SSQ Insurance adds pharmacogenetic testing to group benefits

SSQ Life Insurance Co. Inc. is adding pharmacogenetic testing to its group insurance offering.

Pharmacogenetic testing helps determine how a person’s DNA reacts to prescription drugs, which makes it easier for doctors to choose the most effective medications for their patients.

SSQ said it expects the offering will make it easier for plan members to access the best treatments and help plan sponsors keep their drug plan spending under control.

Read: SSQ Insurance partners with genetic testing company

“Since the treatment of disease is evolving toward personalized solutions for individual patients, pharmacogenetics is quickly becoming a must,” said Éric Trudel, SSQ’s senior vice-president of strategy and product management, in a press release. “We wanted to develop a product adapted to this reality and make it available to our customers across Canada.”

Plan sponsors can choose whether to add the new offering to their group benefits program and select their reimbursement maximums. In order for plan members to be reimbursed, the test must be physician-prescribed and carried out in an authorized Canadian lab. SSQ will not have access to the test results, the company said.

The new offering follow’s SSQ’s pilot project, announced in June 2018, to offer some plan members on disability leave for depression the chance to undergo pharmacogenetic testing through genetic testing company BiogeniQ Inc. The insurer said the pilot’s success, combined with technological advances, allowed it to make pharmacogenetic testing available to its group insurance clients.

Read: A look at one company’s experience with pharmacogenetic testing