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Government of Alberta 2013 budget includes changes to health care programs

On March 7 the Government of Alberta announced its 2013 Budget which includes several significant forthcoming changes to government-sponsored benefit programs.

These changes include the implementation of a “PharmaCare program” to be implemented on January 1, 2014 “to ensure comprehensive drug and supplementary health benefit coverage for all Albertans”. As the government announces additional details regarding this new program, Alberta Blue Cross will ensure our customers and stakeholders are kept informed about this program.

The budget also includes an announcement that diabetes care will be enhanced through a new Insulin Pump Therapy program starting in late spring for Albertans with Type 1 diabetes. Albertans who meet eligibility criteria will be provided 100 per cent coverage for insulin pumps and basic supplies, less any amounts covered through government-sponsored and patients’ private insurance programs. More information about this program will be provided closer to the implementation date. This program will be administered by Alberta Blue Cross.

Other budget highlights include a reduction in generic drug pricing from 35 per cent to 18 per cent of brand name prices effective May 1, 2013—which will provide savings for all Albertans. At the same time, the Government of Alberta is compensating pharmacists to provide Albertans with many services to help support their health including renewing or adjusting prescriptions, administering injections and helping manage medications. Through the Remote Pharmacy Access Grant program, the Government of Alberta has also committed $15.9 million over three years to Alberta’s rural remote pharmacies to help ensure they remain open to the Albertans who need them.

For more information, please visit the Alberta Health web site.

Alberta Blue Cross is committed to working closely with the Government of Alberta to ensure the health needs of Albertans continue to be met. As more information becomes available regarding changes to government health programs related to the Government of Alberta's 2013 budget, we will make this information available to our valued customers and stakeholders.


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