ShiftShapersCoverArtEvery time talk turns to single payer, folks use the Canadian healthcare system as a reference. How does that system really work and does it provide better care for our northern neighbors?

For answers, we went to our Canadian friend Ron Hansell, President of Cross Border Benefits. We start by asking Ron for an overview of their system – just to level-set the discussion. He explains how their system is paid for, what it costs and how their citizens interact with it.

We discuss some of the results of a recent Fraser Institute study about how their costs are rising and how and why so many Canadians seek care abroad – most in the United States. We also look at the effect of ever-lengthening waiting times for treatment that seems to be inherent in their health care arrangement.

An ever-growing number of U.S. companies have a presence in Canada, and Ron explains what those companies and their advisors need to know to advise them properly.

What You’ll Learn from This Episode:

  • What the Canadian Healthcare System is like.
  • What the Canadian system costs.
  • How Canadians interact with the system.
  • How lengthy wait times drive Canadians to the U.S. for healthcare.
  • What U.S. companies need to know about benefits in Canada.

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Drug costs are soaring and driving more of medical spend than ever before. The good news is that there are tools coming to market to help consumers and plans alike.

That is what our guest, Gary Becker, CEO of ScriptSourcing and I discuss on this episode. We begin with an exploration of why prescription drugs are so much more expensive in the United States than they are in other countries. We discuss the particular drugs that are driving the pharma cost component to all time highs.

Gary explains the three strategies being employed by many plans and discusses how advisors can have this conversation with their clients. We conclude our conversation with Gary’s view that advisors must start charging for their services on a quantifiable, performance-based structure.

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • Why drugs are so expensive in the USA.
  • How pharma is driving medical spend consistently higher.
  • The expected increases in pharma costs in the coming years.
  • What constitutes international pharmacy management.
  • How specialty meds fit into the pharmacy market.
  • The landscape of international pharmacy tourism and its effects on the pharma market in the US.
  • Whether advisors should bring this model to their employers, and whether they should get compensated on a percentage-of-savings basis.

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