Making life affordable in BC

The Greens are concerned that the BC government is not doing everything it can to make life affordable for its residents. 

“When we continue to rely on regressive taxes like this, it is easy to see why British Columbia has one of the highest poverty rates in Canada.”
  - Andrew Weaver

MSP (Medical Services Plan) premiums are a regressive tax. In BC, an individual earning $30,000 a year pays the same $72 monthly fee as someone earning $3,000,000 a year.

We encourage you to share your experiences and stories of struggling to make a living, because of regressive and unreasonable burdens on affordability, such as BC's MSP premiums.

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  • Alexis Woytowich
    commented 2016-01-06 10:59:38 -0800
    I was born and raised in BC but moved to the Yukon in 2011 and was pleasantly surprised that medical was free in the Yukon… it should be in Canada.

    2 years ago I moved back to my beloved province as a single mom of 2 children. I was absolutely disgusted that I would be forced to pay $144 per month for medical. Premium assistance was suggested to me but upon looking into it I learned I wouldn’t qualify because I made just over $31,000 per year! $31,000 per year for a family of 3 and I am paying the same as someone making $100,000 or $3,000,000! That makes no sense.

    The premium assistance threshold is a complete joke. I argued with MSP over the phone about how appalling it is and all they could say is “you don’t have to have medical”. Wow!

    I support myself and my children completely on my own by working 2 jobs just to make ends meet and I am still always behind on the MSP. Because of this I regularly get harassing phone calls from some phone number from the USA.

    Our province forces it’s residents who are barely scraping by to pay a high amount for their medical then harasses them endlessly when the cannot afford it!?! Sickening!
  • Erin Junkala
    commented 2015-12-15 22:19:47 -0800
    After moving from Ontario to British Columbia I quickly discovered that I needed to pay for my medical care. At the time I was paying the least amount which was somewhere around $25.00. After claiming Common Law of last year my MSP payments then increased to $72.00 per month.

    Claiming Common Law does not mean that my partner and I share our money. It means that we have lived together for over 6 months. According to MSP this means that because the two of us combined make over X amount of dollars that I am to now pay $72.00 regardless of my own financial situation. This isn’t fair. I recently relocated due to my partners work and am currently on EI. An extra $72.00 a month is a large number when you are making less than what you’re used to making.

    $72.00 a month totals $864.00 yearly. This cost exceeds my budget now let alone when we begin to have a family.

    When you are earning $40,000 a year, saving money to buy a house whilst still enjoying life..$864 for health care seems to be a bit much.

    I hope there is an easier more affordable solution for people like myself in this situation.
  • Jean-Pierre Letnick
    commented 2015-06-11 14:57:30 -0700
    I have been in contact with the CRA for MSP and BC Health Services; both have told me to contact my local MLA about the subject regarding MSP Premiums.

    Here is why I am writing this:

    My wife and I were recently married. Separately she made under $7000 in 2014 and I made under $28,000 in 2014. As individuals under the current MSP premiums, she would pay nothing and I would pay roughly $35 per month.

    Now that we are married, the government combines our incomes and we now pay $130 per month (a $100 increase simply because we got married; doesn’t seem fair does it?).

    This is the same amount that anyone making over $1,000,000 in our province would also pay.

