The Canadian Taxpayers Federation says more than 300,000 British Columbians are late paying their MSP premiums, and the amount owed is shocking.
B.C. director Jordan Bateman says the numbers were obtained through a Freedom of Information request.
“These are people who the bill comes — they have had four months essentially to pay it — but they are still past due and owe about $400 million. If you take everyone who is more than a month past due, you are talking about nearly half a billion dollars, and nearly a million people.”
The province says the number is closer to 390,000 people, as some “past due” accounts are counted in multiple categories.
Bateman says this doesn’t include 800,000 low income earners who are exempt from MSP.
He adds he understands the province is paying in excess of $100 million annually to collect the premiums.
His group has called for the payment system to be reviewed.
“British Columbians aren’t stupid. We know health care isn’t free. This is not a user fee in any way. It doesn’t make sense that someone making $35,000 a year pays the same MSP as someone making $350,000 a year.”