Understanding and Analyzing Your Benefits in these Changing Times


As new and approved drugs enter into the pipeline, high cost medications will continue to infiltrate the employer-sponsored medical plan. The most predominant conditions driving the cost of health care claims are autoimmune disease, cancer, cardiovascular, mental health and diabetes. Specialty drugs priced between $10,000 to $100,000 accounted for approximately 30 per cent of all specialty medications. With this in mind employer-medical plans are forecasted to increase by 7.4%. The pandemic has exacerbated many chronic conditions due to delayed treatments, reduced physical activity and increased anxiety.


We have all endured significant changes to our daily lives which has taken a significant toll on our mental health. Plan members aged 18 to 34 have been found to be more likely to experience high levels of stress and be diagnosed with a mental-health condition. Twenty one percent having been diagnosed with depression, anxiety or another mental health condition.

Main Stressors

  • Personal finances 36%
  • Workload 34%
  • Personal relationships 31%
  • Health concerns 31%
  • Work-life balance 30%

Providing training programs to educate managers to recognize signs of mental health issues, along with increasing maximums for paramedical services and expanding the list of providers, will provide greater access to care for members in need.  Obtaining early intervention may reduce the occurrence of a member going onto disability, or reduce the length of their disability.


  • Almost one in eight plan members (13%) find their health poorer in the past year. An 8% increase from the previous year
  • One in three plan members reported a decrease in physical fitness, along with poorer eating habits
  • In the past year 41% of plan members gained weight in the year, increasing 48% for those between 45 to 54
  • 60% of plan members have been diagnosed with at least one chronic disease

SOURCE: 2021 Benefits Canada Healthcare Survey. May 2021.

‘21 per cent of plan members that said they’re in poor health indicated their health benefits plan doesn’t meet their needs, up from 13 per cent a year ago.’

Benefits Canada- October 22, 2021