How to change my address for my Medical Services Plan in British Columbia?
As a Canadian citizen, you are eligible to apply for provincial health insurance. The public health insurance in the province of British Columbia is the Medical Services Plan (MSP), which is administered by Health Insurance BC (HIBC) and covers the cost of medically-necessary insured doctor services. It is important to keep your information up-to-date with the MSP and to inform HIBC of your change of address. We, here at MovingWaldo, show you in this article exactly how to do so!
How to change my address with HIBC?
Three options are offered to you:
- Free on the MovingWaldo platform.
- Online, through the BC government’s online address change service.
- You can simultaneously change your address for your driver’s licence with ICBC as well.
- By filling out a MSP Account Change Request online form.
- You need your Account Holder’s Personal Health Number (PHN) to verify your account.
- You can make other account changes at the same time.
If you happen to have questions about how to change your address, you can always contact HIBC at the following phone numbers:
Hours of operation: Monday to Friday: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (PST). An automated service is available 24/7 that provides general information about the MSP.
What you should know!
Under the Medicare Protection Act, you are required to update your address within 10 days of the change!
If you decide to go with the second option of filling out the form, know that:
- Once you have submitted the form, you will be given a reference number.
- It takes at least 21 days for account change requests to be reviewed and processed.
- If additional information is required, you will receive a letter from Health Insurance BC.
Lastly, note that if you are covered under a group plan administered by your employer, union or pension office, you cannot use the Account Change Request online form. You’ll need to contact your group plan administrator to complete a Group Change Request
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I move out of B.C. temporarily?
If you are leaving B.C. temporarily, you can be eligible for MSP if you continue to meet the residency requirements.
If you plan on being absent from B.C. for six months or more in a calendar year, you need to contact Health Insurance BC to confirm your continued eligibility, as well as discuss the different options for the coverage available during your absence.
Also, note that if you return to B.C. for over 30 consecutive days during an extended absence, this absence is no longer considered to be consecutive and the next absence will be considered a brand new absence. In this case, you will need to contact Health Insurance BC to determine the eligibility for benefits during your new absence.
Finally, if you leave B.C. temporarily without suspending your coverage, you will continue to get billed for premiums. It is usually recommended to maintain your provincial health care coverage during a temporary leave, but some people may be eligible to suspend their coverage. Note that:
- If your request to suspend the coverage is received prior to departure, your coverage will be suspended at the end of the month of departure
- If your request is received after the month of departure, the suspension will be effective only at the end of the month in which the notification was received.
Note that the coverage is renewed the first day of the month when the person returns, if their status of eligible resident continued during their absence.
What if I move out of B.C. permanently?
If you’re no longer going to be a resident of B.C., it is crucial to notify Health Insurance BC of the date of your departure and your new address to avoid getting billed premiums.
Note that depending on the destination you are moving to, your coverage will be affected in different ways:
- If you are relocating within Canada, coverage will be provided for the balance of the month in which you left the province, in addition to two consecutive months. If needed, your coverage may be extended for up to three additional months to cover you while in transit. Once you arrive though, you should immediately apply to the health plan of the new province or territory.
- If you are relocating outside Canada, then coverage will be provided for the balance of the month in which you left the province.
All in all, if you have questions or need clarification about the change of address process, don’t hesitate to contact Health Insurance BC at the following numbers:
While changing your address with MSP is an important task to do during your moving process, an equally important step is changing your address with your driver’s licence. To find out more on how to do so in the province of British Columbia with the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, read our article dedicated to this subject!
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