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Pacific Blue Cross Partners with Industry to Protect Drug Coverage

Today Pacific Blue Cross announces its partnership with over 20 insurance companies across Canada to collectively protect fully insured private drug plans from the full financial impact of high cost drugs.

Over the last few years, there has been a significant increase in the number of very high cost drugs and drug therapies entering the market and being prescribed to patients and this trend is expected to accelerate.

The industry drug pooling agreement is particularly beneficial to small and medium-sized companies who provide fully insured drug benefits to their employees. The high cost of certain drugs may result in an increase in premiums that can devastate a benefit plan making it unsustainable for plan sponsors to provide coverage to their employees.

As a result, some employers are resorting to restricting access to expensive drugs for their employees. This means that their employees are often left without coverage when they need it most.
The life and health insurance industry drug pooling agreement will help Canadian workers access high cost medications when they are needed, easing concerns over how to pay for them.

The Canadian Life and Health Insurance Industry Association (CLHIA) has established a not-for-profit corporation to administer the industry pool and to ensure that participating insurers comply with appropriate standards.

About Pacific Blue Cross

Pacific Blue Cross has been British Columbia’s leading benefits provider for over 70 years. Together, with their subsidiary BC Life, they provide health, dental, life, disability and travel coverage for approximately 1.5 million British Columbians through employee group plans and through individual plans for those who do not have coverage with their employer.

About the CLHIA

The Canadian life and health insurance industry provides a wide range of financial security products. As of 2010, the life and health insurance industry in Canada provided supplementary drug coverage to more than 23 million Canadians and paid out roughly $10 billion in prescription drug costs. Established in 1894, the CLHIA is a voluntary association whose member companies account for 99 per cent of Canada's life and health insurance business.

Blue Shield

Blue Shield is a registered trade-mark of Blue Cross Blue Shield Association