With an election in the wings, the B.C. government is putting aside millions of dollars to promote its new MSP rate cut, billed as “putting money back in back in your pocket.”
The Minister responsible for the government advertising budget, Andrew Wilkinsons says $1.8-million is being allocated to ads for the new MSP rate.
“[It’s] to advertise and convey and communicate the fact that the MSP reductions are something that will require registration by many people who are paying it,” he says.
Wilkenson says the campaign is needed to ensure that British Columbians are aware of all of the details of the program.
“It’s also an opportunity to get out the message to people, those that have their premiums paid by their employer need to have a conversation with their employers as to how that is going to pan out.”
Wilkinson says of the total $14.8-million government advertising budget, $1.1-million is new money added to cover the costs of advertising the rate cut announced yesterday.
Meanwhile, B.C.’s Finance Minister says no matter who pays your MSP fees you will still benefit from the rate cut.
About half of the two-million people eligible for the new rate currently have employers that are paying their MSP fees.
Mike de Jong says there are provisions in many contracts for situations like this, such as in the case of the BCGEU.
“[Their contract] has specific language where if the employer benefits by a change like this that they need to pass it on so that’s one example of contractual language. It likely doesn’t exist in the same way everywhere.”
de Jong says others will see a decrease in what they pay on a taxable benefit.
How you are registered for the program will also depend on your employer.
“In some cases, group plans may want to register on behalf of the employees. In other cases, employees themselves register individually,” he says.
The 50 per cent rate cut kicks in next January for households making less than $120,000 a year.