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Statement: Health insurers are working to improve patient care through Preferred Provider Networks

Published on 10/04/2024

Group Insurance > Employee benefit plans

Northwest Territories Budget Submission

Published on 05/04/2024

Group Insurance > Employee benefit plans

CLHIA responds to federal engagement on advancing a pan-Canadian civilian response capacity

Published on 26/03/2024

Group Insurance > Employee benefit plans

Manitoba Budget Submission

Published on 01/03/2024

Group Insurance Prescription Drug Costs Pensions and Retirement > Employee benefit plans Drug pricing Provincial & territorial drug program information

CLHIA expresses serious concerns with federal pharmacare plan

Published on 29/02/2024

Group Insurance Prescription Drug Costs > Employee benefit plans Pharmacare

New Brunswick Budget Submission

Published on 29/02/2024

Group Insurance Prescription Drug Costs Pensions and Retirement > Employee benefit plans Drug pricing Provincial & territorial drug program information

Federal 2024 Budget Submission

Published on 09/02/2024

Disability Group Insurance Prescription Drug Costs > Long term disability Employee benefit plans Pharmacare

Ontario Budget Submission

Published on 31/01/2024

Group Insurance Prescription Drug Costs Pensions and Retirement > Employee benefit plans Drug pricing Employer pension plans

Nova Scotia Budget Submission

Published on 26/01/2024

Group Insurance Prescription Drug Costs Pensions and Retirement > Employee benefit plans Drug pricing Provincial & territorial drug program information

Alberta Budget Submission

Published on 19/01/2024

Group Insurance Prescription Drug Costs Pensions and Retirement > Employee benefit plans Provincial & territorial drug program information Employer pension plans

Standard best practice on referrals and prescriptions from physicians

Published on 16/01/2024

Group Insurance > Paramedical benefits Employee benefit plans

Newfoundland and Labrador Budget Submission

Published on 22/12/2023

Group Insurance Prescription Drug Costs Pensions and Retirement > Employee benefit plans Provincial & territorial drug program information Employer pension plans

Prince Edward Island Budget Submission

Published on 22/12/2023

Group Insurance Pensions and Retirement Prescription Drug Costs > Employee benefit plans Employer pension plans Provincial & territorial drug program information

Director, Public Affairs

Published on 01/12/2023

Insurers support Ontario's efforts to modernize submission requirements for "well established" brand and generic prescription drugs

Published on 01/12/2023

Prescription Drug Costs > Drug pricing Provincial & territorial drug program information

Letter to the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta on their updated Standards of Practice

Published on 15/11/2023

Group Insurance > Employee benefit plans

General Accountant

Published on 14/11/2023

Careers

Director, Pensions Policy and Governance

Published on 13/10/2023

Careers

Director, Market Conduct Policy and Regulation

Published on 29/09/2023

Careers

Life and health insurers paid out a record $114 billion, helping make life more affordable in 2022

Published on 26/09/2023

Pensions and Retirement Capital and Assets Group Insurance Taxation > Annuities Employer pension plans Long-term investments Employee benefit plans Federal Taxation Provincial and Territorial Taxation Tax Deferred Products (RRSP, RESP, TFSA, RDSP, RRIF)

Government Relations Advisor

Published on 20/09/2023

Careers

Submission to the Pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance: PCPA Temporary Access Process

Published on 17/08/2023

Prescription Drug Costs > Drug pricing

Submission to the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario on Standard of Practice - Virtual Care

Published on 11/08/2023

Group Insurance > Dental insurance Employee benefit plans

Federal 2024 Pre-Budget Consultation

Published on 08/08/2023

Disability Group Insurance Prescription Drug Costs > Long term disability Employee benefit plans Pharmacare

2024 British Columbia Pre-Budget Submission

Published on 26/06/2023

Group Insurance Pensions and Retirement > Employee benefit plans Employer pension plans

Denis Ricard elected CLHIA Chair

Published on 30/05/2023

CLHIA Governance > Board of Directors

The members of the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association have elected Denis Ricard Chair of our Board of Directors.

Mr. Ricard has been President and Chief Executive Officer of iA Financial Group since September 2018. He is an engaged leader who values employee development in a learning, socially responsible organization.

Mr. Ricard began his career at iA Financial Group in 1985, after completing his actuarial studies at Université Laval. Over the years, he has assumed positions of increasing responsibility in sectors ranging from actuarial to business development to corporate management. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries (FCIA) and of the Society of Actuaries (FSA).

Statement on possible WestJet pilots strike and trip cancellation insurance

Published on 16/05/2023

Group Insurance > Travel insurance

Submission to Health Canada - Agile Licensing for Drugs

Published on 26/04/2023

Prescription Drug Costs > Drug pricing

Health Canada has closed their consultation on new agile licensing regulations for prescription drugs. These regulations will allow Health Canada to provide approval for a drug where all the required evidence has yet to be submitted. Health Canada will be able to place terms and conditions on a new drug, establish rolling reviews where additional clinical information is needed, and require a risk mitigation plan to be put in place. These new regulations will be applied to a specific set of drugs, most commonly emerging drugs for rare diseases, as well as gene and cell therapy. The regulations recognize that these drugs are developed for a small patient population for which standard randomized control trials may not be available and where pharmaceutical companies still need to collect real world evidence for licensing by Health Canada.

