Nova Scotia provincial health plan fact sheet

Your Nova Scotia Medical Services Insurance (MSI) Plan provides:

Prescription drugs

  • Coverage under the Seniors’ Pharmacare Program for residents ages 65 and older, who are not covered by private insurance. Seniors are required to pay an annual premium of $424, plus a co-payment of 30% of the cost of each prescription up to an annual maximum of $382. Seniors who receive the Federal Guaranteed Income Supplement are exempt from paying these premiums. Seniors who do not join the Seniors’ Pharmacare Program within three months of becoming eligible pay a higher premium for five years and have a 90-day waiting period before coverage begins.
  • Coverage under the Family Pharmacare Program is available to residents under 65 with a valid Nova Scotia health card, who are not covered under another Nova Scotia program or have private insurance. There is an annual deductible and maximum copayment which is dependent on family size and income.


  • Nova Scotia residents pay $146.55 flat rate fee for ambulance services.

Dental benefits

  • No coverage for routine dental services
  • Coverage through the Dental Surgical Program for certain procedures where hospitalization is medically required
  • Basic dental coverage for children under the age of 14 for yearly checkups, cleanings and fillings
  • Special dental programs exist for residents who:    

                    Have a cleft palate

                    Are mentally challenged

                    Are students of the School for the Blind

                    Are undergoing cranial reconstruction

Vision care

  • No coverage for glasses or contact lenses
  • Coverage for one routine eye examination every 24 months for residents ages 9 or younger or ages 65 or older


  • Coverage for standard ward rooms only


  • No coverage for chiropractor, podiatrist, naturopath, massage therapist or osteopath services
  • Coverage for physiotherapy services if provided in a hospital

Hearing aids

  • No coverage

Nursing benefits and home care

  • Some coverage, under the Chronic Home Care program, for chronically ill, disabled or infirm residents and under the Acute Home Care Services program for residents requiring short-term care or assistance

Medical supplies

  • Some coverage for prosthetic equipment for eligible persons. With prior approval, artificial limbs are covered once every four years
  • Coverage for ocular prostheses for residents ages 18 and younger or 65 and older, or to those registered with the CNIB
  • Mastectomy prostheses are covered up to $150 ($300 if bilateral) every two years

Accidental death and dismemberment

  • No coverage.

Out of country

  • No coverage for out-patient services. Coverage for emergency in-patient services to a maximum of $525 per day plus 50% of ancillary fees incurred while an in-patient. Physician services as the result of an accident or sudden illness during a temporary absence from Canada are covered in Canadian funds at Nova Scotia rates. 

These highlights from the Nova Scotia Medical Services Insurance Plan are for general reference only and are subject to change, corrections and updates. Other government programs may also be available. For more information on the latest coverage details, contact:

Department of Health and Wellness

P.O. Box 488

Halifax, NS B3J 2R8

Phone: 902-424-5818

Toll-free in Nova Scotia: 800-387-6665 

TTY/TDD: 800-670-8888

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Updated: August 2019