Guide to Drug Coverage in Nova Scotia

All Canadians have access to the insured health services defined by the Canada Health Act including all medically necessary hospital services, inpatient pharmaceuticals (medicines used while you are hospitalized), and medically required physician services. Prescription medicines used by individuals who are not hospitalized (outpatients) are not paid for by this system. 

The following questions will help you identify any prescription drug benefits you may be eligible for:

  • Are you?

    • An employee of a company that provides group health benefits.
    • A dependent of an employee of a company that provides group health benefits.
    • A retired person who is eligible for group health benefits/prescription drug benefits as part of a retirement package.
    • The spouse of a retired person who is eligible for group health benefits/prescription drug benefits as part of a retirement package.
    • A member of an association or agency that provides members access to group health, benefits.
    • A dependent of a member of an association or agency that provides members access to group health benefits. 
    If you answered yes to any of the above you may be eligible for prescription drug coverage through a private insurance plan (third-party plan). You should contact the Human Resources Manager at the employer / association which provides the group health benefits for more information. 

    For more information on Private Insurance/ Third-Party Insurance Click here.

  • Do you belong to one of the following groups of Nova Scotia residents?

    • At least 65 years old, covered by MSI (Medical Services Insurance) and do not have drug coverage through Veterans Affairs Canada, First Nations and Inuit Health, or a private drug plan.
    • Recipients of Income Assistance and their dependants
    • Cancer patients with a gross family income no greater than $15,720 per year and not eligible for coverage under other drug programs 
    If you answered yes to any of the above you are eligible for prescription drug coverage through Nova Scotia Pharmacare. For more information on Nova Scotia Pharmacare click here

  • Do you have multiple sclerosis?

    The province of Nova Scotia through the Dalhousie MS Research Unit provides multiple sclerosis drug funding assistance. This funding provides coverage of select high cost medications for multiple sclerosis to Nova Scotia residents who meet established disease state criteria and who do not have other drug coverage. Residents of the province with MS should contact the Dalhousie MS Research Unit at (902) 422- 7817 regarding drug funding assistance.

  • Are you a member of First Nations (including registered Indians under the terms of The Indian Act) or Inuit?

    If yes you may be eligible for prescription drug coverage under the Non-Insured Health Benefits Program. For more information click here.

  • Are you a federal public service employee, member of the Canadian Forces, member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, a Member of Parliament, a federal judge, an employee of a designated agency or corporation with access to the Public Service Health Care Plan, or person receiving pension benefits based on service in one of these capacities?

    If yes you may be eligible for prescription drug coverage under the Public Service Health Care Plan. For more information click here.

  • Are you a qualified veteran, still-serving Canadian Forces member (also see question above), RCMP member (also see question above), civilian with access to Veterans Affairs Canada health benefits, or a dependant/survivor of such a person?

    If yes you may be eligible for prescription drug coverage under Veterans Affairs Canada. For more information click here.

  • Are you a refugee claimant, Convention refugee or member of the humanitarian designated classes?

    If yes you may be eligible for prescription drug coverage under the Interim Federal Health Program. For more information click here.

  • Are you a federal inmate?

    If yes you may be eligible for prescription drug coverage under Correctional Services of Canada. For more information click here.

  • Formulary Search

    To search the Formulary for a medication click here.