CLHIA’s submission makes the critical point that, since the insurance industry has been left out of the federal government’s rare disease framework and funding, these changes will increase the risk of private payers funding drugs that may ultimately prove to be not effective, whereas public payers will have federal government money to lessen their risk.

Letter on National Adaptation Strategy

Published on 31/03/2023

Sustainability and Climate Change

On March 31, the CLHIA sent a letter to Minister Guilbeault, the federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change, applauding the government on its release of Canada’s National Adaptation Strategy. We took this opportunity to offer support to the federal government in achieving its goals in two key areas: (1) ensuring greater collaboration between governments, health care providers, and health insurance companies to ensure the health and well-being of Canadians where climate change has impacts; and (2) leveraging the industry’s capacity to invest in infrastructure projects, particularly sustainable assets.

Life and health insurers to tackle benefits fraud through joint investigations

Published on 01/03/2023

Compliance > Fraud risk management

On March 1, CLHIA announced that Canada’s life and health insurers are now working together to conduct joint investigations into suspected of fraudulent activities by health service providers. Building on last year’s launch of a CLHIA-supported industry data pooling program, these initiatives are part of an industry strategy to leverage the knowledge, expertise, and resources of life and health insurers to reduce the time it takes to act on those who are exploiting workplace health benefit plans.

The industry’s anti-fraud work continues to focus on on education as well. CLHIA recently launched a new microsite at protectyourbenefits.ca that includes educational resources on the insurance landscape, and the proper and improper use of incentives in insurance. This resource will be leveraged by insurers to educate plan sponsors and plan members about benefits fraud.

New Brunswick 2023 Budget Submission

Published on 24/02/2023

Group Insurance Pensions and Retirement Sustainability and Climate Change Taxation > Employee benefit plans Employer pension plans Government Monitoring Provincial and Territorial Taxation

Manitoba 2023 Budget Submission

Published on 10/02/2023

Group Insurance Pensions and Retirement > Employee benefit plans Employer pension plans

In the lead up to their respective budgets, the CLHIA provided the following comments to Manitoba, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Each province should:

· Support workplace benefit plans in light of a new federal program for dental care;
· Support virtual care services through public health care and private health benefit plans;
· Enable automatic features in workplace pension plans and introduce ALDAs and VPLAs as new retirement income options;
· Expand and accelerate long-term infrastructure projects by structuring projects to attract long-term investors; and
· Reduce, and eventually eliminate, tax on life and health insurance premiums.

Federal 2023 Budget Submission

Published on 10/02/2023

Prescription Drug Costs Group Insurance > Provincial & territorial drug program information Pharmacare Dental insurance

On February 10, the CLHIA provided comments to the federal government on key issues in advance of the 2023 budget. The CLHIA recommended the government:

· Support workplace benefit plans in the context of a new dental care program and a rare disease strategy;
· Ensure that the expected Pharmacare Act builds on what is already working today by targeting supports to those without coverage;
· Modernize and update the Premium Reduction Program (PRP) as part of Employment Insurance reform;
· Expeditiously move forward with Bill C-27, which would modernize existing federal private sector privacy legislation to reflect new technologies and innovations. We are asking that the Bill move forward after making some technical refinements;
· Expand and accelerate long-term infrastructure projects by structuring projects to attract long-term investors;
· Broaden the scope of VPLAs including permitting standalone VPLAs;
· Reissue Real Return Bonds (RRBs); and,
· Repeal the sector specific additional tax on our industry.

2023 Ontario Pre-Budget Submission

Published on 10/02/2023

Disability Distribution Group Insurance Health Care Policy Prescription Drug Costs > Long term disability Market conduct Employee benefit plans Long-term Care Provincial & territorial drug program information

On February 10, the CLHIA provided comments to Ontario on key issues in advance of the 2023 budget. The CLHIA recommended the government:

· Enable automatic features in workplace pension plans and introduce ALDAs and VPLAs as new retirement income options;
· Support workplace benefit plans in light of a new federal program for dental care, as well as a provincial portable benefits strategy;
· Support virtual care services through public health care and private health benefit plans;
· Expand and accelerate long-term infrastructure projects by structuring projects to attract long-term investors; and
· Reduce, and eventually eliminate, tax on life and health insurance premiums.

