News release

Lower Seniors' Pharmacare Co-pays Begin April 1

Changes to the Seniors’ Pharmacare program mean Nova Scotians enrolled in the program will soon pay less each time they pick up a prescription.

Starting April 1, Seniors' Pharmacare members will start paying a 20 per cent co-payment for each prescription, down from 30 per cent, to a maximum co-pay of $382 a year.

The changes also mean that seniors with lower incomes are no longer expected to pay the same premiums as those with higher incomes. This change is a fair approach and consistent with the way rates are set for many other programs. Most members will pay the same premium or less than they do now.

"Because of our government's changes, 12,000 seniors who previously paid a premium won't pay one this year," said Health and Wellness Minister Leo Glavine. "Our changes also mean that 29,000 seniors will pay a reduced premium."

"This is good news for low to moderate income seniors," said Anne Corbin, executive director, Community Links, a provincial organization that promotes quality of life for Nova Scotia seniors. "Basing premiums on income is a more equitable funding approach, and reducing the prescription co-pay should help those on fixed incomes to manage their costs."

"We made these changes because a senior earning more than $100,000 a year should not pay the same premium as someone earning only $24,000," said Mr. Glavine.

In the weeks ahead, Pharmacare members and Nova Scotians approaching age 65 will start to receive information packages about the program.

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Starting April 1st, Seniors' Pharmacare members will see lower co-pays at the pharmacy counter.

The co-pay for all Pharmacare members will be reduced to 20 per cent of the cost of each prescription, down from 30 per cent.

Health and Wellness Minister Leo Glavine says these changes will help the government to maintain benefits for those with the greatest need while keeping the program affordable for taxpayers.

Premiums will now be tied to income. Close to 47-thousand- 500 low-income seniors will not pay any premium.

For more information, visit w-w-w- DOT n-s pharmacare DOT c-a .


Media Contact:

Tony Kiritsis
902-424-0585 Email:
  • About 12,000 seniors who paid a premium in 2015 will not pay a premium in 2016
  • An estimated 47,500 seniors will be exempt from premiums and about 29,000 seniors will qualify for a reduced annual premium.
  • Premiums for single seniors: Income below $22,986: will not pay any premium Earning $22,986 to $35,000: less than $40/month Earning $35,000 to $75,000: $40 to $100/month, based on income Earning more than $75,000: $100/month
  • Premiums for couples: Combined income below $26,817: will not pay any premium Combined income of $26,817 to $40,000: less than $40/month each Combined income of $40,000 to $100,000: $40 to $100/month each, based on income Combined income above $100,000: $100/month each
  • About 120,000 Nova Scotians are enrolled in Seniors' Pharmacare
  • The last income threshold change was in 2002
  • The last premium change was in 2007