Ukrainians fleeing violence now eligible for 'immediate' MSP coverage

The B.C. government is introducing day-of-arrival MSP coverage for Ukrainians coming to the province with visas

Displaced Ukrainians arriving in B.C. with visas issued under the federal Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) will now have access to date-of-arrival Medical Services Plan (MSP) coverage | dowell/Moment/Getty Images

People fleeing Ukraine and arriving in B.C. with a visa will now be able to access medical services through MSP coverage.

The announcement, made Monday by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, comes amid Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

Most Ukrainians coming to British Columbia are expected to arrive through the federal Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) program. According to the B.C. government, Canada has received more than 163,000 applications from Ukrainians.

"That's why our government is working across ministries to ensure that eligible newcomers who arrive will have access to the service and supports they need when they need it to ensure the softest landing possible after an unimaginable ordeal,” says B.C.'s Municipal Affairs Minister Nathan Cullen in a statement. 

People from Ukraine should apply for MSP as soon as they arrive, the statement notes.

Health Minister Adrian Dix says this will give them proper health supports.

"By giving individuals arriving in B.C. from Ukraine day-of-arrival MSP coverage, we're doing what we can for one of the most important aspects of their journey: health and safety,” says Dix.

Under CUAET, Ukrainians and their family members can apply for a three-year temporary resident visa or open work permit. 

There is no limit on the number of Ukrainians who can apply.