It’s no secret that drug coverage plans are under pressure: between rising costs of healthcare and changing customer expectations, the need to deliver unique and innovative solutions has never been greater. And that’s a reality that iA Financial Group is facing head-on with a new pilot project.
“We do offer a group product as group insurance carriers,” said Andrée-Anne Bourgeois, Director for Products, Communications and Marketing, Group Benefits and Retirement Solutions at iA Financial Group. “Through our drug management programs, we want to improve outcomes, enhance plan values, and deliver a good member experience. That means finding ways to assist and improve the lives of plan members facing specific health issues.”
One issue that the company has focused on is the well-known and well-documented prevalence of poor drug adherence. While many Canadians are able to get their prescriptions filled through workplace-administered group plans, 58% fail to take their medicines to treat their chronic conditions as necessary. That raises the risk of even worse health outcomes, particular for those who are prescribed multiple drugs.
That’s why when iA Financial Group came across MedHelper, a company that promises better medication adherence through an effective and easy-to-use daily medication app, it instantly saw an opportunity too good to pass up.
“We said ‘ok, there seems to be a good fit here in what we’re trying to do and what they are offering,’” Bourgeois said.
Under a new partnership, iA Financial Group has launched a pilot project to provide insureds access to the MedHelper mobile app. Developed to facilitate daily medication intake, it helps members stay on-track with daily reminders and management of their medical appointments. The app also lets users create treatment plans that incorporate non-medical activities, as well as generate a drug adherence report to show their doctor with just one click of a button.
”iA Financial Group plan members will also be allowed to sign into MedHelper using their existing credentials with iA,” Bourgeois said. “From our database of recent claims, we also have a list of prescription drugs that we allow plan members to import, which means they won’t have to manually re-enter all the drugs they’re currently taking.”
To gauge interest as well as gather feedback, the MedHelper program will initially be launched to a limited number of members, but the aim is to include a few thousand. Members who already use the iA Financial Group mobile app and take at least three drugs on a daily basis may be qualified to participate, as they stand to gain the most value from the MedHelper tool.
All in all, Bourgeois said that the pilot will run for three to four months. With that time frame, the company hopes to capture enough information on plan members’ engagement and interest into improving their behaviour. For participating plan members, that could also be enough time to develop and solidify a better habit of adherence as they use the app in their daily lives.
“iA Financial Group strongly believes that innovation is important for the market, for the plan members, and the plan sponsors,” Bourgeois said. “I think it’s quite important to leverage all the tools that are out there to deliver value to those we serve.”