Pharmacare deductible rate remains frozen in Manitoba

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The Manitoba government announced on Wednesday that it’s keeping the pharmacare deductible rate frozen for the second consecutive year.

Health Minister Heather Stefanson made the announcement in a news release, saying this measure will help Manitobans dealing with the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our government has implemented a number of measures to help Manitoba families while we deal with the pandemic as a province,” the minister said.

“For the second year in a row, the rates used to calculate pharmacare deductibles will remain at 2019-20 levels to assist Manitobans in response to COVID-19.”

The new deductible rates usually take effect on April 1, which is the same time deductibles are issued.

On April 1, 2021, there will be no change to the rates used to calculate the deductibles. 

However, the 2021/22 deductibles are based on a family’s 2019 income, and the 2020/21 deductible was based on 2018 income. Therefore, the province said if a family’s income changed between 2018 and 2019, then their deductible might also change.

The Manitoba Pharmacare Program is a drug benefit program available for eligible Manitobans whose incomes are affected by high prescription drug costs. 

The province noted that coverage is based on the total family income and the amount paid for eligible prescription drugs. Every year, eligible Manitobans have to pay part of the cost for the eligible prescription drugs that they need covered. This is considered the annual pharmacare deductible.