Canadian Tax and
Financial Information
BC PharmaCare

Ads keep this website free for you. does not research or endorse any product or service appearing in ads on this site.  Before making a major financial decision you  should consult a qualified professional.

Looking for US tax information?

Need an accounting, tax or financial advisor? Look in our Directory.      Stay Connected with!

What's New
Personal Tax
Sales Taxes
Free in 30!
Financial Planning
Real Estate
Stocks Bonds etc.
British Columbia
Atlantic Provinces
Federal Budget
Provincial Budgets
Statistics etc.
Site Map
Advertise With Us
Contact Us/About Us
Links & Resources

Tax Rates/Credits -> BC Tax -> PharmaCare

BC PharmaCare Program

Under the BC PharmaCare program, prescription costs and some medical supplies are subsidized.  The amount of the subsidy depends on family net income, and seniors born in 1939 or earlier, or couples with one born in 1939 or earlier, get a higher subsidy.  It is necessary to register for PharmaCare in order to receive benefits.

Every BC resident should register, even if at present you won't receive a benefit, because if your income drops or your prescription costs go up, you will already be covered.

With PharmaCare, each family has a "deductible" amount which is based on family net income.  For 2018, the deductible would be based on 2016 family net income.

Example:  Family with 2016 net income of $26,000:

In 2018, once the family has paid $500 for prescriptions (excluding costs in excess of the allowed PharmaCare amount for each prescription drug), PharmaCare will pay 70% of prescription costs.

Once the family's prescription costs reach the maximum $750, PharmaCare then pays 100% of the eligible costs for the rest of the year.

If at least one spouse is born in 1939 or earlier, the annual deductible is zero until family net income exceeds $33,000.  With family income of $26,000,  PharmaCare pays 75% until the family maximum of $300 is reached, and then 100% of eligible costs are paid by PharmaCare for the rest of the year.

Most pharmacies charge more than the eligible cost for prescription drugs, but there can be a big difference in the price between pharmacies.  See our article Prescription Prices are not Equal!

For information on the PharmaCare program, see the following:

bulletPharmaCare program - main information page, with link for online registration.
bullet Fair PharmaCare coverage - how your coverage is calculated
bulletTables showing Fair PharmaCare deductibles and annual maximums based on family net income:
bulletRegular Fair PharmaCare Assistance (pdf)
bulletFair PharmaCare Assistance - for families with one spouse born in 1939 or earlier - this was changed around 2006 so that this extra assistance is being phased out.
bulletDrug Plan Regulation
bulletFair PharmaCare calculator - estimate the financial assistance you will receive from PharmaCare.
bulletPharmaCare Formulary Search - find out which drugs are covered by PharmaCare.

Tip:  Register for PharmaCare to ensure you do not miss out on benefits!

Revised: December 29, 2017

Copyright © 2002 Boat Harbour Investments Ltd. All Rights Reserved.  See Reproduction of information from

Facebook  | Twitter  |  Google + |  Monthly Newsletter Sign-up  What’s New E-mail Notification RSS News Feed
The information on this site is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice.  Each person's situation differs, and a professional advisor can assist you in using the information on this web site to your best advantage. 
Please see our legal disclaimer regarding the use of information on our site, and our Privacy Policy regarding information that may be collected from visitors to our site.