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by Brad Aubin
Parents and young adults under 25 in Ontario now have drug coverage under the province’s OHIP plan, thanks to changes announced in the 2017 Ontario budget and put in effect Jan. 1. The change creates a brand new class of eligible recipients under the Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) program, similar to one offered to seniors. Like seniors, enrollment will be automatic based on age, so no application is necessary to join the program.
Local pharmacist Julie Aubin says this is good news for West Nipissing residents, as the plan includes over four thousand drug products including antibiotics, asthma inhalers, EPIPENs, various drugs treating arthritis, epilepsy, mental health, ADHD, as well as drugs to treat childhood cancers and other rare conditions, among many others.
The coverage will end on an individual’s 25th birthday and applies to all Ontarians under 25, regardless of income.
“I think it’s great for families who don’t have coverage,” says Aubin, Pharmacist and owner of Pharmasave Pharmacie Aubin Pharmacy. “There is no reason for kids to go without medication. Children need their antibiotics, or their inhalers when they tackle childhood ailments such as ear infections, bronchitis, and asthma and most of those will all be covered by OHIP+.”
Aubin believes that it’s a win, with little to no downsides.
“The only thing you need to qualify is to be under 25 years of age and [have] a health card. So it is not discriminatory. Everybody is equal and everybody receives the same coverage. This way here, it doesn’t matter what their family’s income is... or what their family’s drug plan is. It’s covered,” she lauds.
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