Free Prescription Medication for Children and Youth Through OHIP+
New Universal Drug Program Making Life More Affordable for Families in Northern Ontario
Premier Kathleen Wynne was at the NEO Kids Wing at Health Sciences North in Sudbury today to discuss how Ontario's new OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare Program will help children and youth and make life more affordable for families in Northern Ontario.
As part of the 2017 Budget, Ontario is making prescription medications free for everyone with OHIP coverage 24 years of age and younger, regardless of family income. Coverage will be automatic, with no upfront costs.
Beginning on January 1, 2018, the program will provide free prescription medications for more than four million children and young people, helping families who may not have access to comprehensive drug benefit plans.
Beyond the most common prescriptions, OHIP+ will give children and young people access to more than 4,400 drugs reimbursed under the Ontario Drug Benefit Program, including medications funded through the Exceptional Access Program, at no cost. Medications that will be covered include asthma inhalers, antibiotics, drugs to treat depression, anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and oral contraceptives.
Ontario's drug funding program is already one of the country's most generous, helping to pay for prescription medications for seniors, people with high drug costs and other vulnerable populations. Ontario is investing $465 million to expand coverage through OHIP+.
Making prescription medications more affordable for young people and families is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.
- As part of the 2017 Budget, Ontario is investing an additional $7 billion in health care over the next three years.
- Each of Ontario’s 145 public hospitals will receive a minimum two per cent increase in funding in 2017–18.
- As part of Ontario’s First Nations Health Action Plan, Ontario is investing nearly $222 million over three years — followed by $104.5 million to ensure that Indigenous people have access to more culturally appropriate care and improved outcomes.
- Ontario is investing an additional $10 million in the Northern Health Travel Grant Program. It helps patients with costs associated with receiving care outside their communities.
“As the cost of living continues to rise, and as more jobs move away from comprehensive health benefit plans, we are doing our part to provide more stability in people’s lives. As the first Canadian province to provide free prescription drugs for children and youth, we are making sure that families have access to the health care they need, when and where they need it — no matter where they live in Ontario.”
“Ontario is the first Canadian province to introduce universal pharmacare for children and youth. Through OHIP+, we are making health care more affordable for families and providing access to prescription medications that will help millions of young people grow healthy and strong.”
“I’m thrilled that children and young adults in Sudbury and across Ontario will have free access to prescription medication through OHIP+. This is great news for families in our community, who may be struggling to cover the costs of drugs used to treat a chronic condition like asthma, a mental illness, cancer or a rare disease. This program demonstrates our government’s commitment to helping people through a changing economy and building a fairer Ontario.”