Access to expensive drugs and finding solutions to secure retirement income products are on the top of the pre-budget wish list from the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA).

In its submission prior to the 2020 federal budget, the CLHIA recommends that the provinces, territories and the federal government work with insurers to support workplace and individual drug plans that provide many Canadians with comprehensive access to affordable medicines.

Requests standard list of medicines for everyone

Specifically it asks Ottawa to develop a comprehensive strategy to ensure Canadians have access to high-cost medicines for chronic and rare diseases. And it asks that the federal government set up a standard list of medicines for all Canadians whether they are enrolled in private or public plans.

Looking for more ways to secure guaranteed income

The CLHIA also recommends Ottawa work with the insurance industry to look for secure, guaranteed and lifetime incomes through more flexible annuity options within their RRSPs, RRIFs and TFSAs. Specifically it asks the government to expand on its retirement income changes introduced last year when it comes to variable payment life annuities (VPLAs). It wants VPLAs to be allowed to pool participants from all registered retirement plans and that the liquidity requirements in TFSA rules be waived to allow Canadians to use TFSAs to supplement retirement savings.

Also on the list: asking Ottawa to help reduce and adapt to the risks of climate change; implement a balanced approach between an individual’s right to control their personal information with the need to maintain a sustainable insurance market in Canada; leverage the health and insurance industry’s investment capacity to expand and accelerate long-term infrastructure projects across the country.