BY MELISSA HORTON
If you’re under the age of 25 and have prescriptions, the Ontario Health Insurance Plan+ (OHIP+) may have you covered.
As of Jan 1, more than 4,400 prescription drugs will be free to Ontarians under the age of 25. Children and young adults will no longer have to rely on their parents’ coverage or private insurance to pay for their prescriptions. Now, it can all be done through OHIP+ regardless of family income or an insurance plan.
According to the Ontario government website, some of the prescriptions covered include antibiotics, medications for mental health conditions and birth control pills as well as some childhood cancer-treating drugs.
The system is virtually stress-free. All you have to do is present a prescription from your doctor and your OHIP+ card at the pharmacy to receive your free prescription. There are no co-payments or deductibles of any kind, meaning no cash will ever exchange hands. It is entirely free.
The idea was proposed in April 2017 during the province’s budget meeting. The move was designed to encourage other provinces to follow in Ontario’s footsteps toward helping relieve some of the financial stress on young people and parents through broader pharmacare coverage.
Zach Mumford, a second-year broadcast television student at Conestoga College, said, “I think it would be a good thing to have access to those drugs as long as it won’t have any long-term repercussions. But if it shows the government is leaning towards more subsidization of health benefits then I’m all for it.”
Students and their parents alike will now have the constant fees of prescription medication off of their shoulders with this new plan. Even though not all prescriptions are covered, the coverage is fairly broad.
Students are not only relieved about the coverage but also about the benefits for their parents.
“I think it’s pretty good. Now parents don’t have to pay for their children’s prescriptions,” said Jason Aissa, a second-year journalism broadcast student.
For more information on what medications are covered, go to the government website at www.ontario.ca.