    This again, does not seem fair at all.
  • Claire Lofgren
    commented 2015-05-24 22:03:02 -0700
    I moved my father into my home, due to ineffective care at the residence he was in prior. During the month of April he lived with us, we had 8 visits, they are charging for 30 visits. When I called to discuss (4 calls, 3 people) this discrepancy, I was told that the home care worker doesn’t always write it in the book. I know how many visits there have been as my husband and I work from home, there are only 8 visits. Two things concerned me. One: many elderly individuals mix up time and events, as well as often have lapses in short term memory. Many are alone, many would not think to question the government billing. How many other seniors are being taken advantage of? Second, who is accountable, if the home care staff cannot align themselves with the procedures then the management needs to revise the methods to show accountability to the clients and their families. So one of two things needs to take place, replace the management as they are likely stressed and overworked, overpaid and go with out assistants (to keep the high salary) to help with the work load, leading to errors and poor communication regarding procedures or raise the rates to provide better staffing. The rates are high and the system is heavily burdened on go shoulders of lower and middle class clientele. an evenly distributed system of payment must be put into place or it will fail.
  • Grant Ashlee
    commented 2015-05-22 07:04:23 -0700
    I think the real problem with our tax base is that multi-national corporations are hiding trillions of dollars off-shore to avoid paying taxes. This is criminal and when it comes to funding our healthcare and education system (which is needed for an advanced society) Governments have to tax the middle class and the minute you mention a tax increase you will never get voted in. Here is what happens. Workers in the Healthcare and Education system earn a wage, and to keep pace with inflation governments have to give more funding. Two ways they can do this. 1) When a wage increase is negotiated, the government will make cutbacks in the system to pay for these wage increases or 2) raise taxes. But recall, by mentioning to raise taxes you will not be voted in or for a present government voted out. So the only option is number 1. That is why our system is eroding. If the Government can get there hands on these off shore accounts then I think we all would be in much better shape instead of a select few taking all the money. People should google Harold Crooks and watch his documentary of the real problem. The program starts off with a caption “The French Revolution was 225 years ago and we are right back to square one”. Take a look at gas prices. Barrel of oil $140 cost of 1 litre of gas $1.45. Barrel of oil $50 cost of 1 litre of gas $1.28. It seems the gas went up proportional to the cost of a barrel of oil, but it sure did not go down proportionally. Just an example of how Corporations take your money and not contribute back.
  • Quinn Woos
    commented 2015-05-21 12:01:03 -0700
  • Travis Lien
    commented 2015-05-16 11:32:54 -0700
    My daughter made $17,200.00 last year, she got an invoice for MSP of $1200.00. The provincial collection agency kept her tax return before she could supply her audited tax return as it only comes with your tax return. She had called and was advised the service would wait until she could send it audited tax form, but they grabbed her tax refund anyway.
  • Olga Bond
    commented 2015-03-20 10:18:12 -0700
    Does any one knows when the laws are going to change to protect tenenats against “RENOVICTIONS”. Ontario has a better law to protect them against “RENOVICTIONS”. What is the green party position on this issue?,
  • Geri-Lynn Rempel
    commented 2015-02-26 17:55:38 -0800
  • Tania Birkeland
    posted about this on Facebook 2015-02-19 13:40:52 -0800
    #MSP premiums are an unreasonable burden, esp. for those with low and fix incomes. Share your story here. #bcpoli
  • Tania Birkeland
    commented 2015-02-19 13:40:24 -0800
    I believe it is completely wrong that those with money get tax breaks and those without money struggle just to put Basic food in the fridge! Low and average income households NEED a break! Not Only on MSP premiums but on the taxes taken off our wages as well!! With a break on Income tax as well we would be able to purchase Necessities that we are currently going without and we would still be giving the government money thru the GST and PST! THAT IS TRULY ALL WE CAN AFFORD!!! The depression and loss of work and Divorce caused by financial instability costs the populous much more than what they get from the tax they are taking from low and average incomed households!!! Eliminating these burdens, income tax and MSP, on low and average income households would actually generate More revenue for the government to utilize in more positive ways! Working Together to build Each Other up results in Better Living for ALL!!

    My opinion from My Life Experiences!

    Thank you for this opportunity to be heard!

    Tania Fehr a.k.a. Tania Birkeland
  • Arnold Porter
    commented 2015-02-18 06:32:29 -0800
    A good petition to sign!
  • Leslie Waters
    posted about this on Facebook 2015-02-17 22:52:20 -0800
    #MSP premiums are an unreasonable burden, esp. for those with low and fix incomes. Share your story here. #bcpoli
  • Leslie Waters
    commented 2015-02-17 22:51:31 -0800
  • Isabell Diederichs
    posted about this on Facebook 2015-02-17 22:22:41 -0800
    #MSP premiums are an unreasonable burden, esp. for those with low and fix incomes. Share your story here. #bcpoli
  • Isabell Diederichs
    commented 2015-02-17 22:22:00 -0800
    I recently have gone through 2 miscarriages, and during my second I had to go for blood work. About a month later I got a $400 something dollar bill from Interior Health. When I called to inquire about it they said that my Medical had been cut off due to me being “out of the country”. I have been back in the country for nearly 2 years, and have been paying every since. When I called MSP to inquire about it I was on hold for 3 hours, just to be told that there computer system was down but they would up date my profile as soon as it was back up. I found out a month later that they still had not fixed it and I could not go to my doctors appointment unless I wanted to pay once again.

    They eventually fixed their mistake but refuse to pay the $400 something doctors bill I have.
  • Robert Hauck
    commented 2015-02-17 21:36:25 -0800
  • Marilyn McClelland
    commented 2015-02-10 02:54:30 -0800
    Food, heat or MSP payments?
  • Marilyn McClelland
    commented 2015-02-09 18:34:27 -0800
    Retired and on a fixed income and barely into the range to pay monthly $25.60 MSP premiums. It is a huge drain each month especially as I have not used any doctors fees, bought prescriptions or in any way benefited ever, and particularly for the last 6 years or more.
  • kazimir nowlin
    followed this page 2015-02-09 11:24:04 -0800
  • paul dore
    commented 2015-02-08 09:37:18 -0800
    The green party is proving itself more productive than the NDP
  • Kevin Lescorbeau
    commented 2015-02-05 09:11:47 -0800
    I have a family of 3 I am the only provider and my wages care being garnished 30 percent because I cant afford to pay. Makes sense
  • Karin Boisclair-Joly
    commented 2015-02-04 19:28:02 -0800
  • Jennifer Gait
    followed this page 2015-02-04 15:44:24 -0800
  • Bruce deGrosbois
    commented 2015-02-04 15:18:10 -0800
    Hello, the email that links to this page has an error in the link. it actually links to http://affordable_living which obviously doesn’t exist.
  • Paul Gedge
    commented 2015-02-04 14:08:24 -0800
  • Magdalena Affolter
    commented 2015-02-04 13:57:23 -0800
  • Ann Senae
    commented 2015-02-04 13:55:09 -0800
  • Rhoda F. Taylor
    commented 2015-01-29 15:50:23 -0800
  • Rhoda F. Taylor
    commented 2015-01-29 15:50:22 -0800