIP for residents from Ontario).  New or returning residents arriving from outside Canada are advised to explore available options for coverage during the waiting period. 

What is the cost of premiums for MSP coverage?

For continuing and regular employees at OC, the cost of premiums for MSP coverage is paid by OC.  MSP is a taxable benefit, however, and employees will be taxed on the value of their MSP premium.  Individuals who are not covered by OC can obtain information about the cost of premiums and payment options through the MSP website.

Where can I get MSP enrolment or change forms?

Most MSP forms required by OC employees can be found on My Okanagan (Application for Group enrollment, Group Change form).  For those who are covering themselves, the MSP website contains all of the forms you will need for applying for or changing your coverage.

How can I obtain additional information about the Medical Services Plan?

Additional information about the Medical Services Plan and eligibility is available on Health Insurance BC website.


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