Canadian Life and Health Insurers Release Results of Coverage by Pooling System for High-Cost Prescription Drugs

Toronto, ON (Dec. 23, 2015) – In 2014 the cost of covering highly expensive and recurring drug treatments increased by 45% over 2013 for life and health insurance industry benefit plans. This information was released today by the Canadian Drug Insurance Pooling Corporation (CDIPC), the mechanism under which Canadian life and health insurers voluntarily share the costs of highly expensive and recurring drug treatments.

“It is clear that many Canadians would not have had access to the treatments they need if they did not have access to a mechanism like CDIPC,” noted CDIPC’s Executive Director Dan Berty. “Without it, many employers, particularly small and medium-size businesses, may not be able to deal with the shock of covering the increasing number of extremely expensive drug treatments entering the market.”

Auto-immune diseases continue to be the main driver of escalating costs. In addition, new-to-the-market treatments for diseases such as cystic fibrosis have had a major impact. “Clearly our industry wants to continue to provide access to these important and necessary treatments that help save Canadians’ lives and CDIPC remains an important tool to help us achieve this”, added Berty.

In the absence of a catastrophic drug program in Canada, life and health insurers voluntarily share the costs of highly expensive and recurring drug treatments in order to protect fully-insured private drug plans from the full impact of high-cost drugs. By pooling these costs, the industry has taken a proactive approach to sheltering employers, and ultimately employees, from the potential devastating financial impacts that even a single ongoing claim for highly expensive drug treatments could have on the sustainability of supplemental benefit plans.

About CDIPC

The Canadian Drug Insurance Pooling Corporation is a not-for-profit corporation created by the supplemental health insurers in Canada to help facilitate affordable drug coverage for all fully-insured supplementary drug plans while maintaining a competitive health insurance market.

About the CLHIA

Established in 1894, the CLHIA is a voluntary association whose member companies account for 99 per cent of Canada’s life and health insurance business. The industry provides a wide range of financial security products such as life insurance, annuities (including RRSPs, RRIFs and pensions) and supplementary health insurance to 28 million Canadians. It also holds more than $720 billion of assets in Canada and employs 155,000 Canadians.

Source: Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association Inc.