Prescription drug insurance : New increase, same tax inequity
In response to the Government of Quebec increasing the rates for individuals enrolled in the Public Prescription Drug Insurance Plan (PPDIP), Réseau FADOQ is advocating for fairer tax rates for beneficiaries of the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS).
The recent increase to the PPDIP shines a light on the current inequities with the contribution scale. Réseau FADOQ previously criticized the plan in June 2019 because it creates a two-tier system in which seniors, who receive 94% to 100% of the GIS, are covered free of charge while other beneficiaries must pay $657.96 per year.
“Why is there such a big difference between someone who receives 93% of the GIS and someone who receives 94%?” asks Réseau FADOQ president Gisèle Tassé-Goodman. “When we take into account the fact that GIS income is stagnating and that the monthly contribution for prescription drugs is increasing, it’s clear that this mismatch reduces the purchasing power of people age 65 and over, who use more medications than other age groups.”
Réseau FADOQ is asking Québec to change the contribution scale so that the deductible increases gradually based on the percentage of the GIS the person receives. This request is very important—the PPDIP insures almost all Quebecers age 65 and over, according to data provided by Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec.
During the special consultations for Bill 31, then Minister of Health and Social Services Danielle McCann stated that her department would review the request. Will her successor, Christian Dubé, respond to our demand, which affects disadvantaged people in our society? One thing’s for sure—Réseau FADOQ will be keeping a close eye on the situation.