Newfoundland and Labrador 2023 Budget Submission

Published on 10/02/2023

Group Insurance Pensions and Retirement Taxation > Employee benefit plans Employer pension plans Provincial and Territorial Taxation

Nova Scotia 2023 Budget Submission

Published on 03/02/2023

Group Insurance Pensions and Retirement > Employee benefit plans Employer pension plans

On February 3, the CLHIA provided comments to Nova Scotia on key issues in advance of the 2023 provincial budget. The CLHIA recommended the government:

· Support workplace benefit plans in light of a new federal program for dental care;
· Enable automatic features in workplace pension plans and introduce ALDAs and VPLAs as new retirement income options;
· Expand and accelerate long-term infrastructure projects by structuring projects to attract long-term investors; and
· Reduce, and eventually eliminate, tax on life and health insurance premiums.

Prince Edward Island 2023 Provincial Budget Submission

Published on 23/01/2023

Group Insurance Pensions and Retirement > Employee benefit plans Employer pension plans

On January 10, the CLHIA provided its comments to the government of Prince Edward Island on key issues in advance of the 2023-24 operating budget. The CLHIA recommended the government:

  • Support workplace benefit plans in light of a new federal program for dental care and planned funding for rare disease drugs;
  • Enable payroll deduction for pension plan contributions as part of its Employment Standards Act review;
  • Expand and accelerate long-term infrastructure projects by structuring projects to attract long-term investors;
  • Reduce, and eventually eliminate, tax on life and health insurance premiums; and
  • Modernize its Insurance Act to update and harmonize with other provincial insurance legislation.
  • Alberta 2023 Provincial Budget Submission

    Published on 20/01/2023

    Group Insurance Pensions and Retirement > Employee benefit plans Employer pension plans

    On January 12, the CLHIA provided comments to the government of Alberta on key issues in advance of the 2023 budget. The CLHIA recommended the government:

  • Support workplace benefit plans in light of a new federal program for dental care and planned funding for rare disease drugs;
  • Enable automatic features in workplace pension plans and introduce ALDAs and VPLAs as new retirement income options;
  • Expand and accelerate long-term infrastructure projects by structuring projects to attract long-term investors; and
  • Reduce, and eventually eliminate, tax on life and health insurance premiums.
  • CLHIA encourages Alberta to move forward with regulating mental health professionals

    Published on 17/01/2023

    Health Care Policy > Mental health

    With the support of previous governments, the Association of Counselling Therapy of Alberta was created to establish a regulatory body for mental health professionals who are not currently regulated. In the past 12 months however, government momentum to proclaim the regulatory college has stalled. The CLHIA recently submitted a letter of support for proceeding with proclamation of the college, which is fully developed and ready to be enacted. Regulation supports consistency and patient safety by establishing practice scope and educational requirements, as well as providing an avenue for patient complaints. It also serves to expand mental health resources. As many benefit plans reimburse for the services of regulated professionals only, expanding the field of practice decreases wait times and ensures plan members can find the best practitioner for their unique situation.

    Mémoire de l'ACCAP consultations prébudgétaires Budget du Québec 2023-2024

    Published on 12/01/2023

    Health Care Policy Prescription Drug Costs Pensions and Retirement > Generic drug pricing Mental health Employer pension plans

    The CLHIA will meet with staff in the Minister of Finance’s office on February 7, to present recommendations for the 2023-2024 Quebec budget. In its submission, the CLHIA stressed the importance of continuing to work with the government to implement measures to better control drug costs and to continue to support access to mental health care. We also explained the need for the government to introduce a new financial omnibus that will guarantee a more competitive insurance market and an offer adapted to consumer needs. Lastly, we addressed the need for government to implement more flexible and innovative retirement tools.

    Submission to the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health -- Real-world evidence for reporting guidance

    Published on 06/01/2023

    Prescription Drug Costs > Drug pricing

    On January 6, the CLHIA responded to a consultation on real-world evidence (RWE) from the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH). The guidance addresses topics as data access, linkage and cleaning methods, data sources, participants and their characteristics, outcomes as well as variables. It has been developed by reviewing RWE international guidance with an aim to aligning these initiatives while considering the Canadian context. The CLHIA supports this direction and the opportunity to comment as the provision of RWE is implemented for the review of drugs in Canada.

    Real-world evidence may need to be collected for Health Canada-approved prescription drugs that have not gone through full randomized control trials. In many cases, this would be for drugs for rare diseases where there are not enough patients for full randomized control trials. CADTH has developed draft guidance for the provision and collection of RWE after a drug starts being used. The evidence will provide information on whether the drug is successful and should continue to be funded, or unsuccessful and should stop being funded.

    Submission to the Patented Medicines Pricing Review Board - Draft Guidelines

    Published on 05/12/2022

    Prescription Drug Costs > Drug pricing

    The PMPRB has been consulting with stakeholders for a number of years on implementing a re-designed regime to assess the maximum price ceiling for each new drug coming to Canada. Measures considered included taking into account economic and value factors; revising the list of comparator countries; reviewing prices annually; and other measures.

    On July 1, the PMPRB’s new regulations around comparator countries came into effect, but without any other measures. The list of comparator countries was increased from seven to 11, and very high-cost comparators such as the US, were dropped from the list. However, reviews for new drugs coming to market were paused until the guidelines, which really define the criteria for the review of prices, were drafted and stakeholders had an opportunity to comment on them. Final comments were submitted December 5. The PMPRB intends to finalize the guideline by end of year in order to resume reviews of new drugs as soon as possible.

