The Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association says it welcomes the establishment of an Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare, announced Feb. 27 by the federal government as part of Budget 2018. At the same time, the association underlined the coverage currently provided to millions of Canadians under their group health insurance plans.
Right solution will ensure group health plans are not put at risk
"We support additional efforts by the government to ensure those who currently don't have supplemental drug coverage benefit from coverage in the future and we look forward to sharing our ideas on how best to do this," stated Stephen Frank, President and CEO of the CLHIA in a Feb. 27 announcement. "The right solutions will control costs to taxpayers, ensure group health plans are not put at risk, and make sure that patients have the medicines they need, with no affordability barrier," he adds.
The CLHIA notes that 26 million Canadians are covered through their workplace for benefits that include drug coverage, vision care and other services such as physiotherapy and massage therapy, etc. “This market works well today and we strongly support efforts to broaden coverage to all Canadians,” says the CLHIA.
High cost of prescription drugs
The federal government says the high cost of prescription medication means that some Canadians will do without. This leads to many Canadians being less healthy, resulting in higher health care costs overall. The aim of the new Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare will be to recommend options to ensure every Canadian has access to the medicine they need, says the government.