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OHIP+ (and other ways to access affordable medication)

As the New Year approaches there is an exciting initiative through the provincial government on the horizon, OHIP+.

Starting on January 1st, 2018 OHIP+ will provide anyone 24 and younger with free prescription drugs, this initiative also expands mental health services like psychotherapy and addictions services. The best part is that you don’t need to apply, it’s easy!

Here’s how it works:

  • Get a prescription from your doctor
  • Go to the pharmacy and show them your health card
  • They will give you your medication for free (totally free - they won’t charge you a dispensing fee either)

The government will pay for over 4,400 medications; many drugs for depression, anxiety, schizophrenia/psychosis, ADD/ADHD and many other mental health conditions will be covered. Double check here to see if your medication will be included.

If your medication is not covered work with a doctor or nurse practitioner to apply for the Exceptional Access Program. Learn more about this program here.

If you are over 24 you can still get help with drug costs. If you are on Ontario Works (OW) or Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) you are eligible for the Ontario Drug Benefit program. Ask your caseworker or the pharmacist for more information. You can also read up on the program here. -  https://www.ontario.ca/page/get-coverage-prescription-drugs

Alternatively if you are over 24 and not on OW or ODSP but don’t have enough money to pay for your prescription(s) you might qualify for the Trillium Drug Program. This program is for people with or without private benefits who spend 3-4% or more of their income on prescription drugs, you can apply each September. Here more information about this program.

Here is the link for the application form.

If you need help filling out the form and live in London, ON you can connect with the advocate at LIFE*SPIN by calling 519-438-8676. If you are from a different area try calling 211, they have a full listing of community services. Alternatively you could connect with a community centre or library as they usually have a listing of community services.

Finally, to qualify for any of these programs you need a health card.

If don’t have a health card there are a few options

  • If you have other forms of ID you can got to a Service Ontario Centre and renew your card. Here is more information about the process.
  • If you don’t have any forms of ID you can go to an ID clinic, they will provide you with documents you need to get your health card. ID clinics are usually offered in Health Centres. In London you can go to the London Intercommunity Health Centre, for more information check out their website

I hope you’ve found this information helpful! This is a great initiative that will positively impact the lives of many people.

Good job Ontario, keep it up!