Until recently, the way our system worked meant that those with high-paying jobs (say lawyers) or in sectors with a lot of employees (like government workers) had decent plans. Among those plans, some were able to absorb new higher cost drugs because they had lots of people to spread the cost. Or the group had lots of income meaning that they, too, could absorb higher cost drugs.
But the era of easily absorbing higher costs in private plans has come to an end and, with it, one of the touted "benefits" of private insurance, choice. Recently, a study of a large private plan in British Columbia showed it was able to attain substantial savings by adopting the provincial formulary.
So, if private plans are adopting policies that make them no different from a public plan (with lower administrative costs), then what's the point of private plans?
The key here, is that the best savings for Canadians will come from creating the largest purchasing block possible. Or...ALL of Canada. Case in point, New Zealand has one-eighth the population of Canada, but is able to negotiate a price for medications that is 1200 percent less than what Canadians pay, and get this, for a generic made IN Canada!
Ultimately, the more we save on administration and drug costs, the more fiscal room we have in Canada to cover all legitimate needs, not just those in traditional or high-paying sectors.