The issue: Cancer patients can face crippling financial hardship, forcing some into bankruptcy. Solutions: All provinces should cover the cost of expensive out-of-hospital cancer drugs; government benefit programs should better respond to cancer patients’ needs.
In May 2015, the Ontario government appointed two Special Advisors (Michael Mitchell and The Honourable John C. Murray) to review the modern-day workplace and to consider whether the Ontario Labour Relations Act, 1995 (“OLRA”) and the Ontario Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) require amendments to reflect workplaces as we know them today (the so-called “Changing Workplaces Review”). The Review was initiated to deal with the government’s primary concerns with key workplace-related issues, including non-standard working relationships, the expanding service sector, workplace diversity, technological change and globalization, and trade liberalization.
The 20th anniversary of The Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey, Canada’s premier survey on health benefit plans, brings to light that there is still much opportunity to learn from and improve employee health benefit plans. This year’s survey highlights that barely half (53%) of employees say their health benefit plan meets their needs extremely or very well, down from 73% in 1999 when the question was first asked.
The annual report, which analyses drug spending trends for 11 publicly funded plans, showed a $1-billion spike in prescription drug spending during the 2015-2016 period. That brought total documented expenditures up to $11.3 billion, 79.7% of which was covered by the plans. The rest was paid by beneficiaries either out-of-pocket or through private drug plans.
Mercer, a global consulting company, today predicted that employers’ health benefit costs will increase by 130% by 2025 due to expensive specialty drugs, higher rates of chronic and mental illness, increased fraud and rising health pooling costs.