Your SEO optimized title

GSC Stories

Our publications are packed with info on industry and health trends, benefit plan tips and other (cool) GSC news. Take a look at some of our favourite articles. Happy reading.

View All Posts

Publication Archives

Filter archives by:


The Advantage - September 2020

What’s new…

  • Mandatory direct deposit on e-claims coming in December
  • Improved process for certain drugs covered by pharmacare in British
    Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba
  • Potential change to pharmacy services in Quebec due to Bill 31


  • PocketPills offers three flexible packages and a limited-time promotion
  • MindBeacon responds to the fallout from COVID-19
  • Updates to GSC’s standard travel language

You’ll be hearing more about…

  • GSC’s gender affirmation product under construction
  • Coming soon: an enhanced platform for online administration

Click here to download the publication.

The Advantage - March 2020

What’s new...

  • More Change4Life® enhancements coming soon
  • GSC plan members see positive results with BEACON

In case you missed it…

  • Online access to physicians available through Maple

Click here to download the publication.

Follow the Script - Winter 2020

In the July/August 2018 edition of The Inside Story, we described the background and possibilities for national pharmacare in Canada. At that time, any movement on this issue seemed far down the road – as far as the recent federal election. Now that the post-election pieces are falling into place, let’s see where we are...

Download Link

The Inside Story - December/ January 2020
  • Digital health is a lot more than just cool tools
  • WHAT'S UP... Superbugs on the rise; New guide promotes understanding of private health insurance

Download in Flipbook (best viewed on Chrome, Safari, or Firefox) or get a PDF.


The advantage - December 2019


What’s new...

  • New look for Change4Life® is now live


  • Quebec government provides vision coverage for youth
  • Insomnia therapy now available through BEACON
  • Update on biosimilars in British Columbia – phase two

In case you missed it...

  • Updated administrative guideline for non-emergency claims incurred outside of Canada
  • Ontario government is cutting OHIP travel coverage

Click here to download the publication

The Inside Story - October/November 2019
  • Medical tourism… it’s a gamble with high stakes for health
  • WHAT'S UP... Positive developments for plan members managing diabetes; Mental health under the microscope

Download in Flipbook (best viewed on Chrome, Safari, or Firefox) or get a PDF.

The Inside Story - August/September 2019
  • More health care doesn’t necessarily mean better health
  • WHAT'S UP... Drug pricing in the news; Message of health care survey: evolve with the times

And be sure to listen to episode 19 of GSC’s podcast, “And Now for Something Completely Indifferent…” as we discuss better approaches to health care with Dr. Danielle Martin, author, family physician, and administrator at Women's College Hospital. Check it out here

Download in Flipbook (best viewed on Chrome, Safari, or Firefox) or get a PDF.

Follow the Script - Summer 2019

Underlying GSC’s SMARTspend™ banner is the philosophy that every investment in health care should produce value – a high-quality outcome relative to its cost. As a pharmacy benefits manager, GSC has always promoted formulary management as an effective way to control drug costs while ensuring plan members are able to access the drugs they need. 

Download Link

The Inside Story - June/July 2019
  • Gene therapies as a the next game changer: a cautionary tale
  • WHAT'S UP...Opioids update; Mandatory cannabis education for Ontario pharmacists; Study suggests vaccine immunity wears off

Download in Flipbook (best viewed on Chrome, Safari, or Firefox) or get a PDF.

The advantage - May 2019

What's in this edition?

Introducing… the Pharmacist Health
Coaching – Deprescribing Program


  • Coming soon – updates to GSC’s Narcotic
    Pain Medication Strategy
  • New legislation for claims resulting from
    motor vehicle accidents in British Columbia
  • BEACON now offers a new payment option

Click here to download the publication

The Inside Story - April

April 2019

  • Self-regulation of health professionals… part two
  • WHAT'S UP... Combatting misinformation about health; Calls for a national electronic immunization system; Final budget before federal election tackles various drug issues

View it in Flipbook (best viewed on Chrome, Safari, or Firefox) or get a PDF.

The advantage - March 2019

What's in this edition?

