The Legalization Of Cannabis: 7 Reasons Why Employers Should Take Notice

A short article to help employers learn a bit more about this topical and highly contentious area of legislative change.

We’ll be covering some of this at my next seminar.  if you are a mainstay client, and would like to attend, please let me know ASAP and I’ll register you at my expense.

Cannabis legalization is coming. The legislation is expected to pass by July with legalization becoming effective by September.  Employers should take notice because:

1. There is already a lot of cannabis in Canada

2. More cannabis to come with legalization

3. Cannabis is addictive

4. Cannabis impairs

5. Operating a motor vehicle – risky

6. The problem of residual impairment – hours to days to weeks

7. Occupational health and safety legislation – the risk to the workplace and to employers


Taxing health benefits would ‘dramatically’ raise health-care costs: CLHIA

Well, I thought I’d seen it all in this business.  Provincially we’ve had promises of free drugs, healthcare, dental, and combinations of all three.  Now Federally 9the one really looking at pharmacare seem to be investigating the possibility of taxing health benefits to employee again.  I’m not sure if the goal is to drive employers out of Ontario or Canada, but it sure seems like it some days.  Let’s just concentrate on the nice weather instead!

While a new report shows that introducing a tax on employer-paid health benefits would add $3.8 billion to the federal government’s coffers in the 2018 tax year, it would also dramatically raise health-care costs for many Canadians…


Paramedical Fraud continues

I know we often talk about fraud at renewal time, but as I review a mid-year claims report for one of my great long-term clients, I am reminded of how quickly claims can jump up.  Time will tell if this is a case of; higher usage, misuse, abuse or fraud, but thought a good time to provide some links to remind employers to remain vigilant.  Often the “great deals” that staff are offered, make it around the office and can be addressed quickly to protect the plan and avoid having to cut benefits.

Here is an article on the TTC issue as well as an undercover video that shows just how big (and easy) an issue fraud can be.

Massaging receipts | CBC News
Toronto-area beauty spas are offering esthetic treatments that are paid for through health insurance fraud…

The true story of the fraudsters that fleeced the TTC for $6 million and counting

Twenty per cent of claimants drive nearly 80 per cent of drug plan costs

This is a good, short note on the cost of high cost drugs and the effect that the employees and families claims have on plans.  Amongst our Mainstay clients, we see about 15% of our customers have claims over $10,000 a year

Representing 20 per cent of claimants, members with high-cost chronic conditions drive almost 80 per cent of plan costs with an average annual drug spending that is 15 times that of other claimants, says the report.



In December 2017, Benefits Canada invited a group of benefits plan advisors to the Canadian Leadership Council on Drug Plan Partnerships in Toronto to discuss the impact of national pharmacare on the private health benefit industry.  We didn’t have all the answers but did identify more of the issues our industry is facing…

Canada is one of three developed countries in the world with a universal health-care program that does not include prescription drugs and, as such, medication needs have been met with a patchwork of public and private drug coverage. Although the federal government’s current focus is to reduce the cost of prescription drugs, there seems to be renewed discussion on the development of a national pharmacare program. This is likely due to reports by the House of Commons standing committee on health and the parliamentary budget officer on national pharmacare.