AB Health Changes Coverage for Seniors Criteria

 

Effective March 1, 2020, family members younger than 65 years of age—including spouses and dependants—will no longer be covered by Coverage for Seniors.

 

Alberta Health is changing the eligibility criteria for the Coverage for Seniors program. Effective March 1, 2020, family members younger than 65 years of age—including spouses and dependants—will no longer be covered by Coverage for Seniors. Albertans 65 years of age and older will continue to be covered by the program.

Affected households received letters in January and February 2020 notifying them of the change and available coverage options. Below are some frequently asked questions that might be helpful if you are assisting seniors affected by this change.

When will the Coverage for Seniors change come into effect?

The change in coverage for seniors’ family members under 65 will take effect on March 1, 2020. This means a non-senior spouse/partner and dependants will continue to have coverage until February 29, 2020.

I am a senior and my spouse/partner is also a senior. Does the change mean only one of us can be covered under the Coverage for Seniors plan?

If a senior and spouse/partner are both 65 or older, they are both eligible for the Coverage for Seniors plan.

Please note, however, that a spouse/partner may have been enrolled in Coverage for Seniors, prior to turning 65, as part of a senior household. As eligibility for Coverage for Seniors will be based on age effective March 1, 2020, both seniors must have provided proof of age to maintain their coverage after February 29, 2020.

Seniors who have not yet provided proof of age will need to respond to the letter they received asking them to provide their documents as soon as possible. Click Here for more information on how to provide proof of age.

What options are there for family members under 65 who will lose their coverage under the Coverage for Seniors plan on March 1, 2020?

These family members may want to consider options such as an employer-sponsored plan or other private coverage. Alternatively, the Government of Alberta has drug and health benefit programs available to ensure that all Albertans have access to economical health benefits. For more information about these benefits, please visit the Alberta Health Website.

One of the government-sponsored options is the Non-Group Coverage program, administered by Alberta Blue Cross. The Non-Group Coverage program has the identical drug formulary as the Coverage for Seniors plan, and does not preclude patients with pre-existing conditions. Any Albertan who is no longer covered as a result of changes to the Coverage for Seniors Plan will be eligible for coverage under the Non-Group Program. The Non-Group Coverage program requires its members to pay monthly premiums and copayments on prescriptions.

Where can I get more information?

• General inquiries about this change–contact the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) Office, by phoning 780.427.1432 (toll free in Alberta by first dialing 310.0000)
• Questions regarding other coverage options – contact Alberta Blue Cross at 1.800.661.6995 (toll free).

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