News release

New Contracts for Medical Services Insurance, Prescription Monitoring Program

Government has finalized new contracts with Medavie Blue Cross to administer the province’s Medical Services Insurance (MSI) and other programs, effective today, June 1.

Under the contracts, Medavie will administer the prescription monitoring program, provincial health card program, payments to physicians, pharmacare programs and ancillary programs such as optometry and prosthetics.

“The new contracts are a good deal for Nova Scotians and include more flexibility, modern services and better value for money,” said Health and Wellness Minister Zach Churchill. “Continuing our relationship with Medavie Blue Cross also gives us the stability we need during the ongoing pandemic to provide care to Nova Scotians and successfully roll out our vaccine program.”

Some of the key enhancements to be delivered through the new contracts include:

  • electronic health card services, allowing Nova Scotians to apply for and renew their health cards online
  • provider and resident online portals for more efficient access
  • tools to support the voluntary collection of race-based health data
  • improved indicators that will be continually monitored to assess performance

The two new contracts are a six-year agreement for the administration of MSI and Pharmacare, and a four-year agreement for the administration of the Nova Scotia Prescription Monitoring Program.

Quick Facts:

  • over the life of the new contracts, the province will pay on average $19.3 million annually for a total estimated cost of $115.9 million for Medavie Blue Cross services
  • the new contracts allow for annual operating increases, which is based on a formula determined using the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and wage adjustments
  • Medavie Blue Cross administers $1.19 billion worth of transactions each year for physician and pharmacare payments in Nova Scotia
  • government has been doing business with Medavie Blue Cross since Medicare was introduced in 1969
  • the last contract was negotiated in 2005 and expired in 2015, and was extended several times to ensure service continuity for these critical administrative services

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Media Contact:

Marla MacInnis
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