  • Change4Life® gets a new look
  • Reminder: Coach Ivan is now online
  • In case you missed it: Everything about SMARTspend™ in one package
  • GSC now offering global health benefits solutions via Cigna
  • 2019 provincial dental fee guide adjustments
  • Change to OHIP+ – update
  • Change in process for Ontario seniors prescribed EAP-eligible drugs
  • Coming soon: the plan sponsor claim inquiry line
The Inside Story - February/March
  • We rely on regulated health care professionals… but what does ‘regulated’ actually mean
  • WHAT'S UP... Nutrition in the news; Obesity-related cancers rising in young adults; More good reasons to eat your veggies
The Inside Story - January 2019
  • Where do we go from here? Issues from 2018 gain momentum in 2019
  • WHAT'S UP... Employee well-being a priority for most employers; One in four Canadians touched by drug shortages; Opioids update


The Inside Story - December 2018
  • The insurance industry...from jurassic to futuristic
  • WHAT'S UP... In the news: Some chiropractors are promoting unscientific treatments, Prescription drugs to make up over 80% of total drug spending, New flu season, new flu vaccine. Here’s the scoop…
The advantage - November 2018

What’s in this edition?

  • What’s new with Change4Life®?
  • Improving health outcomes through technology
  • Updated booklet language for prescription drug benefit
  • New individual travel product now available from SureHealth
  • In case you missed it…
    • GSC’s SMARTspend plan design: Available now!
    • Value-based Pharmacy phase two goes online for plan members
    • BEACON digital counselling/mental health coverage launched August 1
    • Reminder of updates implemented for compression stocking claims


GSC Update October 2018 - Value-based Pharmacy Initiative Phase Two Launch

GSC has launched phase two of our Value-based Pharmacy initiative: making the Pharmacy Quality Rating available to plan members to help them make an informed choice of pharmacy provider. As part of this effort, we built a brand new, modernized health provider search tool (available on GSC’s Plan Member Online Services and mobile app) that now includes information about pharmacies’ star ratings. This enables plan members to choose a pharmacy not only based on factors such as location and hours of service, but also actual quality of care delivered by that pharmacy.

Read more


The Inside Story - October 2018
  • Health coaching nudges toward lasting lifestyle changes
  • WHAT'S UP... High-cost drugs a quarter of private plan costs in 2017; Patients are ready for more technology, Canada’s health care system is not; Mental health a top concern among employers; What’s new with Change4Life®
Follow the Script - Fall 2018

This issue of Follow the Script highlights the value offered by a managed drug formulary such as the Green Shield Canada Conditional Drug Formulary. In our “Behind the Counter” interview, we talk to Ned Pojskic, leader, pharmacy & health provider relations, about value in drug benefit plans and how drug companies, doctors, and pharmacists can impact that value.


The Inside Story - September 2018
  • Perks or stuff that works?
  • WHAT’S UP...Report predicts decreasing smoking rates for Ontario, Opioids update, And a warm welcome to our new president and CEO
The Inside Story - July/August 2018
  • These day's everyone's talking about pharmacare
  • WHAT’S UP...Hepatitis C testing recommended for Canadians born between 1945 and 1975, Plan sponsors underestimate the incidence of chronic conditions
The advantage - July 2018
  • GSC’s latest mental health support effort:
    adding BEACON as a digital counselling/
    mental health coverage alternative
  • Our Change4Life® portal turns three!
    GSC formalizes its position on health
    provider incentives
  • Saskatchewan government repeals PST on
    life and health insurance premiums – future
    collection and refunds
  • In case you missed it: chronic pain app
    pilot project
  • Keeping up with government changes – OHIP+
    Quebec public prescription drug insurance
    plan – updates effective July 1, 2018
  • Upcoming changes to compression stockings
    claim reimbursement
Follow the Script - Summer 2018

This issue of Follow the Script includes an update of GSC’s Value-based Pharmacy initiative which provides pharmacies across Canada with monthly performance reports. In our “Behind the Counter” interview, we talk to pharmacist Leila Mandlsohn about the ways pharmacies can improve their performance scores – and improve the services they provide to patients.

The Inside Story - June 2018



  • Report proposes expanding public dental coverage
  • Disrupted body clock linked to mental health issues
  • Opioids update
BEACON Primer May 2018

So what is the BEACON program?

We used the criteria for an effective i-CBT program to review many options available today, and while there were several programs to consider, the BEACON i-CBT program impressed.

