Canadian drug benefit plans continually need to evolve to meet the needs of employees.
In recent news, Shoppers Drug Mart and Loblaws Canada have now added medical marijuana into their employee benefits packages.
These drug benefits are capped at $1,500.00 but reflect the vision of employers who are willing to see past the political rhetoric and introduce new aspects to their employee benefits plan that are explicitly focussed on employee needs.
Focus of Medical Marijuana Use
Adaptation to drug therapy changes are pushing these companies into positions of forward-thinking benefits by:
1) Providing alternative relief for workers experiencing chemo-related queasiness and vomiting.
2) Helping employees deal with pain as a consequence of multiple sclerosis.
Earlier in 2017, the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission ruled that an employee benefits plan “Must cover a member’s medical marijuana prescription.” A pre-approval process is required and the ruling calls for special authorization, with marijuana prescriptions to be filled by Licensed Producers, the current method used by the Canadian Government.
You can read the full article can be read here: Benefits plan must cover medical pot, human rights commission rules.
These drug benefits will be available to approximately 45,000 Shoppers Drug Mart and Loblaws employees. Depending on the volume consumed daily by the patient, it’s unlikely that these benefits will completely cover costs, but it will certainly help.
Still Have Questions About Drug Benefit Plans?
Benefit Strategies Inc. is based in Edmonton, Alberta and has been serving business clients throughout Western Canada, the Yukon and the Northwest territories for over three decades.