Opting Out of BC’s Medical Services Plan (MSP)

David — March 1, 2012

I am in the process of opting out of BC’s Medical Services Plan (MSP). Here are a few things I have found out so far:

  1. When you opt out you have to do it for a minimum of one year. How odd. I suspect they do this as a scare tactic to stop people from exiting the system. Insurance companies are always happy to protect people for payment regardless of how recently you stopped using their services. Companies are clearly more compassionate than our provincial government.
  2. Based on the first point you would think our government didn’t want BC residents to have MSP once they opted out. Here is where it gets strange: they automatically opt you back in after a year. In other words you have to fill out a form and send it in to them every year if you want to stay opted out. The first point is odd but this is outrageous and criminal. If a private company were to automatically opt customers back into services they had opted out of and immediately started charging for it they would be promptly taken to court. If the first law suit didn’t bankrupt them, surely the class action suit that followed would. Can you imagine if Netflix automatically opted all customers back in to its service after one year after said parties de-activated their accounts? Criminal.
  3. This is the part where I was going to recommend some great private options to any of you who are interested in opting out. The troubling thing is that I found little to no private health insurance options in BC. Pacific Blue Cross only provides insurance for those already covered by MSP. In fact Blue Cross seems to think BC residents are required to get MSP – this is what it said on their website: “All BC residents are required to enroll with the Medical Services Plan.” This is an error – you can opt out of MSP. You just have to waist precious time doing it every year because our provincial government is a criminal gang writ large. My assumption is that private options are few – maybe even non-existent – for the same reason that there are no private ferries going to the mainland: the government has subsidised through tax funding and leveraged its monopoly position to extinguish competitors. Maybe we can get the Canadian Federal Government to break up the Provincial Government’s abusive monopoly? If only the government applied the laws it applies to individuals and companies to itself.



Jeremy Maddock says

Sadly, Stephen Harper’s “Conservative” government prohibits its Members of Parliament from so much as suggesting that an individual should be allowed to purchase her or her own health care, after the provincial monopoly has failed them. So you won’t get much help from them.

Technically speaking, there’s no Obama-style individual mandate in British Columbia, but so long as private health care is prohibited by law and public health care is largely taxpayer funded regardless, it becomes economically irrational to opt out.

— March 1, 2012

David says

Jeremy: I thought there would be more private options on the table when I started looking into it. By the looks of it all you can get is extended coverage by places like Blue Cross. What a pity that the government holds this kind of monopoly power over what we do.

— March 2, 2012

Anonymous says

Someone sued some government in Canada (provincial presumably) and that case I am told paved the way for the old ‘it is illegal to sell private health insurance’ rule. What disturbs me is the wait lists and rationing of medical care in BC. While I concede that welfare medicine works well for emergencies, for chronic conditions it is poor. I get all my non-emergency care overseas. But how about all those whose budgets and circumstance do not allow them to travel?

— June 2, 2012

Dekker says

hmm…so there is no alternative for health care coverage, eh?

— April 2, 2013

hermes liberty says

MSP fails the acid tests of liberty…

1. private property – fail
2. no initiation of force – fail
3. personal responsibility – fail

I have written many politicians and none are willing to challenge the monopoly of state socialist insurance. And the health care workers union and even the Physician’s professional body submit meekly and encourage this.

I vote with my feet, getting most of my health care in Malaysia, India and Vietnam. But how about those who do not travel.

However, I also don’t support Dr. Day and his lawyer, they seem to have an attitude problem insinuating that I am an agent provocateur for recommending more militant action against the state and its monopolies for forcing people to buy a product and prohibiting competition.

— September 21, 2015

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