    Our industry was given a presentation on the draft and specific areas where PMPRB sought our input. Our industry supports the change to comparator countries and the revised processes indicated in the guidelines. According to the PMPRB’s analysis, altogether these changes for currently approved products will have the effect of a three per cent reduction to list prices. This represents a $3.4 billion impact in present value over 10 years. Roughly 30 per cent of drugs currently on the market will be required to reduce their pricing. For new products to market the impact will be a price reduction of 10 per cent, a $1.6 billion impact.

    Submission to BC Financial Service Authority Re: market code of conduct follow-up

    Published on 15/11/2022

    Distribution > Market conduct

    On November 15, the CLHIA responded to two follow-up questions from the British Columbia Financial Services Authority (BCFSA) on its Insurer Code of Market Conduct. These questions followed a formal consultation on the code, which closed in August. The CLHIA also proposed two solutions to promote harmonization:

    · Work with the Insurance Council of British Columbia to adopt Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators (CCIR)/Canadian Insurance Services Regulatory Organization (CISRO) Fair Treatment of Customers (FTC) Guidance; or
    · Remove the Supplemental Guideline and permit insurers to use either the FTC Guidance or the BCFSA Code.

    Response to CCIR’s consultation on upfront commissions in sales of segregated funds

    Published on 07/11/2022

    Distribution Insurance > Market conduct Segregated Funds (IVICs)

    On November 7, the CLHIA submitted its response to the CCIR/CISRO consultation on upfront commissions in sales of segregated funds. Our submission argues that segregated funds and mutual funds are complementary within an investor's portfolio (not substitutes); providing advice to the mass market will be uneconomical; advice is more important for segregated funds due to their unique features; and the risk of conflict is low since fund switches without incurring chargebacks are allowed to optimize holdings. Finally, we highlight that segregated funds have a long average hold time of nearly eight years. The submission also includes the results of market research conducted by Abacus Data for the industry which show strong satisfaction among buyers of segregated fund products and insurance brokers.

    The CLHIA is engaging with regulators on our submission and to discuss next steps.

    Submission to AMF on Students Group Insurance

    Published on 17/10/2022

    Group Insurance > Employee benefit plans

    On October 17, the CLHIA responded to the AMF’s consultation on group insurance offered to student associations in Quebec. The CLHIA commented that students group insurance plans, as designed today with automatic enrollment with an opt-out option, meet a need expressed by student associations and their members, and ensure that all students continue to benefit from coverage available at an affordable cost. Therefore, the CLHIA recommended the AMF should maintain the current regulatory framework allowing for such a plan design. We indicated that not doing so will disadvantage students, including those with low incomes who would not otherwise be able to obtain insurance. Our response provided recommendations for a continued dialogue to optimize communications and coordination by all stakeholders involved in the design and administration of students group insurance plans. The CLHIA will continue to keep the industry updated when the AMF issues its report and makes recommendations to Quebec’s Finance Minister.

    Submission to BC regarding implementation of the Financial Institutions Amendment Act, 2019 (Bill 37): Consultation Regarding Restricted Insurance Licenses

    Published on 03/10/2022

    Distribution > Market conduct

    On October 3, the CLHIA responded to the Government of British Columbia’s consultation regarding restricted insurance licences. The CLHIA commended the government’s efforts to promote consistency, simplicity, and harmonization amongst the provinces that have, or will soon have restricted insurance agent licences.

    The CLHIA commented on the prospective classes of applicants and insurance as well as on repealing exemptions in BC’s insurance licensing exemptions regulation. Our response also provided detailed comments against limits to commissions, value limits on insurance sold by restricted licence holders, and deferred sales charges models. Finally, the CLHIA addressed transitional considerations, businesses outside of British Columbia being eligible for restricted licences, and strongly discouraged the government from using the term “post-claim underwriting.”

    The CLHIA will continue to keep the industry updated when British Columbia’s next steps for this initiative become clearer.

    Submission on Modernizing Corporate Governance for Federally Regulated Financial Institutions

    Published on 23/09/2022

    Government Relations > Government Monitoring

    On September 23, the CLHIA provided its comments to the federal government’s consultation on modernizing the governance framework for federally regulated financial institutions (FRFIs). The consultation is considering adapting and applying the Canada Business Corporations Act diversity disclosure requirements to FRFIs. Our submission notes the importance of balancing qualifications with efforts to encourage diversity on boards of directors. The consultation also considers expanding electronic communications, such as electronic distribution of materials and virtual stakeholder meetings. The CLHIA submission expressed support for these measures.

