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CLHIA expresses serious concerns with federal pharmacare plan

News Release

Release Date: 02/29/2024
Staff Reference: Kevin Dorse

(Toronto, February 29, 2024) The Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA), whose members provide drug and supplementary health benefits to over 27 million people, wants Canadians to be aware of what the Trudeau government’s pharmacare proposal will cost them.

Today, Stephen Frank, President and CEO of the CLHIA provided the following statement:

“For the last six years, Canada’s life and health insurers have told the federal government that we believe all Canadians should be able to access the drugs they’ve been prescribed.

We have told the government that the way to improve drug coverage is to build on the workplace plans that millions of working people and their families value and rely on, by providing targeted benefits to the relatively small number of Canadians who lack public or private drug coverage now.

But the plan announced today will not do that. Instead, it will spend billions of dollars unnecessarily on drugs for people who already have coverage.

It will replace what is working with a government program that will become more burdensome and expensive over time.

And it will put at risk the workplace benefit plans that 27 million Canadians count on, making life less affordable for millions of families.

Private insurance plans offer coverage for nearly twice as many drugs as even the best public plan. Canadians don’t want the federal government picking and choosing which drugs get covered and which don’t.

We believe the right approach is to support existing benefit plans that are working well, and to target federal investment towards those who don’t have coverage today, not those who already do.”

About the CLHIA

The CLHIA is a voluntary association whose member companies account for 99 per cent of Canada's life and health insurance business. These insurers provide financial security products including life insurance, annuities (including RRSPs, RRIFs and pensions) and supplementary health insurance to over 29 million Canadians. They hold over $1 trillion in assets in Canada and employ more than 170,000 Canadians.

For more information:

Kevin Dorse
Assistant Vice President, Strategic Communications and Public Affairs
(613) 691-6001 /