MCSS Basic Income Pilot - Amendment to O. Reg. 201/96 under the Ontario Drug Benefit Act
Regulation - LGIC
Bill or Act:
Ontario Drug Benefit Act
Summary of Decision:
The regulatory change established a new class of eligible persons under the Ontario Drug Benefit Act (ODBA) to ensure that individuals entitled to receive drug benefits under the Ontario Disability Support Program Act, 1997 (ODSP Act) or the Ontario Works Act, 1997 (OW Act) immediately prior to receiving Basic Income payments under the Ontario Basic Income Pilot continue to receive drug benefits under the Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) Program. Eligible persons under the ODB Program are prescribed by regulation under the ODBA. Therefore, a regulatory amendment was required to ensure that the provision of drug benefits to these individuals is authorized under legislation.
January 3, 2018
Summary of Proposal:
The ministry is proposing to amend Ontario Regulation 201/96 to create a new class of eligible persons for the purposes of the Ontario Drug Benefit Act (ODBA). The new class of eligible persons would be persons who were previously entitled to receive drug benefits under the Ontario Works Act, 1997 or the Ontario Disability Support Program Act, 1997 immediately prior to enrolling in the Ontario Basic Income Pilot (OBIP) and who receive Basic Income payments through OBIP. OBIP is a program offered by the Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS) that will test whether a basic income can better support vulnerable workers, improve health and education outcomes for people with low incomes, and help ensure that everyone shares in Ontario's economic growth. The pilot is enrolling participants aged 18 to 64 (up to 4000 at full implementation) in three pilot locations (Hamilton, Brantford, Brant County; Thunder Bay and the surrounding area; and Lindsay) for three years.
The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care's Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) Program provides drug benefits to various classes of eligible persons, including persons entitled to receive drug benefits under the Ontario Disability Support Program Act, 1997 and the Ontario Works Act, 1997. In order to receive Basic Income payments, OBIP participants must withdraw from social assistance (i.e. Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program). As a result, OBIP participants (i.e. those receiving Basic Income payments) who were previously eligible to receive drug benefits through the ODB Program because they received social assistance will no longer qualify for ODB coverage on this basis. To ensure that these individuals do not lose their drug benefits during their participation in the OBIP, the ministry is proposing to amend O. Reg. 201/96 to specify that these individuals continue to be entitled to receive drug benefits as eligible persons under the ODBA.
The ministry is currently working on a technology solution that will support, monitor and track ODB claims for participants identified for OBIP for the intended pilot period.
The proposed amendment would be retroactive to July 1, 2017 to align with when the OBIP was first launched.
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July 1, 2017