    Canadians received a record $113 billion in life and health insurance benefits, 2021 data shows

    Published on 15/09/2022

    Consumers > CLHIA Consumer Publications

    In mid-September, the CLHIA released the 2022 edition of Canadian Life and Health Insurance Facts. This year’s edition shows the important role insurers are playing in the recovery, helping employers and their employees get back on their feet with workplace benefits that help attract and retain talent and contribute to the health of millions.

    Among the key facts are that in 2021, Canada’s life and health insurers:

  • Paid-out a historic $113 billion in benefits last year – up 17 per cent from 2020 and nearly $10 billion above pre-pandemic levels
  • Provided coverage for over 29 million Canadians – or 76 per cent of the population
  • Paid a record $40.8 billion in total health claims, including prescription drugs and dental – up 11 per cent from 2020
  • Processed nearly $600 million in claims related to mental health – up 75 per cent since 2019
  • Paid out $58 billion in annuities to retirees - up 26 per cent from the previous year
  • Employed 166,000 Canadians – up more than 5,000 from 2020
  • Provided insurance products to nearly 100 million people worldwide

    Canadian Life and Health Insurance Facts is published annually by CLHIA relying on industry and publicly available data. Download it and related resources at https://www.clhia.ca/facts.

  • CLHIA submission on the development of a model Canadian digital trade agreement

    Published on 13/09/2022

    Trade & Commerce > Privacy

    The federal government has started work to develop a model Canadian digital trade agreement. On July 15, Global Affairs Canada launched a consultation inviting views on the potential scope and content of the agreement. On September 13, the CLHIA shared its views highlighting two key issues for consideration: that the agreement should prohibit data localization requirements; and that it should minimize the differences in digital regulation across jurisdictions.

    Submission to the Employment and Social Development Canada - Premium Reduction Program

    Published on 29/07/2022

    Disability Group Insurance > Long term disability Employee benefit plans

    On July 29, the CLHIA responded to an Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) consultation on revamping the current Premium Reduction Program. CLHIA’s recommendations intend to make the program flexible and simple, modernize and digitize processes, and develop initiatives to create awareness of the program among employers. For background, employers who offer a short-term disability program comparable to or better than Employment Insurance sickness benefits, pay reduced EI premiums. As the EI sickness program will be changing from 15 weeks to 26 weeks sometime later this year, it is important that the PRP be revamped in conjunction with this change.

    Specifically, the CLHIA asked that all disability income-replacement programs (including sick days and LTD) be “counted” towards employer eligibility for the program. The many steps an employer takes to become recognized as eligible need to be reduced or eliminated. A simple employer attestation be put in place instead of the submission and review of insurance contracts by Service Canada. And that business process improvements to automate eligibility review and confirmation be made to free up resources for both employers and Service Canada.

    ESDC has committed to continue to work with the CLHIA, employers and the insurance industry as they finalize the changes to the Premium Reduction Program.

    Submission to Environment & Climate Change Canada on the National Adaptation Strategy Consultation

    Published on 15/07/2022

    Risk Management Sustainability and Climate Change > Operational Risk Government Monitoring

    On July 15, the CLHIA provided its comments to the federal government on its National Adaptation Strategy. The submission focused on the infrastructure, health and wellbeing, and economy streams of the strategy. Specifically, the CLHIA recommended the federal government:

  • pass the delayed regulations from budget 2018 that are critical to allowing greater private sector investment in sustainable and resiliency-building infrastructure;
  • develop a publicly available pipeline of sustainable and climate-resilient infrastructure projects being built by all levels of government; and
  • structure projects to attract long-term investors.


  • The CLHIA also recommended the development of data sharing mechanisms with the private sector concerning the impacts of climate change on public health.

    Submission to the International Sustainability Standards Board on its proposed disclosure standards

    Published on 29/07/2022

    Sustainability and Climate Change Financial Reporting International > Government Monitoring International Financial Reporting Standards International Monitoring

    On July 29, the CLHIA provided its comments to the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) in response to its consultations on disclosure of sustainability-related financial information (IFRS S1) and climate-related disclosures (IFRS S2). The high-level letter reiterated key positions taken in the Global Federation of Insurance Associations (GFIA) submission, which the CLHIA contributed to, including:

  • sustainability reporting expectations must respect the principles of confidentiality, proportionality, and materiality;
  • collaboration and coordination between the ISSB and jurisdictional standard setters is critical to promote consistency and to reduce overlapping and duplicative reporting requirements; and
  • the ISSB should clarify the difference between “material” and “significant” in the exposure drafts.
  • Submission to the Securities and Exchange Commission on the Enhancement and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures

    Published on 28/06/2022

    Risk Management Sustainability and Climate Change International > Operational Risk Government Monitoring International Monitoring

    On June 17, the CLHIA provided its comments to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in response to its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on the enhancement and standardization of climate-related disclosures for investors. CLHIA members support the SEC’s efforts to encourage disclosure of consistent and comparable climate-related information. The CLHIA members also agree with its current proposal not to amend Form 40-F for Canadian issuers under the multijurisdictional disclosure system (MJDS). This would recognize the significant work underway in Canada to develop and implement climate-related disclosures for Canadian issuers.

