Friday, February 22, 2013

Basic medical coverage extended for absent snowbirds

B.C. residents who holiday out of the province will be able to stay away an additional 30-day longer without losing their basic medical coverage, Health Minister Margaret MacDiarmid said Wednesday.

“There are many British Columbia seniors who enjoy winters away each year, and this change makes it possible to allow them some extra time away without worrying about losing their MSP coverage,” said Ralph Sultan, minister of state for seniors, in a statement.

The proposed amendment to the Medicare Protection Act would permit an additional 30-day absence — if the time out of the province is used for vacation.


The move aligns B.C. with Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador in allowing residents to maintain their medical coverage while out of the province for more than six months.


The Canadian Snowbird Association welcomed the move and said it would let B.C.’s estimated 144,000 snowbirds travel south during the cold months without fear of losing their medical coverage.



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