Canadian Health Care Cost Management

Foundation Publication Search Results

These summaries were compiled from Foundation Publications Search, a database of articles, research reports and books published by the International Foundation and the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists.


National Pharmacare--Dead and Alive.
Bonnett, Chris; Plans & Trusts; v35 no6 pp 10-14 Nov-Dec 2017; journal article

Availability :
Abstract : Given the complexity and costs involved in a national drug insurance program, it is important for plan sponsors, advisors and insurers to be engaged on this topic and to be able to understand and communicate their needs and goals.
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What's Working: Better Benefits for Better Mental Health.
Hartman, Robbie; Plans & Trusts; v35 no5 pp 4-5 Sep-Oct 2017; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : Up to 20% of Canadians will experience a mental illness during their lives, but nearly half of people who have suffered from depression of anxiety have not sought treatment because of the fear of discrimination or the stigma associated with mental illness, or because of the cost of treatment. Manulife discovered its workers wanted more support for mental health and increased its mental health benefits.
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Quick Look: Wellness Trends.
Plans & Trusts; v35 no4 p 11 Jul-Aug 2017; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : The vast majority of Canadian organizations continue to offer at least one wellness initiative, but the rationale for doing so is evolving. More than six in seven organizations (87 percent) say they offer wellness primarily to improve overall worker health and well-being, as opposed to 13 percent citing a primary aim of controlling/reducing health-related costs. Presents results of the International Foundation report "Workplace Wellness Trends: 2017 Survey Results." The 530 survey responses included 99 from Canadian organizations.
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Board Refuses Government Motion to Bifurcate Case on Postretirement Benefits.
Godkewitsch, Clio; Plans & Trusts; v35 no2 pp 29, 31 Mar-Apr 2017; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : The Grievance Settlement Board is a body that provides dispute resolution services to the Crown and unions representing employees in the Ontario Public Service. In the context of a grievance challenging the Crown's unilateral changes to postretirement benefits (PRBs), the board refused the Crown's motion to first hear a "no prima facie case motion."
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Conversation With Tyler Smith.
Hartman, Robbie; Plans & Trusts; v35 no2 pp 26-28 Mar-Apr 2017; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : Tyler Smith discusses how retirement education can help plan members better prepare for retirement.
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Mental Health and Substance Abuse Benefits Benchmarked.
Held, Justin; Benefits Quarterly; v33 no1 pp 68-70 1st Qtr 2017; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : In August 2016 the International Foundation surveyed members to examine the various types of mental health and substance abuse benefits organizations provide to their employees and participants. The survey received 344 completed responses, with 247 coming from U.S. respondents and 97 from Canadian respondents.
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Drug Plan Sustanability and Current Trends--What You Need to Know.
Bergstrom, Kathy; NewsBriefs; v35 pp 16-18 1st Qtr 2017; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : Although much attention has been focused on the role of biologics and specialty drugs in increased private drug plan costs, plan sponsors should also consider how to manage the other 77 percent of drug costs and 99.5 percent of claims. Based on the author's presentation at the 2016 Sympoisum.
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Conversation With Ian Manovel.
Bergstrom, Kathy; Plans & Trusts; v34 no6 pp 34-35 Nov-Dec 2016; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : Ian Manovel discusses steps Australia has taken to control drug prices and improve health, and how they might apply in Canada.
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The Impacts of Financial Stress on Your Employees.
Bonner, Patricia A.; Plans & Trusts; v34 no6 pp 18-24 Nov-Dec 2016; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : How does an employer know its workers may need a financial well-being program? This article provides many of the signs.
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Listening to Longer Term Retirees.
Rappaport, Anna M.; Benefits Magazine; v53 no11 pp 54-60 Nov 2016; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : Inflation, health care expenses and how to pay for long-term care remain top concerns of both recent and longer term retirees. Employers can help employees prepare for those risks, as well as some other very real risks retirees don't think as much about.
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Clearing the Haze: Medical Marijuana Considerations for Plan Sponsors.
Sullivan, Mike; Plans & Trusts; v34 no1 p 6-11 Jan-Feb 2016; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : As discussion about the legalization of marijuana heats up in Canada, benefit plan sponsors should consider estabilshing policies on whether their benefits will cover medical marijuana. Considerations include plan cost and design and legal issues that could arise.