    British Columbia 2023 Pre-Budget Consultation

    Published on 24/06/2022

    Group Insurance Pensions and Retirement > Employee benefit plans Employer pension plans

    On June 18, the CLHIA provided recommendations to the British Columbia Legislature’s Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services in advance of the province’s 2023 budget. The industry’s recommendations focused on four key areas:

    1. Supporting workplace benefits plans which provide millions of British Columbians with comprehensive access to prescription medicines, dental care and mental health services;
    2. Pension innovation to increase retirement savings and decumulation options for British Columbians;
    3. Increasing private sector investment in sustainable and resiliency-building infrastructure to support the transition to a low-carbon economy and support the health and well-being of British Columbians; and
    4. Supporting an innovative business environment by reducing the tax on health and disability insurance premiums.

    CLHIA welcomes introduction of federal privacy legislation

    Published on 20/06/2022

    Trade & Commerce > Privacy

    Bernard Lord elected CLHIA Chair

    Published on 09/06/2022

    CLHIA Governance > Board of Directors

    The members of the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association have elected Bernard Lord, Chief Executive Officer of Medavie as Chair of the Board of Directors.

    Mr. Lord became CEO of Medavie in September 2016 to provide strategic leadership and further the company’s mission to improve the wellbeing of Canadians. Prior to this, he served eight years on its board of directors. Mr. Lord was Premier of New Brunswick from 1999 to 2006.

    He is currently the Chair of the International Federation of Health Plans, and the incoming President of the Canadian Association of Blue Cross Plans. He is a Queen’s Counsel and a member of the New Brunswick Law Society and Canadian Bar Association.

    Submission to Alberta College of Pharmacy on draft Practice Standards for Virtual Care

    Published on 24/05/2022

    Group Insurance Prescription Drug Costs > Coordination of benefits Employee benefit plans Drug pricing

    The Alberta College of Pharmacy has developed draft standards of practice for when virtual care can be delivered. Of particular note, section 5 of the draft states that “A determination by an employer, third-party payer or an insurer that compels or provides incentive for virtual care is not a unique circumstance for the purpose of section 3.” In our May 24 submission, the CLHIA recommended the removal of section 5 and that this restriction not be imposed on the provision of virtual care. If left to stand, it would effectively eliminate the provision of virtual care where any incentive might be involved. Incentives are not defined but could be reasonably assumed to include a reduced dispensing fee, the addition of extra services such as those provided by patient support programs, or any other “incentives” offered through preferred provider networks. While incentives are offered by a variety of community pharmacies, this practice standard seems to target virtual pharmacies and to be offside with the current preferences of Albertans to have options for how they obtain pharmacy services.

    Recordings and presentations are now available for the May 4-5 Compliance and Consumer Complaints Virtual Annual Conference

    Published on 10/05/2022

    Compliance Consumers > Culture of compliance Fair treatment of customers (FTC) Compliance trends and developments Complaint Handling

    Exposés et enregistrements de la réunion de printemps de la Section juridique (Québec) de l’ACCAP maintenant affichés

    Published on 27/04/2022

    Insurance > Federal Legislation Provincial & Territorial Legislation

    Submission on Expanding the scope of the VPLAs to enable more Canadians to access retirement income security

    Published on 03/05/2022

    Pensions and Retirement Taxation > Retirement Income System Reviews Wealth & Retirement Federal Taxation

    On May 3, the CLHIA made a submission to the federal Department of Finance calling a broader scope for Variable Payment Life Annuities (VPLAs) that were brought into the Income Tax Act & Regulations (ITA) effective January 1, 2020. The submission argues that a standalone VPLA that can pool funds and longevity risks across members of smaller DC plans, RRSPs, RRIFs, etc., could provide an innovative decumulation solution that would benefit the over 500,000 Canadians retiring each year.

    Saskatchewan Public Engagement on Virtual Care

    Published on 30/04/2022

    Group Insurance > Employee benefit plans

    On April 30, the CLHIA wrote to the government of Saskatchewan to support the continued expansion of virtual care across the province with all health care practitioners, where appropriate. The government should assist disadvantaged and rural populations to access virtual care. The CLHIA submission also shared key insights that the private payer industry has gained through experience during the pandemic.

    Virtual care is an important issue for the insurance industry as we provide access to this type of care through employer sponsored benefit plans. Canadians have access to virtual health care providers including doctors, nurse practitioners, and nurses, enabling them to discuss symptoms, obtain prescriptions, and get referrals to other providers.

    Statement on the implementation of reforms to Patented Medicine Prices Review Board regulations

    Published on 14/04/2022

    Prescription Drug Costs > Drug pricing

    In mid-April, Health Canada announced that changes to patent medicines pricing regulations, already postponed several times, would come into force on July 1, 2022. The changes will allow the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board to use a new list of comparator countries when evaluating drug prices. The CLHIA and the industry have strongly supported this measure that will remove jurisdictions considered high price outliers globally.