The BEACON program is an i-CBT program for people 16 years or older struggling with a diagnosed or undiagnosed mental health condition. It provides participants with unlimited access to a therapist for up to 12 weeks, and to online BEACON resources for a full year – all for a one-time cost of $500 (compared to an average cost of $200 for one hour
face-to-face with a therapist).

The Inside Story - May 2018

The impact of chronic pain is all around us

A National Institutes of Health study estimates that up to one in five Canadians suffers from chronic pain. In addition, almost half of those with chronic pain reported suffering from it for more than 10 years and rated the intensity in the very severe range. Of course, the high incidence of chronic pain means that it’s definitely a reality in today’s workplace. To help plan members suffering chronic pain to take control and better manage their condition, Green Shield Canada (GSC), is launching a new digital health strategy.

The Inside Story - April 2018

April 2018

  • Pharmacogenomics: promise, potential, possibilities
  • WHAT'S UP... Nova Scotia helping with cost of take-home drugs, Study shows multiple chronic conditions when Ontarians die, Update on opioids
The advantage - March 2018

What’s in this edition?

  • More on the new medical cannabis (marijuana) coverage option – now available
  • Glucose monitoring systems (GMS) – more details about the upcoming change to extended health services benefits (effective June 1, 2018)
  • We’re making some changes to Online Services to improve the plan member experience
  • Continuing to focus on mental health via the Change4Life® health management portal
  • Quebec optometrists to opt out of RAMQ – what we know so far
  • Saskatchewan government repeals PST on life and health insurance premiums – future collection and refunds
Follow the Script - Spring 2018

GSC’s spring 2018 issue of Follow the Script®

Our spring issue of Follow the Script provides an update of GSC’s preferred pharmacy network which was launched in the fall of 2015. In the “Behind the Counter” interview, we speak with pharmacist Chris Leung about the recent change to our Narcotic Pain Management Policy.


Read more…

The Inside Story - March 2018
  • Mega credit, monster mortgages, and no budget: Financial health has a big impact on overall health
  • WHAT'S UP... British Columbia’s Fair PharmaCare to reduce or eliminate deductibles, New medical marijuana guideline highlights need for solid scientific evidence, Alberta dental fee guide update
GSC Update February 2018 – Biosimilar Transition Program

In 2016, GSC unveiled a new standard approach around biosimilars for patients newly starting biologic therapy: Under GSC formularies, biosimilars are listed as preferred products, and the originator products are covered only in exceptional circumstances.

In keeping with our commitment to provide innovative solutions in pharmacy benefit management, GSC is taking the management of biosimilar drug products a step further with the Biosimilar Transition Program.

The Inside Story - February 2018


  • Thorny issues will persist in 2018, here’s how we’ll lessen their sting…
  • WHAT'S UP... Deal will cut generic drug prices by up to 40%, Update on opioids: 40,000 new starts for high-dose prescription opioids, Flu virus particularly aggressive, Study shows mindfulness helps create a less toxic workplace, GSC’s Health Study Roadshow is taking a break in ‘18


Download in Flipbook (best viewed on Chrome, Safari, or Firefox) or get a PDF...


And don’t miss episode five of GSC’s podcast, “And Now for Something Completely Indifferent…”, as David Willows interviews special guest Stephen Frank of the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association. Check it out here


The advantage - February 2018
  • Another reason to get your plan members on the Change4Life® portal: The Mindfulness Program
  • GSC is offering Best Doctors
  • Glucose monitoring systems (GMS): An upcoming (optional) change to extended health services benefits for plan members managing diabetes
  • 2018 provincial dental fee guide adjustments
  • How can you keep your plan members informed about their benefits plan?
  • Changes coming soon to Online Services!


The Inside Story - December 2017
  • In health care, artificial intelligence is the future
  • WHAT'S UP... New! Alberta dental fee guide effective January 1, 2018, Medication synchronization improves adherence, High-price drugs accounted for 40% of patented drug sales in 2016, Prescription drugs are forecast to represent over 80% of Canada’s drug spending in 2017
Follow the Script - Winter 2017

Medical marijuana – where do we go from here?

  • Our winter issue of Follow the Script introduces GSC’s new medical marijuana product which will be launched early in 2018. In our “Behind the Counter” interview we discuss what plan members should expect from their pharmacists with our pharmacist, Leila Mandlsohn.