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Mail-Order Drugs for Canadian Plan Sponsors: Ready to Help or Still Under Construction?
Petruniak, Jane; NewsBriefs; v34 pp13-16 1st Qtr 2016; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : Canadian plan sponsors may want to explore mail-order pharmacy as a cost-control tactic for dealing with prescription drug costs.
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Wellness Initiatives Expanding in Depth and Breadth.
Mrkvicka, Neil; Benefits Magazine; v52 no2 pp 8-10 Feb 2015; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans surveyed 479 member organizations on wellness plan trends and the impact of the Affordable Care Act in 2015. Results show 71 percent offering flu shots, 54 percent offer smoking cessation programs, 51 percent offer health risk assessments (HRAs) and 50 percent provide health screenings. Wellness competitions, health coaching, healthy food choices and weight loss or management programs are most common among fitness and nutrition initiatives. Incentives are most widely used for HRAs, screenings, smoking programs and fitness programs, with 53 percent adjusting insurance premiums, cost sharing, deductibles or employer contributions. About one in four programs is both health contingent and outcomes based, another fourth involve health contingent activity and half require only participation. Only 26 percent analyze their wellness program's return on investment (ROI), but 93 percent of that group see a positive ROI averaging $3 for every dollar spent.
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What's Working: Prevention Reaps Rewards.
Plans & Trusts; v32 no4 pp 4-6 Jul-Aug 2014; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : The British Columbia Public Service Agency, which serves the 26,000 public workers in B.C., started a pilot project with Pacific Blue Cross in 2007 to demonstrate the business value of wellness. Early biometric assessments caught urgent and semiurgent cases, substantially and the first six months resulted in fewer elevated blood pressure and cholesterol cases and lower risk factors for a third of participants. Considering the return on investment and knowing their cold and flu and smoking cessation programs were effective, the agency focused on behaviors influencing health. Injury prevention, training and education and mental health support through the employee assistance program were combined with case management by occupational health nurses helping employees return to work. Access to worksite clinics and an updated online risk assessment tool and health information help the agency lower sick costs by $300,000.
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Determining a Wellness ROI.
Burdeyny, Cherri; Newsbriefs; v32 pp 18-20 1st Qtr 2014; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : The Alberta School Employee Benefit Plan's (ASEBP's) Healthy Living Program is designed to improve the health of members both at home and in the workplace. To analyze the return on investment (ROI) of the plan, the ASEBP focused on prescription drug spending, the highest cost component of the plan. They used a predictive model to identify the risk groups with the potential for major cost fluctuations. In addition to improving member health, the Healthy Living Program was predicted to reduce plan cost escalation by 11 percent. Using very conservative assumptions, ASEBP demonstrated a 700 percent ROI at the end of 2012.
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The Future of Workplace Wellness Programs.
Lindenberg, Brian; Plans & Trusts; v32 no1 pp 8-10 Jan-Feb 2014; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : Relatively new in Canada in 2014, wellness programs are stimulating interest and demands for a strong business case. Workplace wellness programs are justified for economic and societal reasons. The links between a projected worker shortage, the bottom line value of a healthy and motivated workforce and the rising prevalence and cost of chronic illness underscore the importance of promoting employee health. Mercer Canada has found strong organizational interest in wellness programs, mostly to add value to health plan membership but lacking coordination with other benefits. To be most effective and sustainable, they should recognize and support distinct health cohorts, the healthy, those at risk, those with chronic conditions and those with serious conditions. Targeted programming should assist each group to maintain or improve their health status, and wellness programs should be aligned with health and welfare plans.
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Reaching a Consensus on the Health Accord.
Silas, Linda; Plans & Trusts; v30 no5 pp 7-10 Sep-Oct 2012; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : The 2004 Health Accord, which sets out a common vision and guaranteed funding for government sponsored health care in Canada, expires in 2014. Despite increased numbers of medical professionals, greater access to medical equipment and reduced wait times for a variety of conditions, most observers see problems, such as a lack of progress on a national pharmaceutical strategy, limited access to primary care providers and lagging implementation of electronic health records. Provincial and territorial governments must work with the federal government to create a new accord if these problems are to be corrected. The lack of consistency of care in the Canadian health system means that Canada must expand and reform the Health Accord to avoid dangerous capacity issues in hospitals nationwide.
