We recently received the following correspondence issued by College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia on behalf of the Ministry of Health, outlining a program that will affect all British Columbians.
The BC Services Card
On February 15, 2013, the provincial government will introduce the BC Services Card, which will be phased in over a five-year period. The new card replaces the current CareCard. The new card can be combined with a driver’s licence and also serves as government-issued identification. All BC Services Cards will have an expiry date, enhanced security features and most will have a photograph, which will help to improve patient safety and reduce card misuse.
The BC Services Card will be delivered as an integrated program of the Ministry of Citizens’ Services and Open Government, the Ministry of Health, and the Insurance Corporation of BC. In future, additional in-person and online government programs and services will be accessed through the BC Services Card.
The Ministry of Health is pleased to announce that the Medical Services Plan is the first program available through the new card. With this change, and beginning February 15, 2013, most adult BC residents will be required to renew their enrollment in the Medical Services Plan by 2018. Once enrollment has been successfully renewed, individuals will be issued a BC Services Card.
New regulations will also come into effect for health care providers, including the duty to verify patients’ enrollment in Medical Services Plan and the duty to report Medical Services Plan misuse.
Visit: health.gov.bc.ca/msp/infoprac/index.html to access the following resources:
- A BC Services Card ID fact sheet for health care providers with images of the card;
- A set of questions and answers;
- A multimedia eLearning tool for self-serve information on the BC Services Card program; and,
- Technical readiness information for those who use, or plan to use, a card reading device to capture information from the magnetic stripe or 2D barcode on the CareCard and BC Services Card.
Starting in January 2013, a public communications campaign will be launched to inform BC residents about the BC Services Card and the changes to the Medical Services Plan. Kits with posters, brochures and other communications materials will be delivered to health providers and other locations in communities across the province.
In addition, the Ministry of Health and partners have been engaging with stakeholders to inform them about the upcoming launch of the BC Services Card. These important meetings and presentations will continue through the initial phase of the launch.