Back in April I mentioned a Huffington Post article about a woman here in BC who had to give birth in a hotel here rather than in hospital because she was not yet eligible for provincial health services.
Since that time I have learned that in fact this really wasn’t the case and that in fact BC really is quite generous when it comes to granting medical care to those with PR applications in process. Since I found this to be useful information, I’m going to capture it here as well in hopes that it will be useful to others in the future.
Bottom line: the spouse of a BC resident living with that resident in BC is normally eligible for coverage as well according to documents on the BC MSP website:
Most immigration documents, when submitted with the required MSP form, provide sufficient information for MSP to determine whether a person qualifies for benefits. There are circumstances, however, where additional documentation is required. If, for example, a spouse/child has visitor status in Canada and his/her papers do not state “Case Type 17” or provide any other indication that permanent resident status has been applied for, the MSP form should be submitted with copies of as many of the following as possible:
- a photocopy of any immigration document he/she may hold
- any relevant letters issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)
- proof that the application fee for permanent resident status has been paid to CIC online or through a financial institution
- the identity page of the spouse/child’s passport and any other pages stamped by CIC or the Canada Border Services Agency
- a copy of the spouse/child’s birth certificate if he/she is a United States citizen.
- pages one and two from the CIC e-Client Applications Status website (www.cic.gc.ca) showingthe receipt date of the application. (On that website, click on Check Application Status.)
The above helps confirm that CIC considers the person to be an applicant for permanent resident status, and helps MSP determine when, if appropriate, coverage should begin.
Thus, it would seem that had that woman submitted evidence they had submitted the application (payment receipt, evidence that it was received in Vegreville, AB) she likely would have been eligible. Instead, the original point of the article was that she wouldn’t qualify until such time as she was granted AIP (initial approval).
I’d been looking at this recently in any case, because of the opt-out provision of the BC provincial plan (as far as I can tell, only BC and Alberta have such a provision, although hopefully if there are other options for other provinces someone will tell me and I can update this information). For me that was important because it demonstrated one possible way out of the excessive demand argument and indeed, had there been [b]any hint[/b] from the visa officer that no amount of insurance would overcome the BC policy, I would have offered to opt-out. All I received was a generic form letter – and the only text in the medical officer’s opinion that deviated from the standard language that provides no insight into the rationale of the officer was “This applicant’s medical condition is likely to require treatment that is expensive and publicly funded in B.C. Although he has private insurance, antiretroviral medications are covered 100% by the provincial drug plan in the province of British Columbia with no payment from private insurance.”
Previously, this same medical officer (in a different case, with the same medical condition): “Admissibility is dependent on the visa officer determining if the clients will have access to private or employer based insurance”.
Thus my point – I’ve investigated insurance alternatives. It’s not easy to [b]get[/b] insurance with a pre-existing condition but it isn’t impossible – there are actually brokers who deal with that sort of thing (albeit with restrictions).
Of course, now that’s a moot point – CIC didn’t communicate clearly, so there was no effective way for me to respond back to them.
- Provinces seal generic drug deal as Alberta-B.C. pipeline brawl overshadows premiers conference (news.nationalpost.com)
- U.S. mom in B.C. wins right to work in Canada (cbc.ca)
- Man with HIV wins new immigration hearing over ability to pay for anti-retroviral drugs (news.nationalpost.com)
- CANADA. Conditional permanent residence proposal to discourage marriage fraud (bravocpas.typepad.com)
- Common Law, Taxes and Immigration in Canada without SIN (ask.metafilter.com)
- Immigration officer admits scam (lfpress.com)
- Access to care for B.C. seniors shrinking as their numbers grow (theprovince.com)
- Vancouver Coastal Health & Providence Health Care aim to change the course of “HIVstory” (sacbee.com)