British Columbia’s Medical Services Plan (MSP) extends optometric health coverage to children, adults, and seniors. But, did you know that children and seniors covered by the MSP are entitled to one full eye examination each and every year? Having a comprehensive eye exam performed on an annual basis allows your optometrist to track any change or loss in vision, prescribe glasses or contact lenses, as well as look for any signs of ocular disease.
If it’s been a while since your last checkup, we recommend using our website’s convenient Find an Optometrist feature. This will help narrow down your search for an optometrist in Victoria or its neighbouring cities.
Who is Eligible for an Annual Eye Exam Under MSP?
As a health benefit offered to everyone in British Columbia, children up to 18 years in age and seniors 65 years in age and above are entitled to one full eye exam each year. Adults between 19 and 64 years of age are only eligible for an MSP-subsidized eye exam when it is medically required, such as in suspected instances of trauma, injury, ocular disease, as well as medications and diseases that carry high ocular health risks (diabetes, etc.). To summarize, annual exams are covered by the MSP for the following individuals:
If you have questions about how your age may affect your MSP coverage, please consult your personal doctor of optometry to evaluate your current coverage and specific eye health needs.
How Much of My Costs are Covered by MSP?
Your MSP coverage currently allows and annual distribution of $46.38 for eye examinations and $29.48 for minor and follow-up exams. Please note that doctors of optometry can opt out of the Medical Services Plan and instead create their own fee schedule. It’s always advisable to determine your coverage and costs prior to scheduling an appointment with a doctor of optometry.
For more details on the Optometry Payment Schedule and the amount out-of-pocket expenses you can expect with your MSP coverage, please visit the Ministry of Health website.
What is Not Covered by MSP?
Unfortunately, Medical Services Plan (MSP) coverage does not extend to every service offered by your optometrist. Some of the most common items not covered under MSP include:
Contact lens fittings
Recommended treatments (eyeglasses, low-vision aids, contact lenses, exercises for eye coordination, and eye-related prescriptions)
Employer- or third-party required eye examinations
Laser refractive eye surgery management (pre- and post-op visits)
BC’s Healthy Kids Program
British Columbia’s Healthy Kids Program is available to low- and middle-income families to help with prescription eyewear and basic dental care. This program is open to children under 19 years of age who are currently receiving MSP premium assistance through BC’s Ministry of Health Services.
Contact Your MSP Coverage Provider
To use MSP-paid services, residents of British Columbia must present a valid heath card when requesting medical services. If you have a question on your coverage or other MSP-related question, please choose a contact option.
For the security of your personal health information, you should never share account details, personal health number, MSP account number, address, or other personal information via email. A response will not be sent if your originating email contains information that could compromise your security.
MSP’s Customer Service Hours
Monday - Friday: 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Limited, 24-Hour automated services are available concerning your MSP coverage, as well as general information on MSP services and benefits.