CANADIAN LIFE AND HEALTH INSURANCE INDUSTRY RESPONDS TO FEDERAL STANDING COMMITTEE ON HEALTH REPORT
News ReleaseRelease Date: 04/18/2018 Staff Reference: Wendy Hope
(Toronto, April 18, 2018) -- The Canadian Life and Health Insurance industry is reviewing the federal Standing Committee on Health’s report Pharmacare Now: Prescription Medicine Coverage for all Canadians, and the accompanying Dissenting and Supplementary Opinions presented to the House of Commons today.
According to President and CEO of the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) Stephen Frank, “We support the goal of ensuring all Canadians can access their needed medications. Our research shows that the 25 million people who have coverage of drug and other health services through group insurance plans want to make sure that prescription medicine is affordable for everyone, but do not want to put their health plans at risk. Without changes, the approach tabled by the Committee actually could reduce the quality of health benefit plans for millions of people.”
The Committee’s recommended approach is a very expensive way to achieve the intended goal and would require governments to find in excess of $20 billion in tax revenues from Canadians. “It’s clear that there is alignment around the need for change. Any reform, however, needs to be done in a way that protects taxpayers and doesn’t put Canadians’ health plans at risk,” notes Mr. Frank.
Canada’s life and health insurers believe that changes to the current system should build on the many strengths in both the public and private systems for the benefit of all Canadians. “Everyone will need to make changes and it makes sense that the best system is one that will: ensure that patients have access to the medicines they need at affordable prices; ensure Canadians do not lose their existing group health benefit plans; and control costs to taxpayers,” asserts Mr. Frank.
About the CLHIA
The CLHIA is a volunteer association whose member companies account for 99% of Canada’s life and health insurance business. The industry provides a wide range of financial security products such as life insurance, annuities (including RRSPs, RRIFs and pensions) and supplementary health insurance to more than 28 million Canadians. It also holds over $810 billion in assets in Canada and employs nearly 155,000 Canadians.
For more information:
Wendy Hope, Vice President, External Relations