Premiums that should not have been charged

Authority Health Insurance BC – Medical Services Plan, Ministry of Health

John was concerned that he was being charged for Medical Services Plan (MSP) premiums that he did not think he owed. John understood correctly that while he was receiving income assistance, he was not required to pay MSP premiums. Nevertheless, he was being asked to pay $792 for premiums that were charged while he was on income assistance.

The Ministry of Social Development told John it could not fix the problem, but provided written confirmation that John was receiving income assistance during the period in question. John submitted that information to Health Insurance BC (HIBC) but was not able to resolve the matter. John told us that Service BC staff tried to help and contacted the Ministry of Social Development and HIBC more than once but were unable to identify the organization or the process through which John could try to address his problem.

During our investigation, the Ministry of Health informed us that a protocol was established between HIBC, the Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry of Children and Family Development to resolve problems like the one facing John. In this case, the protocol had not been followed.

After agreeing to review John’s circumstances, the Ministry of Health promptly adjusted his MSP account and eliminated the debt. At our suggestion, the Ministry of Social Development took steps to remind staff of the protocol and the Ministry of Health also agreed to send information about the protocol to Revenue Services of BC, Health Insurance BC, Service BC and the ministries affected by the protocol.

Category Health
Type Case Summary
Fiscal Year 2012
Location Vancouver Island / Sunshine Coast