Good health is good business

Posted on November 9, 2016

More than 24 million working Canadians and their families rely on timely and high quality access to medicines through employer-sponsored private drug plans. These plans help keep Canada’s working population productive by minimizing absenteeism, limiting disability claims, and reducing the need for future costly health interventions.

Navigating through the world of drug benefit plans can be a daunting and complex task. If we know one thing—it’s that plan design changes can have significant long term health and business implications. As healthcare costs continue to rise, employers are challenged to maintain private programs while balancing value and restricted budgets. The right questions need to be asked in order for employers and employees to understand how they can be directly impacted by plan design changes.

In order to educate plan sponsors and members on the value of drug benefit plans, Innovative Medicines Canada has launched the bilingual Better Access, Better Health website. The site provides guidance on what to ask your employer, insurance provider, or advisor/broker; how to choose plan features which maximize timely access to medicines; understanding the cost breakdown of prescriptions, and more.

As an employee, understanding your drug plan can help you make the best decisions for you and your family. As an employer, it is important to look at the plan options available to foster a healthy and productive workforce. Balancing value and providing a high-quality drug plan is never easy, but knowing what questions to ask and understanding the private drug plan world is a step in the right direction to increase health and productivity outcomes.

Joe Farago is the Executive Director, Healthcare Innovation at Innovative Medicines Canada.

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