Medical, pension payments up in 2014

Medical premiums for all but low-income B.C. residents go up again with the start of a new year.

Medical Services Plan premiums go up four per cent effective Jan. 1

Medical premiums for all but low-income B.C. residents go up again with the start of a new year.

The B.C. government is increasing its Medical Services Plan premiums for the fifth straight year, by four per cent across the board. The Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation released its annual survey of tax and other payroll deductions Monday, calculating that MSP premiums in B.C. have risen 28 per cent since 2010.

Effective Jan. 1, the monthly health premium for a single person rises from $66.50 to $69.25. In 2014, families of two pay $125.50, up from $120.50, and families of three or more pay $138.50, up from $133.00.

Many full-time employees have their MSP premiums paid by their employer. People earning $30,000 or less are eligible for reduced premiums on a sliding scale, with premiums eliminated for those earning $22,000 a year or less.

The B.C. government has used the increased MSP revenues to offset the long-term growth of health care costs, which are approaching half of the total provincial budget.

Finance Minister Mike de Jong’s 2013 budget projected health spending to increase 2.3 per cent in the current fiscal year, 2.7 per cent in the year beginning April 1 and only 2.2 per cent the following year. The government’s critics called that unrealistic after years of increases of more than five per cent.

The CTF reports that Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance payments are also going up for many people, despite a federal government pledge to freeze EI premiums for three years.

In its New Year Tax Changes report, it calculates that maximum EI premiums will go up $23 in 2014, totalling $914 for the year.

The maximum employee Canada Pension Plan deduction, charged to those earning $52,500 or more, goes up $70 to $2,426. Employers match employee CPP payments dollar for dollar.

Just Posted

Penticton victim in Kamloops shooting may be a case of mistaken identity

Rex Gill, 44, was not previously known to Kamloops police unlike second shooting victim

A mix of sun, cloud, snow expected for Penticton following Family Day

More flurries are forecasted for the area, with 2 to 4 cm falling Tuesday

Okanagan film industry brings in $32 million

Business is brisk in the Okanagan

Family Day move a welcome change: poll

Okanagan readers voted that the new date for Family Day in B.C. is a positive change

Princeton women produce amazing results for the whole town

Last year was the most successful ever for the Princeton Hospital Auxiliary… Continue reading

Elk running across Enderby highway killed in car crash

Motorists urged to take caution after elk hit on Highway 97

New trial ordered over banning whales, dolphins at Vancouver aquarium

Park board’s appeal reverses previous decision that found it had no right to implement a ban

Payless to close 248 Canadian stores, saying it’s ‘ill-equipped’ for market

The company will begin closing stores at the end of March

Letter: United We Roll a working-class protest

The United We Roll movement makes me proud to be a Canadian.… Continue reading

Fundraiser started for Kelowna foreign aid worker trapped in Haiti

Laura Allan can’t return home due to civil unrest in the Caribbean country

Former Shuswap teacher remembered for staying true to beliefs

Celebration of life for Dr. Richard Zigler taking place Saturday, Feb. 23

Make sure measles shots up to date, Public Health Agency says

Measles causes high fever, coughing, sneezing and a widespread painful rash

Super snow moon set to rise across B.C.

It is the biggest and brightest moon of the year

‘Our entire municipality is heartbroken’: Seven children die in Halifax house fire

A man and woman remained in hospital Tuesday afternoon, the man with life-threatening injuries

Most Read