In Quebec, prescription drug insurance is mandatory. Residents that do not have this type of group insurance coverage through an employer, union, association or spouse must enroll in RAMQ’s public prescription drug insurance plan. The rates in effect for the Public Prescription Drug Insurance Plan are adjusted annually on July 1st.
This year’s rates (from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019)
The maximum annual contribution payable to Revenu Québec in the tax return has decreased by 7.7% from $667 to $616 per person (based on net family income). This is only the second time premiums have been reduced since RAMQ introduced the public drug plan in 1997. Gaétan Barrette, Minister of Health and Social Services cites recent agreements with drug manufacturers and the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association (CGPA) as the catalyst for the decrease.
Persons covered by the public plan also share in the cost of their prescriptions at time of purchase:
- The monthly deductible has increased from $19.45 to $19.90
- The co-insurance has increased from 34.8% to 34.9%
- The maximum monthly contribution has increased from $88.83 to $90.58 (for persons age 65 or over who receive 1% to 93% of the Guaranteed Income Supplement, the maximum monthly contribution increased from $52.65 to $53.16)
Certain persons are covered free of charge:
- Children of persons covered under the public plan that are under 18 years or age or full-time students under age 26
- Persons with a functional impairment that occurred before age 18
- Holders of a valid claim slip
- Persons age 65 and over who receive 94% to 100% of the Guaranteed Income Supplement.
Follow the link to view RAMQ’s brochure for members covered under the public prescription drug insurance plan.
What this means for employers that sponsor a private prescription drug insurance plan
Employers that sponsor a group insurance plan are required to offer coverage that is at least as generous as RAMQ’s public coverage. This applies to the list of eligible prescription drugs, deductible, coinsurance and maximum contribution. Insurers manage the maximum contribution on an annual basis which represents $1,087 this year (vs $1,066 last year). Employers are not required to take any particular action following this change.