Ontario PCs announce plans to change OHIP+ program

Barely 24 hours after Premier Doug Ford took his oath of office, his PC government is already announcing intentions to change the OHIP+ program. 

In a news release, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Christine Elliott, says children and youth who are not covered by private benefits plans will still receive their eligible prescriptions for free. 

However, those covered under private plans will need to bill prescriptions under those plans first, after which the government will cover all remaining eligible costs. 

The release states that the new system would be more efficient, and save taxpayers money while dedicating the resources within the OHIP+ program to those who need it most. 

"We look forward to working with insurance groups to ensure a smooth transition to this updated system," Elliott said in the release. "Premier Ford promised the people he would find efficiencies without compromising service or jobs, and we are delivering."

It also states that private insurance plans can cover thousands more drugs than the 4,400 currently available through OHIP+, which would ultimately give children and youth access to a greater number of medications. 

Elliott does not give a timeline for when these changes would be implemented. However, the release asks that private insurers extend their grace period for some medications, which is currently set to expire on July 1. 

It's also not known if there will be any other changes. 

Currently, the coverage stands for anyone who is under 25.