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TAXING HEALTH BENEFIT PLANS WOULD HURT MAJORITY OF CANADIANS


News Release

Release Date: 05/24/2018
Staff Reference: Wendy Hope

(Toronto, May 24, 2018) -- The Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) points out that today’s report released by the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) on the taxation of employer-provided health benefits is based on assumptions that do not reflect the true picture of health benefits in Canada today. “Taxing health benefits would raise health care costs for low and middle-income earners dramatically and put their highly valued benefits plans at risk,” states Stephen Frank, CLHIA’s President and CEO.

There are more than 13 million Canadian workers covered by employer-sponsored plans and, together with their families, this means that over 25 million Canadians depend on these plans to help them pay for their prescription drugs, dental and eye care, physiotherapy and much more. “The PBO assumptions do not take into account the past experience in Canada that many employers would drop coverage and millions of Canadians would lose access to the benefits they depend on,” added Mr. Frank.

“Further, this is not a tax that would only hurt the rich as the report claims -- millions of low and middle- income Canadians currently covered by employer sponsored plans would see their costs for health care rise dramatically.”

“To sum up, taxing employer-provided health benefits, would increase the tax burden on middle and low-income Canadians and put the majority of Canadian workers and their families at risk of losing access to health benefits. This would ultimately result in significantly worse health outcomes for all Canadians,” concludes Mr. Frank.

About the CLHIA

The CLHIA is a voluntary association whose member companies account for 99% of Canada’s life and health insurance business. The industry provides a wide range of financial security products such as life insurance, annuities (including RRSPs, RRIFs and pensions) and supplementary health insurance to more than 28 million Canadians. It also holds over $810 billion in assets in Canada and employs nearly 155,000 Canadians.


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For more information:
Wendy Hope, Vice President, External Relations
(613) 691-6001/whope@clhia.ca