Over Half a Million Children and Youth Have Already Benefitted from Access to Free Prescription Medication
Since January 1, more than 950,000 prescriptions have been filled for children and youth for free through OHIP+, the largest expansion to medicare in Ontario in a generation.
Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, was joined by Ottawa MPPs John Fraser, Bob Chiarelli, Marie-France Lalonde, Yasir Naqvi and Nathalie Des Rosiers today at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa to mark this important milestone and ensure local families are aware of the program.
Ontario is the first province to provide free drug coverage to all children and youth 24 years of age and younger. Since the program began on January 1, 522,158 young people and their families have already benefited from having access to free prescription medications.
Through OHIP+, more than 4,400 prescription drugs are covered, including asthma inhalers, drugs to treat depression, anxiety, epilepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, antibiotics, insulin, diabetes test strips, birth control and many others.
All people have to do is present their Ontario health card number and a valid prescription for an eligible medication at an Ontario pharmacy to receive free drug coverage through OHIP+.
Ontario’s plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
- Ontario is the first province to provide prescription medication coverage at no cost for children and youth age 24 years and under. Enrolment is automatic and there is no annual deductible or co-payment.
- OHIP+ covers prescription medications listed on the Ontario Drug Benefit Formulary and additional medications eligible for funding through the Exceptional Access Program if an individual qualifies and it is prescribed by a doctor or nurse practitioner.
- Ontario’s online search tool helps people quickly and easily search through a list of more than 4,400 publicly funded medications and other drug products.
- Over 64,000 prescriptions have been filled in the Ottawa region since OHIP+ launched on January 1, 2018.
- Talk to your family doctor or nurse practitioner about how OHIP+ can benefit your family.
- For any questions about OHIP+ or Exceptional Access Program (EAP) applications, please email OHIPplus@Ontario.ca or call 1-866-811-9893 or 416-327-8109 in Toronto.
“A month in, over half a million children and youth have already benefited from free prescription drug coverage in Ontario. OHIP+ has not only improved the health and lives of young people, but it has also helped lift the financial burden off families. We want everyone in Ontario to feel this kind of freedom, so they can make better choices and increase the quality of life for themselves and their families. This is a significant first step towards our vision of universal pharmacare that will help bring free drug coverage to everyone.”
— Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
“At CHEO, like other child and youth health centres in Ontario, we support the goal of OHIP+ to provide better coverage for so many medications necessary to give every child their best life. No family should have to choose between paying for their kid’s medications and paying for food or rent.”
— Alex Munter, President and Chief Executive Officer, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario
“Our government’s new universal drug program, OHIP+, provides access to lifesaving prescription drugs, treating acute conditions, common chronic illnesses and childhood cancers. This program ensures all children and youth age 24 and under across Ontario have the medication they need to live healthy and fulfilling lives. No co-pay, no deductible, just present your health card and a prescription and get your medication.”
— John Fraser , Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care