October 1, 2019
SSQ Insurance adds pharmacogenetic testing to its group insurance offering
SSQ Insurance now offers coverage of pharmacogenetic tests as a new option in group insurance. These tests help analyze how a person’s DNA will react to a prescription drug, making it easier for attending physicians to identify the most appropriate drug for each patient. SSQ Insurance aims to make life easier for its insured customers by helping them access optimal treatment, and for its policyholders by making it possible to better control the cost of drugs.
“Since the treatment of disease is evolving toward personalized solutions for individual patients, pharamacogenetics is quickly becoming a must. We wanted to develop a product adapted to this reality and make it available to our customers across Canada. SSQ Insurance is the first insurer to expand its health insurance offering by adding a clause for pharmacogenetic tests that is separate from the traditional clause for laboratory analyses. In doing so, we demonstrate our proactivity in bringing technological advances in health to our customers,” said Éric Trudel, Senior Vice-President of Strategy and Product Management at SSQ Insurance.
At the policyholder’s request and in accordance with a reimbursement maximum they will choose, the new clause may be added to their health insurance coverage. To be eligible, pharmacogenetic testing must be prescribed by a physician and carried out in a duly authorized laboratory in Canada. The results of genetic tests are used to identify the most appropriate drugs for the treatment of such conditions as attention deficit disorder (ADD), psychological illnesses, and chronic diseases like hypertension and chronic pain. The results of genetic tests are never provided to the insurer. In fact, any genetic information is excluded when the physician transfers a medical file to the insurer, thus respecting the confidential nature of this information.
The addition of this new clause in health insurance is being made in parallel to a pilot project in disability insurance launched in June 2018. As part of the project, pharmacogenetic testing is offered to insured persons on disability leave who have been diagnosed with depression. The technological advances and the success of the pilot project have allowed SSQ Insurance to develop the new clause now available in group health insurance.
About SSQ Insurance
Founded in 1944, SSQ Insurance is a mutualist company that puts community at the heart of insurance. With assets under management of $12 billion, SSQ Insurance is one of the largest companies in the industry. Working for a community of over three million customers, SSQ Insurance employs over 2,000 people. Leader in group insurance, the company also sets itself apart through its expertise in individual life and health insurance, general insurance and the investment sector.