In Ontario, we are fortunate to have a variety of government medical programs and benefits available to us. This help is especially important for seniors, those 65 and over. Many seniors have a limited income and increased medical expenses due to their age. Ontario has the ODB, Ontario Drug Benefit program which is available to those aged 65 and over.
Qualify as a Senior for the ODB
To qualify all you need to do is; take your health card and prescription to your pharmacy on the first day of the month that you turn 65. Let the pharmacist know that you are eligible for the ODB program. Your income will determine if you can pay a lower payment per each prescription. This is determined through the Seniors Co-payment Program. The amount you pay depends on your household income. To apply for the Seniors Co-payment program ask your pharmacist for a kit or you can call 1-888-405-0405.
What does the Ontario Drug Benefit program cover?
The Ontario Drug Benefit program covers much of the cost of as many as 4,300 prescription drug products; including some nutrition products as well as some diabetic testing agents. The Formulary is a list of products which are covered by the ODB program. There are limitations on some of the products listed. If you are unsure, ask your pharmacist to help you determine if the prescriptions and other products you use are covered by the Ontario Drug Benefit program.
Additionally, in some circumstances the Exceptional Access Program may cover costs of various prescriptions that may not be on the Formulary. To apply, you need to ask your doctor to apply to this program on your behalf. If a drug is not listed on the Formulary, you need to have approval from the Ministry to receive funding.
To qualify for the program, an Ontario doctor or another authorized prescriber must prescribe the medication and you must also purchase them from either:
- an accredited (recognized) Ontario pharmacy OR
- an Ontario doctor licensed to sell prescription drug products and is linked to the Health Network system.
Other products covered under the ODB
- Allergy Products: Do you receive injections for allergies from your doctor? You may be eligible to receive benefits for these costs.
- Diabetic Testing Agents: For those who are diabetic and require blood sugar tests. The ODB program covers some products used for this testing.
- Nutrition Products: Have you been prescribed nutrition products by your doctor or other health care provider? If these nutrition products are your only source of nutrition, the ODB program may cover these costs.
- Over-the-counter Drug Products: Drugs that are purchased without a prescription are known as over-the-counter drugs. The Ontario Drug Benefit programs may cover the cost of some of these products if they have been prescribed by your doctor or other health care provider.
Need more information?
Visit Brant Arts I.D.A. Dispensary and talk to us about your eligibility for the Ontario Drug Benefits program. We can go over the medications you have been prescribed and help you determine which of these are covered under the program. We can help you fill out any necessary applications and offer you any additional guidance you may need.