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 the Nova Scotia 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).Affordable Health & Dental Plans

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Health and dental coverage starting from $60.80 per month!

The Nova Scotia government is expanding the dental care available to residents aged 14 or younger. Preventive care will include coverage for molar sealants as well as fluoride treatments.

Nova Scotia MSI and Hospital Programs 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 if medically necessary (e.g. x-rays, MRIs, CAT scans, etc.).
  • Physiotherapy if performed in a hospital.
  • Generally speaking, costs incurred within a hospital are covered by MSI.
  • Routine dental for kids under the age of 14.
  • Oral and maxillary facial surgeries when medically necessary and done in a hospital.
  • One eye examination every two years for residents under the age of 10 or over the age of 64 (eye glasses not covered).
  • There MAY be coverage for prosthetics (e.g. artificial limbs) via MSI (as well as the Workers Compensation Board and First Nations, Inuit and Aboriginal Health plans). See the Rehabilitation & Supportive Care Services web page for more information.

What Is Not Covered

  • 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, osteopaths and physiotherapy.
  • 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. Note: there is an Assistive Devices program for children that is run by the Abilities Foundation of Nova Scotia
  • Hearing aids. Note that there are exceptions (e.g. the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, or FNIHB).
  • Difference in cost between standard hospital rooms and semi-private and private rooms.
  • Cosmetic surgeries.

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 $25,500/year 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 an insulin pump program (see below), and there is also 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.
  • Insulin Pump Program: financial assistance for insulin pumps and pump-related supplies. Covers diabetics 25 or younger. Eligibility is also based on family income and size. For more click here.

– for full details please visit Nova Scotia’s Health and Wellness website –

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Last updated February, 2019