Dental Fee Guide Increases & Prescription Drug Trends

Near the end of December, I shared the Ontario Dental Fee guide increases and at that time, we were still waiting to hear on the other provinces and their adjustments for 2023.  They are now out and the averages are included below.

In addition to the fee guide increase, employers also have trend and utilization drivers to cost (using more of the services, and using them more often, in addition to paying more for the same service). We are seeing these costs show up (already) with the first months dental claims being higher than normal, and do not anticipate that abating.

On the drug side of things, costs are continuing to stay stable, but having an employee with one of the nearly 200 high cost drugs (over $10,000 a year), can have a huge affect on renewal pricing (but we have solutions).  A post in Pension and Benefits Monitor Magazine today stated…

Prescription drug expenditures by Canadian public drug plans increased by 4.2 per cent in 2020/21, bringing annual spending to $12.3 billion, says a Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) report. The use of higher-cost medicines has been the primary factor behind rising costs for public plans over the past five years and this pressure continues to build, it says, as in 2020/21 high-cost drugs accounted for over one third of total drug costs and yet were only used by 2.5 per cent of drug plan beneficiaries. The 10 highest-cost drugs reimbursed by the public drug plans were all rare disease treatments with annual treatment costs of over $200,000.

Put together the dental and drug inflation, trends and utilization increases and we expect to see larger than average renewal rates in the next few years.

As always, we share our numbers HERE.