Municipal Pension Retirees' Association

February 21, 2011 14:28 ET

Eliminate MSP premiums for all B.C. seniors, say retirees

Attention: Assignment Editor, City Editor, Health/Medical Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor KELOWNA, BC, MEDIA RELEASE--(Marketwire - Feb. 21, 2011) - Steven Polak, President of the Municipal Pension Retirees' Association (MPRA) has today called for the
elimination of MSP premiums on behalf of all seniors in British Columbia.

The MPRA is the organization representing retired employees of local and regional governments, hospital and health care facilities, police and fire departments, college and school districts, and several other sectors. There are 60,000 retirees from the above-noted sectors in B.C. and a total of 180,000 active and working contributors to this Pension Plan.

The MPRA notes that B.C. is the only provincial jurisdiction in Canada to continue to charge MSP (health care) premiums, and that these premiums have increased substantially in recent years. The current monthly charge for an individual is $60 including HST. It should also be noted that although there are approximately 680,000 seniors in B.C. an unspecified number of lower income earners enjoy total or partial premium assistance.

Mr. Polak said: "MSP premiums are an unnecessary barrier to healthy, independent living for all seniors. This money, if left in the hands of our seniors, could go a long way toward the cost of prescription drugs, minor home renovations, health care aids and the like. In other words, seniors could continue to live a healthy lifestyle in their own homes."

The MPRA executive and its members who live and volunteer throughout the Province hope this issue is raised and discussed during the leadership contests being held by the BC Liberals and the New Democrats.

"There is no better time to put such an important concern for seniors to the forefront of political debate. I only hope leadership candidates can show B.C.'s seniors true leadership on this important issue," concluded Mr. Polak. /For further information: www.mpra.ca/ IN: FINANCE, JUSTICE, LABOUR, POLITICS

Contact Information

  • Steven Polak, President, Municipal Pension Retirees' Association
    Primary Phone: 250-768-6769
    E-mail: stevenpolak@shaw.ca