Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, met with young mothers at Massey Centre in Toronto today, where he launched OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare. In just under two weeks, children and youth will be able to get their medications at no cost by simply showing their Ontario health card number and a prescription at a pharmacy. Coverage will be automatic, with no upfront costs.
Providing medication at no cost for children and youth will make a difference in the lives of Ontario families, including many vulnerable groups such as low-income families, large families, single parents with children, students, young people in the workforce, and unemployed and underemployed young people.
Starting January 1, more than 4,400 medications will be covered, such as asthma inhalers, drugs to treat depression, anxiety, epilepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, antibiotics, EpiPens (epinephrine auto-injectors), insulin, diabetes test strips, oral contraceptives, medications to treat some childhood cancers and other rare conditions, and many others.
Ontario is the first province to provide prescription medication coverage at no cost for children and youth age 24 years and under, which will make a real difference in the lives of people across the province.
Making it more affordable for families and young people to get the medications they need is part of Ontario's plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.