Assumption Life has announced it will join 22 other group insurance providers in the new drug-pooling framework put forth last week by the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA).

Under the program, insurers share the costs of the most expensive drug claims in order to minimize the impact of high-cost specialty drugs on private benefits plans. The pooling agreement applies to fully insured plans and will come into effect on Jan. 1, 2013.

According to CLHIA, since 2008, claims for high-cost drug treatments have been increasing by more than 20% a year in the group insurance sector.

“Specialty drugs have been a blessing for patients with serious chronic illnesses,” said Alain Parent, director of sales for group insurance with Assumption Life. “However, the annual bill for these treatments, which are becoming more and more common, can be between $25,000 and $50,000, and sometimes up to $1 million a year for just one insured.”

With the new pooling agreement, insurers will no longer include claims for high-cost drug treatments when setting an employer’s premium.

The other participating insurers are Alberta Blue Cross, Assomption Vie, The Co-operators, Desjardins Financial Security, Empire Life, Equitable Life, GMS Group Medical Services, Great-West Life, Green Shield Canada, Industrial Alliance, La Capitale, La Survivance, Manitoba Blue Cross, Manulife Financial, Medavie Blue Cross, Pacific Blue Cross, RBC Insurance, Saskatchewan Blue Cross, SSQ Financial Group, Standard Life, Sun Life Financial, Union Vie and Wawanesa Life.

Copyright © 2022 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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