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Flexible return-to-work policies crucial for cancer survivors

By the year 2031, 2.2 million Canadians will be living with cancer, with 40 per cent between the ages of 20 and 65 — the typical working years, according to Maureen Parkinson, provincial rehabilitation counsellor at B.C. Cancer Agency and co-director of Cancer and Work. In a session at Benefits Canada’s 2020 Employers Cancer Care […]

Fidelity Canada touts preventative, life-sustaining benefits plans

When it comes to benefits plan management, each case is individual, said Diana Godfrey, senior vice-president of human resources and corporate at Fidelity Canada, during a session at Benefits Canada’s 2020 Employers Cancer Care Summit on Mar. 3. “If employers think they have a program or policy that covers every situation, they may be mistaken.” […]

Ignoring psychosocial oncology can be costly for organizations

When a person experiences a cancer diagnosis and undergoes treatment, it can be one of the most distressing experiences they can go through, so it’s important for employers to understand psychosocial oncology. “We’re now collecting evidence to show that proactive care — psychosocial oncology — is effective in helping people prepare and deal with psychological […]

2020 Drug Plan Trends Report: Developments, data and design

Taking a look at private drug plans in 2020, a number of trends are converging: spending on specialty drugs is continuing its upward trajectory, advancements in a number of lifechanging therapies are in the pipeline and policy developments are coming at both the federal and provincial levels. In the face of this potential storm, plan […]

What to expect for health benefits in 2020

Looking ahead to 2020, the big story for health benefits is often avoided because it isn’t easy to address. It’s the elephant in the room. Over the past year, there’s been no shortage of momentum in new and emerging product offerings in the health benefits space — everything from digital cognitive behavioural therapy to virtual […]

  • December 24, 2019 November 12, 2020
  • 06:30
New drug therapies for common conditions could impact private plan sustainability

While medical advancements and drug therapy innovations have been life-changing for patients and plan members, they also come with increasing costs, said Victoria Shaw, drug benefits manager at Alberta Blue Cross, speaking at Benefits Canada’s 2019 Calgary Drug Trends Summit on Oct. 24. Between 2011 to 2017, the number of high-cost drugs doubled. From 2016 to 2017, in […]

Current vaccines could eradicate up to 95% of all HPV-related cancers

Only eight per cent of Canadian women who are eligible for a vaccine that covers nine strains of the human papillomavirus are actually receiving it. While one barrier is a lack of knowledge among health-care professionals and patients alike, another is the lack of coverage in group benefits plans, said Dr. Angel Chu, an infectious diseases physician at Foothills Medical Centre, […]

Which health conditions are impacting benefits plans?

The Health Association of Nova Scotia, which has a number of different employers in its benefits plan, cites rheumatoid arthritis medications as its top drugs in terms of cost. “Chronic disease, in terms of inflammatory disease — not just for rheumatoid, but for Crohn’s disease as well — those are what we’re seeing from a […]

A look at ‘brain fog’ and its impact on employees

While “brain fog” isn’t a clinical condition, it feels like forgetfulness, slow thinking and difficulty concentrating. It happens to everyone at some point and can often impact productivity at work. Some common causes of brain fog include stress, lack of sleep, dehydration, hormonal changes from pregnancy or andropause/menopause, an unhealthy diet, vitamin B12 deficiency, chemotherapy and side-effects […]

Specialty medications and high-cost drugs for common conditions are driving up private plan drug spending, according to Express Scripts Canada’s annual drug trends report. The report found the rapid increases in drug spending for private plans over the last 20 years have started to slow. The average annual drug spending per plan member was up just 0.9 per cent […]