Skip to main content

Introducing a New Diabetes Care Program

Easing the impact on workplaces

Posted by Medavie Blue Cross on May 12, 2021

Nearly 11.5 million Canadians are living with diabetes or prediabetes — a number that has doubled since 2000. Costs have risen even faster with the economic impact of diabetes in Canada nearly tripling to $16.9 billion in 2020, from $6.3 billion in 2000. Much of the direct cost burden, as well as indirect impact from productivity and absenteeism issues, falls on the shoulders of employers.

Cost impacts

There has been double-digit growth in per capita spending to treat diabetes over the last five years. The two main drivers are new, more expensive drugs and technological advances in the monitoring of blood glucose and the delivery of insulin.

Combining those per capita increases with significant growth in the number of claimants leads to the total cost to benefit plans rising each year. In addition, our own data shows that 1 in 15 covered members now has diabetes. Given that this data does not include those with pre-diabetes as they are not yet claiming for medication or supplies, the future appears to hold more of the same.

Medavie Blue Cross has not only been responding to the trends but has been leading the health insurance industry in supporting employers and their employees to better manage diabetes and bring costs under control.

Industry leader

Our organization was the first in Canada to introduce the Managing Chronic Disease benefit, which connects plan members with Certified Diabetes Educators (CDEs) in their communities to gain the knowledge and confidence they need to self-manage their condition. We were also among the first Canadian insurers to add Glucose Monitoring Systems (GMS) as a standard on benefit plans.

Diabetes care program

As diabetes management technologies have evolved, so too have our coverage options, which brings us to today and the launch of our new Diabetes Care Program. We have partnered with Roche Canada, the manufacturer of the Accu-Chek® Guide Blood Glucose Monitor, to empower plan members to take charge of their condition with all-in-one, exclusive access to real-time support from a team of health coaches and home delivery of testing supplies.

Diabetes care welcome kit


This unique combination is available through our Connected Care digital storefront, using a quarterly subscription model. Members that subscribe to this program will receive a Accu-Chek 360Care Welcome Kit that includes:

  • a Bluetooth-enabled Accu-Chek® Guide blood glucose meter
  • 250 Accu-Chek® Guide test strips and 100 lancets

Once the member has received their Welcome Kit, they will begin live, one-on-one counselling with Ellerca 360Care health coaches, with access by their choice of video, talk or text-based communication. The member’s health coaches will help the member achieve their health goals supported by their access to remote blood glucose monitoring, using the member’s Accu-Chek meter readings. This allows the member and coach to view the member’s health data together as they work through the members challenges and successes along the way.

Plan sponsor advantages

The support, expertise and convenience that comes with this kit can help:

  • Lower the total costs for test strips
  • Protect plan sustainability
  • Minimize other plan costs that commonly occur with diabetes, such as cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and mental health issues
  • Improve member health outcomes
  • Reduce the overall impact of diabetes on your organization

Plan member advantages

According to a recent industry study, plan members with diabetes are most interested in three areas of education: diet and nutrition, diabetes complications and self-monitoring of blood glucose. Our diabetes care program addresses all three.

Their kit can help:

  • Make it easier for them to self-manage their condition
  • Nudge them to make positive lifestyle choices
  • Gain more knowledge about their health
  • Supply them with many strips as they need (some non-insulin using members have been impacted by the test strip limits introduced in 2019)
  • Reduce their out-ot-pocket costs including those resulting from conditions that commonly occur with diabetes

Coverage options

The Managing Chronic Disease benefit is included with all fully insured plans and can be added to ASO plans upon request.

Coverage for diabetes care is part of our Managing Chronic Disease benefit, which is included with all Fully Insured plans, and can be added to ASO plans upon request. Managing Chronic Disease services are also eligible under Health Spending and Personal Wellness accounts.

Learn more

To find out more about our Diabetes Care Program, or other diabetes coverage options, contact your Medavie Blue Cross representative.

Visit our Insights blog to learn more about our diabetes prevention and management solutions and workplace strategies to lower risks for the disease, limit disability claims and contain plan costs. We also have a page dedicated to our Diabetes Care Program.

Members can learn more by visiting the Connected Care section of the Medavie Blue Cross Mobile App, by logging in at or visiting our Living Well Hub for diabetes education and resources.

Share this post