The 2019 Sanofi Canada health-care survey has reported that more than half of Canadian workers (54%) indicated they have at least one chronic disease or condition. Chronic disease is on the rise is a challenge for both employees and employers.
The most commonly reported issues were mental illness, hypertension, high cholesterol, arthritis and diabetes. Many (42 %) respondents also reported having chronic pain.
More older workers suffered from a chronic disease or condition than those under age 55.
82% of plan sponsors would like their benefit plan to do more to support employees dealing with chronic conditions. 89% of those with chronic pain would like information on ways to manage it.
Almost a third of members with chronic conditions said they take three or more medications regularly, compared to four percent of members without a condition.
Insurers are providing initiatives to help manage chronic diseases.
RBC Insurance offers group benefit members a wellness app, reduced pricing on drug compatibility testing and is piloting a “Manage my Pain” app as well.
Manulife is also pilot testing a pharmacogenetics program.
It is important that plan members are aware of these programs and take advantage of them when possible. This can help members manage their chronic conditions, reduce absenteeism and therefore lost productivity and help manage the cost of drugs.