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July 2020

Rates for Quebec’s prescription drug insurance plan for 2020

Every year on July 1, the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) adjusts the rates for the public prescription drug insurance plan to take into account the increase or decrease in plan costs.

The pandemic’s impact

Exceptionally this year, the rates will be valid until December 31 and will be reviewed for the period of January 1 to June 30, 2021.

The financial pressures caused by the COVID-19 situation in Quebec have prompted the RAMQ to set rates below what was expected based on the evolution of the plan’s costs.

Changes for 2020

The table below presents the changes that apply to all individuals covered under the public plan, with the exception of those who receive prescription drugs free of charge (no premium or contribution):

  • holders of a valid claim slip (generally recipients of last-resort financial assistance)
  • individuals ages 65 or older receiving 94% to 100% of the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)
  • children under age 18
  • full-time students ages 18 to 25 who are spouseless and live with their parents
  • individuals ages 65 or older receiving less than 94% of the GIS who are subject to a reduced contribution
Observations

Despite the RAMQ’s desire to mitigate the financial impact on plan members, a 1.9% increase in the premium and 2.4% increase in the maximum contribution have been noted, while the monthly deductible and copayment have remained steady.

We would like to remind you that:

  • The annual premium is the amount paid by an adult when income tax returns are filed in order to be covered by the public plan.
  • The deductible is a fixed amount that constitutes the first portion of the cost that an adult must pay when purchasing covered drugs.
  • The copayment is the portion of the drug costs in excess of the deductible that an adult must pay.
  • The maximum contribution is the maximum amount that an adult is required to pay per month and per year to obtain drugs covered by the public plan. This contribution includes the deductible and the copayment.
Impact on private group insurance plans

Because private group insurance plans do not typically apply the same rates or set of cost control measures as the public plan, we do not anticipate a significant financial impact on private plans. However, plans that apply the same rates as those used by Quebec’s public drug plan may benefit from a slight reduction in costs.

For more information on this subject, please contact a Normandin Beaudry consultant.