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Health coverage in British Columbia, new immigrant

I recently became a Permanent Resident of Canada (in April) but I haven't moved to Canada yet. I was planning on moving to Vancouver BC around July but I got recently diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. I'm currently prescribed Remicade and have had 2 infusions thus far which I'm required to take every 2 months. I'm currently residing in Los Angeles. I wanted to know if anyone could guide me with regards to how I can continue my medication without a break. My understanding is that the insurance would start 3 months after moving to BC? Would I need to take private insurance, even with that, how would I go about getting my infusion till my BC medical coverage starts?

Cross-stitch gal

Staff member
I'm afraid that I'm not sure, although I've found this website for you.

Have you looked into getting set up with a new GI up there and/or general doctor? Another thing could be contacting Remicade to see if you could get help with costs. Or, even seeing into Canada's healthcare system and seeing if you can get someone to talk to in there.

These are just a few things that I could think of at the moment. Please keep us updated.
I was planning to continue working for my US employer for a while (I work remotely) but I'm not sure if I'll be able to keep my US benefits and continue to get my treatment by making trips to the US. I'm on a H1B visa so it is complicated. I want to leave my job but now I'm more tied to it for insurance reasons until I sort out my treatment in BC
Hi, we live in Ontario Canada and our Bio-Advance Coordinator takes care of any issues regarding Remicade infusions. I believe they must have these coordinators across Canada. You might want to contact Janssen Bio-Advance in BC and see if they can assist you. I hope so.

Lady Organic

Staff member
Yes definately contact the care support, but I would contact the one you can use right now in the US. I guess the canadian site wont be able to help until you have the remicade prescription given to them by a Canadian GI doctor. I dont think they would make a move without that. Do you have an appointment with a Canadian GI? (this can take very long in Canada)
Private health insurance in canada is almost impossible to get when we suffer from a chronic illness. When people dont have one with their work, they go automatilcally on the public regime.
Maybe you can also contact the BC ministry of Health :
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Here is a link so you can do a BC Formulary Search: https://pharmacareformularysearch.gov.bc.ca/faces/Search.xhtml

When I did it, it said the maximum they would cover would be $1,036.9380, 60 days, for 100mg vial of Remicade. The unit number says "each". Not sure if that helps or not. There is no quantity limit and special authority is needed. That dollar figure is not a typo, that is the way it is written. Also before you do the search it says:
Good luck!