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Posted April 4, 2012

Cost of Health Care

Ground-Breaking Industry Drug Pooling Agreement

KINGSTON - The Empire Life Insurance Company (Empire Life) has announced it will participate in a ground-breaking industry drug pooling agreement to help address the problem of high cost prescription drugs for fully insured group benefit plans in Canada.

The initiative was announced yesterday by the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) and involves all current CLHIA member carriers that provide supplementary drug coverage coming together to form an industry pool. The pool will pay the costs of high drug claims submitted through participating members' fully insured employer groups.

"Empire Life has been an active participant in the working group that designed this new industry drug pool from the very beginning", says Steve Pong, Senior Vice-President, Group Solutions. "We are very proud to be part of this important initiative tackling a problem that is critically important to the health and well-being of Canadians."

The number of industry claims higher than $25,000 has been increasing at more than 20 per cent a year since 2008, according to the CLHIA. This trend towards high cost drug therapies can make it particularly difficult for small and medium-sized businesses to sustain their employee drug plan.

"As a company that specializes in group benefits solutions for small and medium-sized businesses, we are particularly excited about being a part of this new industry drug pool", says Janet Jackson, Vice-President, Group Marketing, Empire Life. "We believe it is critical to ensuring the sustainability of drug benefit plans and helping protect Canadians who face the financial burden of high cost drugs."

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