Quebec joins the shift to biosimilars initiated elsewhere in Canada
On May 18, the Government of Quebec announced that it would start to shift towards the use of biosimilars for everybody insured by the Régime général d’assurance médicaments (RGAM). This initiative will save the government more than $100 million annually. It is part of a national movement that began in British Columbia and Alberta and which will include other provinces by the end of the year.
Make sure you’re sitting down for this: more than 90% of organizations have adopted or will adopt a formal telework policy
Normandin Beaudry announces the results on its post-pandemic telework practices survey launched in May. Spotlight on the thoughts of 340 Canadian organizations who answered the call.
Accounting standards applicable to future group benefits:
Assumptions used by Canadian organizations
Several private sector organizations must include the recognition of their obligations toward defined benefit pension plans (DB pension plans) and group benefits plans offered to retirees (other benefits) in their financial statements.
Again this year, Normandin Beaudry’s specialists analyzed the annual reports of Canadian organizations listed on the S&P 60 Index (60 largest organizations) and the S&P MidCap Index (mid-cap organizations), the fiscal year of which ended between September 30, 2020, and February 28, 2021.
Bank of Canada revises rates for real return bonds
On May 10, 2021, the Bank of Canada exceptionally and retroactively revised the V39057 and V122553 rates for real return bond data starting June 1, 2020.
Federal budget 2021 — Several measures affecting total rewards
The federal budget unveiled on April 19, 2021, affects several components of total rewards. Our specialists have identified the most relevant elements.
Impact of COVID-19 on mortality rates and ramifications for group benefits plans
We’ve all witnessed the devastating effects of COVID-19 on our everyday life and on our loved ones. The virus has unfortunately taken the lives of too many people. What impact will this have on the mortality of Canadians and how will this uptick in deaths affect group benefits plans offered to workers and retirees?
2020 tax year – Tax credit for medical expenses and special rule for office supplies and computer equipment
Exceptionally for the 2020 tax year, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and Revenue Québec have indicated that if an employer provides an allowance or a refund for the purchase of office supplies and computer equipment, this amount will not be considered to be part of the employee’s taxable income, up to a maximum of $500 per employee, if the equipment is used for telework.
Federal Pay Equity – Are you ready?
The federal government’s new Pay Equity Act is expected to come into force this year. If you are a federally regulated employer, you will have to comply with the requirements within three years of its coming into force.
The Top 10 Developments in Drug Insurance of 2020
The milestone event of 2020 is undoubtedly the scientific research that led to the arrival of a COVID-19 vaccine in less than a year. Apart from this highlight, here is the 6th edition of our top drug developments.
Rates for Quebec’s prescription drug insurance plan for 2021
Every year on July 1, the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) adjusts the rates for the public prescription drug insurance plan to take into account the increase or decrease in plan costs.
In our bulletin from July, we explained that the financial pressures caused by the COVID-19 situation in Quebec had prompted the RAMQ to set rates below what was expected based on the evolution of the plan’s costs. At the time, the RAMQ reserved the right to review rates as of January 1, 2021, rather than wait until July 1, 2021, as expected.
Improving access to pharmaceutical services in Quebec
On December 16, 2020, the regulations under Bill 31 were given assent. As a result, the removal of the cost of several pharmaceutical services will improve access to them and help to continue expanding the role of pharmacists as front-line professionals. These amendments take effect on January 25.