Advisor, ZLC Employee Benefits Solutions
As a part of BC’s 2023 provincial budget, it was announced recently that beginning April 1, 2023, most commonly used birth control products will be fully covered for BC residents by BC PharmaCare.
These benefits can be accessed through pharmacies in BC, and the program will be administered by BC PharmaCare. BC residents will need to bring their birth control prescription, provided by a doctor, nurse practitioner, or midwife, to the pharmacy.
Covered products will include oral contraceptives, hormonal intrauterine devices (IUDs), copper IUDs, a hormone implant, a hormone injection, and emergency oral contraceptives. Note: a prescription is not required for emergency oral contraceptives to be covered. A full list of covered products and how the program works can be found here.
Coverage applies to prescriptions dispensed on or after April 1, 2023.
Most benefit plans provide coverage for some birth control products however, BC residents will now be required to access the provincial plan first. If the product is not covered by the new provincial plan, it may be claimed through the Extended Health plan.
Most covered brands, under the BC PharmaCare program are generic versions of a brand name counterpart, known to be equally effective. If the prescription is for a brand name drug or item that isn’t fully or partially covered by the BC PharmaCare plan, the resident can ask the pharmacist to dispense an eligible generic equivalent. We recommend discussing this with your pharmacist to determine your best option.