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Cost drugs : the workers to leave the private plans


Denis Méthot

March 8, 2019 12:30

Photo : Freepik

The increase in the cost of drugs over the years has had a direct impact on the ability of certain groups of workers to provide a group health insurance plan medication and on the cover they are able to offer.

The weight of the collective schemes has become so high in the payroll of the employer and the employee pay, said the president of the FTQ, Daniel Boyer, as it reduces the protection and increases the deductibles and co-insurance. The premium a family paid for the drug weighs so heavy on low-paid workers or part-time staff it brings people to leave their employment because it is either too expensive or that people are unable to pay for it, ” said the union leader.

Groups of employees also give up their collective regime, because it is the only way for them to have access to the public prescription drug insurance plan. But in making this choice, they must sometimes forego other provisions of their insurance coverage, salary insurance, life insurance, dental care, various treatments and other benefits, which is to say to trade unions that the hybrid plan québécois threat several social protections.

In addition, the organizations decry the many inequalities of the mixed regime in place in Quebec. The required contributions, the amount of the deductible and the list of medications covered vary from one plan to another and from one company to another, which results in large inequities between individuals and between groups in access to medicines.

Against the logic of insurance

The hybrid system of quebec goes completely against the logic of insurance, claims to theconsumers Union. According to her, the private plans cover insureds who are considered ” good risks “, that is, those in employment and who, generally, are in better health. The majority of those without jobs or retired and who have a tendency to consume more medicines are insured by the public plan. “The additional costs are the responsibility of the government while the insurance companies reap the profits,” laments the association.

“For these reasons, the canadian system of prescription drug insurance coverage to be resolutely universal,” says the vice-president of the CSN, Caroline Senneville. Neither the central nor the FTQ were not able to encrypt in an interview to the Journal of insurance the cost of a public system that is universal, covering the entire québec population. In terms of funding, they insist however on the fact that the amounts currently being paid by the employers and the workers would be paid in the future public pension system universal. In addition to the financial contribution of the federal government when he will go ahead with a plan for all of Canada.

Even if Ottawa is putting in place a national regime, the ex-minister of Health Yves Bolduc and the central trade unions held on the same speech, the Quebec would retain its public plan current, infuse its share from the federal and would continue to determine its own drug coverage. No question of a canadian system one size fits all for all the provinces and that Quebec would be submitted.

Once the public plan is universal in place in Quebec, Daniel Boyer suggests a certain progression in the price paid at the counter for medicines by consumers under of the income of the insured. The less wealthy would pay less and the wealthy more, either by taxes, a deductible or co-insurance.

Yes to a supplemental plan private

Even if he campaigns for a prescription drug insurance plan public and universal, the president of the QFL remains open to the retention of private pension supplementation for those who have the means to do so.

“It takes us a basic plan that will cover the whole of Quebecers, he commented. There are workplaces that have the Cadillac in the field of group insurance and who would not find their account in a public plan. If they want to, they will be able to add a complementary private insurance. It does not exclude it, on the contrary. There are environments that could offer the parts of medicines that are not covered by the public plan “.

The president of the FTQ said that he did not find it ironic to criticize the hybrid model of québec and advocate for the creation of a public plan universal offers a basic coverage to the whole of society, including the workers, while keeping the door open to schemes additional to be offered by private insurers offering more coverage of medication for those who can or want to afford.

Other critics of consumer

Here are some of the main criticisms of the Union of consumers of private pension schemes collective insurance related to medication :

• The premium is set according to the risk represented by the state of health of all employees of the same community, which is a problem where a small number of people are living with chronic diseases or rare diseases expensive which raise the premiums.

• Any category of insured persons entitled to free drugs, not even the minor children, contrary to the public plan.

• A sales tax of 9% is applied on premiums for group insurance and the employees pay taxes on the contribution their employer group insurance plan.

• The fees of pharmacists are regulated for the public part of the diet, but not in the private plans. Result, they are, on average, of $ 16, according to a compilation carried out by members of the Union, against 8,40 $ usually for those in the public system.

• Two people who are in the same pharmacy in Quebec with the same prescription will come with two bills are very different if one is provided to the public and the other with one of the private plans, which the Union considers unacceptable.

• Between 2008 and 2016, the costs of the private plans have prescription drug insurance have grown by 23 % more than those in the public system in quebec.

• The parliamentary budget officer of canada has stated in a report that the implementation of a national drug insurance plan could give rise to additional savings through the reduction of administrative expenses resulting from the elimination of private pension plans.

The cost of drugs : a burden constant

The pressures keep piling on the benefits plans of the companies. The cost of drugs is one of the factors that explain this situation. Solutions exist, but the will to apply them does not follow… This issue is the one that made the printed edition of march 2019 Log the insurance, available exclusively to our subscribers starting on 19 march. Not to miss this exclusive folder and receive it in time your copy, make sure that your subscription is valid by Wednesday, march 13th !


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