Care card being replaced

Replacement to coincide with driver’s licence renewal

  • May. 25, 2011 8:00 p.m.

 

Amendments to the Medicare Protection Act were recently introduced  in the B.C. legislature to support the introduction of a more secure card, designed to improve patient safety and reduce fraud.

The new card, which would replace the current Care Card, will offer more security benefits than a current driver’s licence, including a photograph of the beneficiary, anti-forgery features, high-level identity proofing – as well as a security chip. People can choose to have the new card, or to have their driver’s licence indicate they are enrolled in the Medical Services Plan.

The current plastic BC CareCard was introduced in 1989 with no significant changes over the last 20 years. Proof of identity is critical in assisting doctors and other health-care providers determine the most appropriate treatment for patients and ensuring the right care is delivered to the right person.

In addition, there is concern across government and other sectors about the potential for misuse and fraud, especially as the BC CareCard is considered an acceptable form of government-issued identity. Today, there are about 9.1 million BC CareCards in circulation for a population of about 4.5 million people.

Unlike the current approach, the new card will require re-enrolment on a regular basis that will help to ensure that only those entitled to valuable publicly funded health-care services receive them. Enrolment and re-enrolment are required to maintain beneficiary status for health-care benefits.

When patients access care in hospitals or the community, they are asked to produce a valid BC CareCard. People who fail to re-enrol will not be eligible for publicly paid health services hospital services, as they will no longer be beneficiaries of the Medical Services Plan.They could also lose subsidized coverage for services such as ambulance service and Fair PharmaCare. However, individuals will never be denied essential medical care in real emergency situations even if they fail to re-enrol or do not have a card. Re-enrolment will be straightforward and, where possible, aligned with the date for renewal of an individual’s driver’s licence.

No person under the age of 19 will be asked to re-enrol. Certain groups of adults, such as the elderly or marginalized populations – for whom re-enrolling would be impractical or present a hardship – will also be exempted or managed through special arrangements.

Drivers will be able to re-enrol when they renew their driver’s licence.

Obligations to renew enrolment will be set every five years at the same time driver’s licences expire. Non-drivers will have a similar cycle.

This will allow for a phased-in approach. When a person successfully re-enrols, they will be issued a new secure card.

Once the legislative amendments are passed, government will develop regulations to support the new enrolment process and launch of the card.

Full implementation of the new card is expected to be phased in over five years beginning before the end of 2012.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Food trucks will be allowed to operate in several Sooke parks beginning May 1. (Black Press Media file photo)
Sooke’s food truck pilot project under scrutiny

Councillor questions impact food trucks will have on nearby restaurants

A walk for autism awareness. (Black Press Media file photo)
COLUMN: Autism acceptance, not autism awareness

Elizabeth Sparling is the mother of a 24-year-old son with Autism Spectrum Disorder

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
PHOTOS: Vehicle driven into Saanich Walmart removed after two trapped workers rescued

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Tons of bottles were donated during bottle drives in Sooke and Langford on March 27. The funds raised from the drives will help a local family stay with their daughter during her leukemia treatments in Vancouver. (Photos: Glendora Scarfone)
Sooke, Langford bottle drives help cover family’s costs of staying with daughter during cancer treatments

More than $11,900 raised to help Shae Hanilton’s family stay with her in Vancouver

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Ruming Jiang and his dog Chiu Chiu are doing fine following a brush with hypothermia that saw several people work together to get them out of the Fraser River near Langley’s Derby Reach Park on March 25, 2021 (Special to the Advance Times)
Man finds men who rescued him from drowning in B.C.’s Fraser River

A grateful Ruming Jiang says he will thank them again, this time in person when the pandemic ends

Tyson Ginter, 7, is proud of his latest Hot Wheels he recently received by Quesnel RCMP Const. Matt Joyce. (Photo submitted)
B.C. Mountie handing out toy cars to light up children’s faces

‘A lot of times it will be the only interaction they have with the police,’ says Const. Matt Joyce

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a technical briefing on the COVID pandemic in Canada, Friday, January 15, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s ICUs see near-record of COVID-19 patients last week as variant cases double

Last week, Canadian hospitals treated an average of 2,500 patients with COVID-19, daily, up 7% from the previous week

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
UVic, women’s rowing coach deny former athlete’s allegation of verbal abuse

Lily Copeland alleges coach Barney Williams would stand close to her and speak aggressively in the sauna

Most Read