    The government opted not to move forward with other measures related to the new price regulatory factors, and requirements to file information net of all price adjustments. The CLHIA issued a statement saying the announcement “represents good news for all Canadians who are currently paying some of the highest drug prices in the world.”

    (Update) Recordings and presentations are available for the April 6 Legal Section Mid-term Meeting virtual event

    Published on 05/04/2022

    Insurance > Federal Legislation Provincial & Territorial Legislation

    The CLHIA Legal Section’s mid-term meeting was held virtually again this year and was well attended by 125 attendees and speakers. The program featured a presentation from FSRA on its priorities for the life and health industry. The agenda also included presentations on federal and provincial regulatory matters, recent insurance and pension cases, and a panel discussion among government relations experts on industry regulation in Canada. A professionalism session focusing on implicit bias was very well received. The Legal Section’s Annual Meeting will be held in-person in The Blue Mountains, Ontario at the Westin Trillium House from Wednesday, September 21 to Friday, September 23.

    New Brunswick 2022 Pre-Budget Consultation

    Published on 28/02/2022

    Group Insurance Pensions and Retirement Prescription Drug Costs Taxation > Employee benefit plans Annuities Employer pension plans Drug pricing Generic drug pricing Provincial & territorial drug program information Policyholder Tax

    On February 28, the CLHIA provided its comments to New Brunswick in advance of its 2022 budget. The CLHIA recommended the government:

  • provide access to affordable prescription drugs and mental health supports through workplace and individual health benefits plans that include reduced costs of and enhanced access to high-cost and rare disease medicines;
  • amend the Pension Benefits Act to enable payroll deduction for pension plan contributions where the pension plan provides for automatic plan enrollment and annual contribution escalation;
  • monitor and parallel federal measures to introduce ALDAs and VPLAs as new retirement income options;
  • amend the provincial Insurance Act in order to modernize the licensing regime and improve consumer protection;
  • leverage the industry’s investment capacity in order to expand and accelerate long-term infrastructure projects by structuring projects to attract long-term investors; and
  • develop a tangible plan to reduce, and eventually eliminate, tax on life and health insurance premiums.
  • 2022 Federal Pre-Budget Submission

    Published on 25/02/2022

    Group Insurance Pensions and Retirement Prescription Drug Costs Taxation > Employee benefit plans Annuities Employer pension plans Drug pricing Generic drug pricing Provincial & territorial drug program information Provincial and Territorial Taxation Policyholder Tax

    On February 25, the CLHIA provided its comments to the Department of Finance in advance of the 2022 federal budget. Key recommendations include supporting workplace benefits plans (including a discussion of Employment Insurance reforms and their impacts), enhancing privacy protections, making retirement income more secure, releasing a full set of tax legislative changes to address IFRS 17, and increasing sustainable investing opportunities - including by bringing forward regulations to encourage private investment in infrastructure.

    Submission to the CADTH on Building Toward a Potential pan-Canadian Formulary

    Published on 25/02/2022

    Prescription Drug Costs > Drug pricing Provincial & territorial drug program information

    As part of their work to recommend a national minimum drug formulary for the federal government, the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) has engaged an advisory panel to review and propose processes for creating a list of drugs and related products, as well as best practices for managing a formulary.

    During the consultation period, which ended February 25, CADTH engaged with the insurance industry to understand our unique environment with respect to formulary management. Insurers recommended the formulary working group consider the views of employer-sponsored plans in the development of a national formulary and to draw on the expertise of insurers on it. It was emphasized that private plans cover the costs of a large number of prescription drugs, and that their contributions to workplace productivity and disability management need to be considered in the development of any formulary.

    CADTH will prepare and submit their report with recommendations for consideration by the Canadian Drug Agency later in 2022.

    Submission on the New Brunswick Climate Change Action Plan

    Published on 24/02/2022

    Sustainability and Climate Change > Government Monitoring

    On February 24, the CLHIA provided its comments to New Brunswick on its proposed climate change action plan. The submission focused on the industry’s role as a source of stable capital for infrastructure projects that both mitigate GHG emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. It also addressed economic opportunities from transitioning to a resilient, lower carbon economy.

    Newfoundland and Labrador 2022 Pre-Budget Consultation

    Published on 17/02/2022

    Group Insurance Pensions and Retirement Prescription Drug Costs Taxation > Employee benefit plans Annuities Employer pension plans Drug pricing Generic drug pricing Provincial & territorial drug program information Provincial and Territorial Taxation Policyholder Tax

    On February 17, the CLHIA provided its comments to Newfoundland and Labrador in advance of its 2022 budget. The CLHIA recommended the government:

