What is the benefit?

Starting on Feb. 15, we will be able to get our new BC Services Card, which is a combination of our CareCard and our driver’s licence.

Starting on Feb. 15, we as British Columbians will be able to get our new BC Services Card, which is a combination of our CareCard and our driver’s licence.

It was a big announcement in the province this month, but like much of the “big news” that the province sends our way, I don’t see this one having an impact on Golden, or British Columbia for that matter.

From what I can see, the only thing that will change is those of us with a driver’s licence will have one less card to squeeze into our wallets. I guess my underused Air Miles card can have its slot back.

They say that the reason for this “high-tech” change is to void the millions of BC CareCards out there in the hands of non-residents.

There has been no indication yet as to how much the change is costing the taxpayers. But since it is not costing card holders any extra (those with a combined driver’s licence/CareCard pay the same as they would to renew the licence, and those who don’t drive and are  just getting the new Service Card, get it for free), then the government must be footing the bill.

Unless these non-resident card holders are managing to get free health care with their invalid cards, than I don’t understand the benefit. What are we saving?

As a driver, this will not be a hindrance to me at all. I have to go in to get my licence renewed every five years anyway, although I will need to make sure I start carrying my Social Insurance Number from now on, as my BC CareCard has always been used as my second piece of ID.

But for those who don’t drive, who have had the same card for most of their lives (provided they haven’t lost it), they will now have to get into the habit of getting it replaced every five years.

I have to wonder, what happens if you forget?

I am fairly comfortable in the knowledge that no one in this country gets denied medical care. But if you have an invalid medical card and get billed, will you ever get that money back?

Fortunately they have five years to figure it out.

And for the conspiracy theorists out there, the final concern is of course going to be privacy.

The government has assured the public that the police and ICBC will have no access to medical records, and reversely medical centres will have no access to driving records.

However, now that the information is being stored on the same card, how do we know for sure?

 

It is happening whether we like it or not, my only hope is that they start letting us smile for the photos again.