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Specialty drugs are accounting for a slightly smaller portion of the total eligible amount for all drug claims, declining from 33.6 per cent in 2021 to 33.1 per cent in 2022, according to Telus Health’s annual drug trends report. The report, based on claims data from more than 4.6 million plan members in 2022, found the […]

  • By: Staff
  • June 14, 2023 June 15, 2023
  • 15:00

A new diabetes treatment is expected to have the largest impact on private drug plans in 2023, according to a new report by Telus Health. The report, which analyzed more than 100 drug submissions currently under review by Health Canada, found Mounjaro, a new diabetes drug expected to become available in the first half of […]

  • By: Staff
  • March 20, 2023 March 28, 2023
  • 09:00

As innovative medicines become more widely covered in workplace drug plans, employers are tasked with finding new ways to control costs while ensuring members receive the best value. “Obviously, this is good because such offers provide more treatments for employees and their families that can help get them back to the workplace sooner rather than […]

Supporting disabled employees needs a blend of formal benefits, flex policies

As the coronavirus pandemic spread across the world, employee health came into sharp relief. Employers took action to provide creative solutions to ensure staff remained healthy, with the quick implementation of virtual programs to allow plan members easy access to health-care professionals through online channels. That same solutions-based attitude of adaptability is useful when considering […]

Mental-health conditions, specialty meds driving drug plan cost increases in 2019: report

Private drug plans saw the largest yearly increase in their average eligible costs in 2019, according to Telus Health’s annual drug trends report. The report attributed the rise to a jump in the use and cost of specialty drugs and a growth in younger Canadians using medication for mental-health challenges. It also noted the repeal of the OHIP+ program […]

  • By: Staff
  • July 9, 2020 November 12, 2020
  • 10:00
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 […]

Great-West Life’s Aarssen awarded for industry leadership

Perseverance, communication and innovation are just a few of the words used to describe Jeff Aarssen. Aarsseen, the recently retired vice-president of group customer sales at Great-West Life Assurance Co.,  received the award for industry leadership at Benefits Canada’s 2018 Workplace Benefits Awards in Toronto on Oct. 11. “It’s very meaningful, personally,” says Aarssen. “It means that 38 […]

  • By: Ryan Murphy
  • October 30, 2018 September 13, 2019
  • 09:00
Advice from a 38-year journey with rheumatoid arthritis

As the former senior vice-president of sales in the group customer division of the Great-West Life Assurance Co., Jeff Aarssen is very familiar with drug plans and the challenges facing plans sponsors and administrators. But as someone who has suffered with rheumatoid arthritis for nearly four decades, he also sees those issues in a distinctive light: from the patient […]

How one patient thrives despite four decades with rheumatoid arthritis

A positive attitude is the key to a long and fulfilling life with chronic disease, according to a man who has spent almost four decades dealing with rheumatoid arthritis. “The mental approach you take to anything in life and the perspective you have is absolutely critical,” said Jeff Aarssen, who provided a patient’s perspective during […]