  • provide access to affordable prescription drugs and mental health supports through workplace and individual health benefits plans that include reduced costs of and enhanced access to high-cost and rare disease medicines;
  • amend the Pension Benefits Act and the Labour Standards Act to enable payroll deduction for pension plan contributions where the pension plan provides for automatic plan enrollment and annual contribution escalation;
  • monitor and parallel federal measures to introduce ALDAs and VPLAs as new retirement income options and encourage the federal government to permit standalone VPLAs;
  • introduce legislation to provide clarity that the Insurance Act should be applied to all life insurance contracts and to reinforce that insurance premiums must relate to insurance coverage;
  • leverage the industry’s investment capacity in order to expand and accelerate long-term infrastructure projects by structuring projects to attract long-term investors;
  • collaborate with the industry on the issue of lack of supply of sustainable assets for investment; and
  • develop a tangible plan to reduce and align tax on life and health insurance premiums with other provinces and territories.
  • Submission to the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada on the Lobbyists’ Code of Conduct

    Published on 17/02/2022

    Government Relations > Lobbyist Registration

    On February 17, the CLHIA submitted its comments on the proposed changes by the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada (OCL) to the Lobbyists’ Code of Conduct. In the submission, the industry raised four key issues with the proposed changes, including:

  • Making it clear that lobbying is a legitimate part of our democratic process;
  • Requesting that the existing language on gifting be maintained as the new language is problematic;
  • Altering the language in reference to co-workers in the definition of “close relationships”; and
  • Removing the limits on registerable activities from the proposed language.

  • The comments in the CLHIA submission are consistent with those in the joint submission from the Government Relations Institute of Canada and the Public Affairs Association of Canada.  

    Submission to the Canadian Securities Administrators on Climate-Related Matters

    Published on 16/02/2022

    Sustainability and Climate Change > Government Monitoring

    On February 16, the CLHIA responded to the Canadian Securities Administrators’ consultation on proposed National Instrument 51-107—Disclosure of Climate-related Matters. Canadian life and health insurers support the development of disclosure standards for climate-related risks and opportunities that are aligned with global disclosure standards. Given that standards are coalescing around the Task Force for Climate-related Financial Disclosure’s (TCFD) framework, the industry is pleased that the CSA is taking a similar approach. The industry supports mandatory disclosure of Scope 1 and 2 emissions with Scope 3 emissions on a comply-or-explain basis. At this time we support the deferral of scenario analysis as a reporting requirement until the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions has developed standardized scenario analysis exercises. The submission is also available on the Ontario Securities Commission’s website.

    Life and health insurers to use advanced artificial intelligence to reduce benefits fraud

    Published on 14/02/2022

    Compliance Group Insurance > Fraud risk management Employee benefit plans

    For several years data pooling has been successfully used in P&C insurance and banking with positive outcomes in detecting fraud. On February 14, the CLHIA announced an initiative to enhance the detection and investigation of benefits fraud using data pooling and advanced artificial intelligence.

    Led by the CLHIA and its technology partner Shift Technology, the project uses advanced AI to analyze anonymized claim records from group health insurers. The program will identify patterns across millions of records to enhance the effectiveness of benefits fraud investigations across the industry. This will complement the work insurers are doing to identify and investigate fraud across their own book of business.

    The CLHIA intends for this project to be rolled out and further expanded over the next three years. 

    Statement on CCIR and CISRO announcement on deferred sales charges

    Published on 10/02/2022

    Distribution > Market conduct

    Ontario 2022 Pre-Budget Consultation

    Published on 10/02/2022

    Pensions and Retirement > Employer pension plans

    On February 11, the CLHIA provided its comments to the government of Ontario in advance of its 2022 budget. Key recommendations focused on protecting workplace health benefits, pension innovation (including automatic enrolment and contribution escalation), sustainable investing opportunities and reducing and eventually eliminating the tax on life and health insurance premiums.

    Nova Scotia 2022 Pre-Budget Consultation

    Published on 03/02/2022

    Group Insurance Pensions and Retirement Prescription Drug Costs Taxation > Employee benefit plans Annuities Employer pension plans Drug pricing Generic drug pricing Provincial & territorial drug program information Provincial and Territorial Taxation Policyholder Tax

    On February 4, the CLHIA provided its recommendations to Nova Scotia in advance of its 2022 budget. The CLHIA recommended the government:

  • provide access to affordable prescription drugs and mental health supports through workplace and individual health benefits plans that include reduced costs of and enhanced access to high-cost and rare disease medicines;
  • amend the Pension Benefits Act to enable payroll deduction for pension plan contributions where the pension plan provides for automatic plan enrollment and annual contribution escalation;
  • monitor and parallel federal measures to introduce ALDAs and VPLAs as new retirement income options;
  • leverage the industry’s investment capacity in order to expand and accelerate long-term infrastructure projects by structuring projects to attract long-term investors; and
  • develop a tangible plan to reduce, and eventually eliminate, tax on life and health insurance premiums.
  • Manitoba 2022 Pre-Budget Consultation

    Published on 31/01/2022

    Group Insurance Pensions and Retirement Prescription Drug Costs Taxation > Employee benefit plans Annuities Employer pension plans Drug pricing Generic drug pricing Provincial & territorial drug program information Provincial and Territorial Taxation Policyholder Tax