Free Prescription Drugs Coming for Even More People in Halton
Prescription drugs are already free for people aged 24 and under, and now, even more Haltonites will soon be able to reap the savings of free medication.
The province recently announced that prescription drugs will officially be free for anyone aged 65 and over starting August 1, 2019.
It’s true, the province is expanding OHIP+ to cover seniors as well as youth.
Hopefully, you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that if you have to purchase drugs, they'll be a little cheaper in the near future.
More than 2.6 million seniors and their families will be affected by this major change across the province, as more than 4,400 prescription drugs will be available free of charge to everyone 65 and over.
According to the province, seniors will save an average of $240 per year through this development.
“Currently, everyone 65 and over is eligible for prescription drug coverage through the Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) program, which requires seniors to pay deductibles and co-payments based on their income and other factors,” said the province in a recent statement. “Under the ODB, seniors are paying an average of $240 a year out of pocket for their medications.”
So, this expansion will ultimately get rid of the ODB’s deductible and co-payments for seniors, says the province.
Seniors are actually Ontario’s fastest-growing age group, so it’s an exciting time for a large chunk of the population.
“By 2041, it is projected that 25 per cent of Ontario's population will be 65 years or older, almost doubling from 2016 to 4.6 million seniors,” said the province.
Premier Kathleen Wynne weighed in on the big announcement:
"The costs of health care can cause anxiety and stress, especially for people 65 and over who are living on fixed incomes and are often required to take multiple medications,” said Wynne.
“We all want the best care for our parents and grandparents, and I believe government needs to do more. Providing prescription drugs at no cost for millions of seniors is going to make life more affordable and help seniors stay healthy and independent. It is the right thing to do for seniors and their families. With nearly one in two people now to receive free prescriptions, we are that much closer to the universal pharmacare program that people need. We are leading Canada forward. And we can't turn back now."
This program will cover commonly prescribed drugs for seniors such as medications for cholesterol, hypertension, thyroid conditions, diabetes, and asthma.