Nova Scotia MSI, Hospital Plans: Summary of Benefits
Residents of Nova Scotia are covered for medical expenses under the Medical Services Insurance Program, also known as MSI. The province also offers residents the Hospital Insurance Program which covers hospital related costs.
MSI programs provide eligible residents with coverage for medically required hospital, medical, dental as well as optometric services (restrictions do apply).
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Medical Care Coverage
- Covers medically necessary hospital, doctor (medical), dental and optometric services (with restrictions).
- Standard level accommodations and meals in hospital (covered by the Hospital Insurance Program).
- Medically necessary nursing services.
- Laboratory and other diagnostic services.
- Prescription drugs administered in hospital.
- Radiotherapy and physiotherapy.
- Hospital services for most minor medical and/or surgical procedures.
- Medical services provided by Nova Scotia Hearing and Speech Clinics.
- Surgical removal of impacted teeth.
- Oral and maxillary facial surgery.
- Eye examinations for residents under the age of 10 or over the age of 64 (eye glasses not covered).
- Some coverage for prosthetics (please contact the Nova Scotia government via the Health and Wellness link at the bottom of the page). If approved, a prosthetic limb will be covered once every 4 years.
- Coverage for one routine eye examination every two years for residents under 10 years old or aged 65 and up.
- Generally speaking costs incurred while in a hospital are covered (standard wards only, private or semi-private wards not covered).
What MSI Does Not Cover
- Ambulance services, with the exception of transportation between medical facilities (e.g. hospitals).
- Routine dental services (e.g. cleanings, fillings, scalings, etc.) with the exception of people under the age of 14.
- Prescription medications if you are under the age of 65 (there are prescription drug programs that you may qualify for, see below for more information).
- Paramedical services such as podiatrists, chiropractors, naturopaths, massage therapists or osteopaths (note that physiotherapy is covered if done in a hospital).
- There is very limited medical coverage for Nova Scotians travelling out of province.
- Visioncare (e.g. glasses, contact lenses and eye examinations for residents aged 10 to 64).
- Durable medical equipment such as crutches or wheelchairs.
- Hearing aids. Note that there are exceptions, for example the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB).
Prescription Drug and Other Programs
Nova Scotia offers Pharmacare programs for those eligible residents who cannot afford their prescriptions and/or supplies. The programs that are currently offered are as follows:
- Family Pharmacare: all permanent residents of Nova Scotia who have a valid health card all eligible for this program. The deductible and co-payment is determined via family income and size; families with the greatest need will pay the least amount. Designed for families with no drug coverage or high prescription drug costs.
- Senior’s Pharmacare: all permanent residents of Nova Scotia who are 65 and older, have no other private or public drug coverage and have a valid health card are eligible. Designed for elderly residents with no drug coverage or high drug costs. Note that when enrolled in this program your Health Card becomes your Pharmacare Card.
- Drug Assistance for Cancer Patients: residents must have a valid health card and also have a gross (total) family income of under $15,720 to receive aid for their medications relating to cancer treatment.
- Community Services Pharmacare Program: provides Pharmacare coverage to: Income Assistance clients; Disability Support clients; children in the care of child welfare; and "Low Income Pharmacare for Children" clients.
- Palliative Care Drug Program: available to residents who; have a valid health card; want to live out the rest of their life (as much as possible) at either home, or with family or friends; and be assessed as having 6 months or less to live.
- Nova Scotia Diabetes Assistance Program: this program is no longer offered to Nova Scotians. Note: there is a private health insurance plan called ComboPlus Starter that offers 100% coverage for test strips, pens, needles and lances, etc. Call us toll-free at 1-800-474-4474, or get instant, online quotes.
- for full details please visit Nova Scotia's Health and Wellness website -
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Last updated February 2017