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Ministry of Health
B.C. Smoking Cessation Program
Page contents last updated on April 1, 2013

PATIENTS WITH FEDERAL COVERAGE

PharmaCare is not the first payer for individuals covered by federal drug plans. PharmaCare covers only those items not covered under a patient’s federal plan.

Patients with federal plans should contact their plan provider for details on

  • the smoking cessation product coverage available to them (e.g., which products are covered and for how long)
  • what they have to do before going to a pharmacy to have their smoking cessation products covered (e.g., register, get a prescription, etc.)

For information about coverage in the case of smoking cessation prescription drugs and NRTs, please see the table below.

Federal plan Federal plan coverage provided Eligible for BC PharmaCare coverage?
Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) Equivalent or better coverage with no lifetime maximum Default is No.
Patient may opt for PharmaCare coverage (see Federally Insured Patients with Active MSP Coverage below).
Canadian Forces Equivalent or better coverage with no lifetime maximum No
Veterans Affairs Canada Patients have either a lifetime limit of 12 weeks coverage OR no coverage  Default is Yes, if the 12-week limit has been exhausted or patient has no coverage at all.
If federal plan online does not success­fully adjudicate a claim for a smoking cessation product under Veterans Affairs, call HIBC.
Patient may opt for PharmaCare coverage (see Federally Insured Patients with Active MSP Coverage below)

Federally Insured Patients with Active MSP Coverage

Federally insured patients who have active MSP coverage (i.e., Veterans Affairs Canada and Non-Insured Health Benefits Program patients) have the option of choosing PharmaCare coverage for the NRTs and smoking cessation drugs eligible under the BC Smoking Cessation Program even when their federal insurer would provide coverage.

Federally insured patients who choose to have PharmaCare cover their NRTs must obtain their supplies through a pharmacy.