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The Drummond Report and Pension Plans.
Archer, Simon; Plans & Trusts; v30 no3 pp 15-17 May-Jun 2012; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : The Drummond Report is the product of a study requested in March 2011 by the Commission on the Reform of Ontario's Public Services to examine prospects for balancing the provincial budget through cost reductions. The report recommends cuts in health care, primary through postsecondary education, social services and other programs, but focused on cutting Ontario public pension plan costs through trimming future benefit accruals or increasing employee contributions. One recommendation would curtail public employees' rights to collective bargaining the terms and conditions of their employment. The report also recommends that shortfalls in five public sector plans be clarified, that plan risks and liabilities be identified and disclosed and that employee total compensation be fully transparent. Some of the recommendations would affect Ontario's health sector with implications for health and welfare plans.
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Drug Plan Reform in Canada: The New Rules and the Renewed Reaction.
Kealey, Marc; Canadian Benefits & Compensation Digest; v28 no2 pp 14-17 Apr 2010; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : Provinces are initiating reforms in drug plans and medication pricing, particularly for generic drugs. In 2006, Ontario introduced sweeping changes, including setting the price of generic drugs at exactly half that of the brand name drug. British Columbia established a task force to address the issue of expensive generic drugs. Alberta combined a reduction in the price cap on new generic drugs with funding for pharmacists to provide interventions to improve patient outcomes. Observers expect to see a continued push for drug price reform from provincial health plans and a concurrent push from the private sector to reduce drug costs.
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Stretched and Stressed: Use and Possible Abuse of EAPs and DM Programs.
MacArthur, Bob; Rickard, Emma; Lewis, Jack; Canadian Benefits & Compensation Digest; v27 no4 pp 10-13 Aug 2009; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : The tight economy is causing greater stress, anxiety and negative behaviors and more demand for disability management (DM) and employee assistance programs (EAPs). While employers may want to cut back on such programs to control costs, they are more necessary than ever and must be managed and used in a way to maximize their value. Employers should watch for trends in utilization of the programs that can suggest misuse. Analysis by age, occupation, position, location and other factors can suggest the need for special kinds of assistance or preventive programs. Design features including the definition of a case, amount of direct contact by care providers and care integration between providers reflect important value differences between programs.
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Improving Employee Wellness to Stem Rising Benefits Costs.
O'Grady, Louise; Canadian Benefits & Compensation Digest; v25 no5 pp 11-13 Oct 2007; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : With Canada's public health services becoming overburdened and its labor market tightening, health benefits are an increasingly useful recruitment tool. Mental health issues are growing in significance, with depression the fastest category of days lost to disability. Absenteeism, presenteeism, obesity and the general ill health of the millennial generation are all major contributors to health care costs. Health Canada is promoting three-pronged approach to workplace health, fostering a safe and healthy work environment, physically and psychologically, and encouraging workers to pursue healthy lifestyles.
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Single-Payer Health Care Systems: The Roles and Responsibilities of the Public and Private Sectors.
Munn, Jeffrey D.; Wozniak, Lynne; Benefits Quarterly; v23 no3 pp 7-16 3rd Qtr 2007; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : Health care systems worldwide are experiencing strains caused by changing economic conditions. Single payer systems in Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, China and India are using different strategies to cope with cost increases. Australia has adopted policies emphasizing individual responsibility for health status, while Canada and the United Kingdom focus on providing urgent care. Rapid economic growth in China and India has forced changes in systems in place since the 1940s. Employers worldwide are becoming more involved in health care funding as they vie for talented workers.
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Welcome to the Era of the $1 Million Drug Claim.
Whitbread, David; Canadian Benefits & Compensation Digest; v25 no2 pp 11-14 Apr 2007; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : Canadian drug plan sponsors should prepare for astronomical benefit claims. The likelihood arises from the extreme cost of specialized pharmaceuticals as well as soaring costs of conventional drugs and the rising number of prescriptions per person. Employers should consider a number of possible solutions including stop loss coverage, a plan maximum benefit and a provisional drug formulary that requires members to first try less expensive drugs. Employers should not expect that a drug's approval by Health Canada will mean it will be covered under the provincial health plan, and they should not count on provincial reciprocity.
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