The Inside Story - November 2017
  • To treat and prevent mental health issues, open your mind to mindfulness
  • WHAT'S UP... Exercise and the prevention of depression, Biosimilar cost savings in the United States, The costs of tobacco use in Canada, 2012
The advantage - October 2017
  • Value-based Pharmacy set to hit the stage
  • Change4Life access for non-plan members now available
  • Quebec industry news roundup
  • An update on the new Alberta dental fee guide
  • OHIP+ coming January 2018

The Inside Story - October 2017
  • Artificial intelligence isn’t just a new buzzword... it’s a game changer, especially in managing claims
  • WHAT'S UP... GSC sails into uncharted waters again, Opioid crisis update: new statistics and new initiatives, Bringing drug industry payments out of the shadows 

Download in Flipbook (best viewed on Chrome, Safari, or Firefox) or get a PDF...

Follow the Script - Fall 2017
  • Off-label prescribing is the featured topic of our fall issue of Follow the Script, including what types of drugs are commonly prescribed off label and why, as well as GSC’s off-label drug policy. In our “Behind the Counter” interview, pharmacist Andrea Staruch talks to us about her experience with off-label prescribing both behind the counter and as consulting pharmacist at GSC.

     Read more…


The Inside Story - September 2017
  • It may not be comfort food… but the 2017 GSC Health Study serves up the facts
  • WHAT'S UP... Alberta dental fee guide sparks controversy, Quebec reaches agreement for generic prescription drugs, Health Canada may scale back Vanessa’s Law
The Inside Story - July/August 2017


Let’s celebrate by reflecting on how the health insurance industry and Canada’s approach to health have evolved over the years. Here are all the wonderful, worrisome — and sometimes wacky — turns along the way...

Follow the Script - Summer 2017
  • Tapping in to the drug pipeline
  • Behind the Counter
  • Drug Review at GSC
The Inside Story - June 2017
  • Is Health Care Delivering Value?
  • Community Giving Program: Education Foundation of Niagara – Medical Needs Fund
  • WHAT'S UP... Update on Opioids, New Reports Investigate the Value of Additional Community Pharmacy Services, Other News About Pharmacy Practice
The advantage - May/June 2017
  • Change4Life turns two!
  • Booklet and contract revisions for travel benefit
  • Helping your plan members find an eligible provider
  • New PST on health insurance premiums from 2017 Saskatchewan budget
  • Checked out lately?
The Inside Story - May 2017
  • Time to Listen to What Our Mouths Are Telling Us
  • Community Giving Program: The Umbrella Multicultural Health Co-operative – Umbrella Welcome Clinic
  • WHAT'S UP... 2017 Ontario Budget Proposes Pharmacare Program For Children and Youth, Significant Savings Possible With Hypertension Care by Pharmacists, Public Policy Paper About National Pharmacare
g(sc) TALK - Spring 2017
  • GSC's inaugural guide to (practical, functional) fitness fashion
The Inside Story - April 2017
  • Drug Pooling Is Part of the Solution, But Not the Whole Solution
  • Community Giving Program: Saskatoon Wellness Towards Community Health
  • WHAT'S UP... Initiatives Underway to Combat Opioid Misuse, $3.5 Million for Gift Cards to Nudge Smokers to Quit


Follow the Script - Spring 2017
  • De-mystifying the Trillium Drug Program (TDP)
  • Behind the Counter: Coordinating benefits plans in real life
  • Drug review at GSC...
The Inside Story - March 2017
  • Recent Television Coverage Investigates Canada’s Rising Drug Prices
  • WHAT'S UP... Nova Scotia Human Rights Board Rules in Favour of Covering Medical Marijuana, Draft Guideline Designed to Slow Canada’s Opioid Epidemic, The Cost of Smoking-Attributable Diseases Worldwide
  • Community Giving Program: Halton Peel Dental Association – Smile Days
The advantage - February 2017
  • Helping you keep your plan safe from fraud and abuse
  • 2017 provincial dental fee guide adjustments
  • Quebec Drug Insurance Pooling Corporation threshold changes for 2017
  • Pharmacies in Quebec to update billing practices thanks to legislation changes
  • Dietitian Health Coaching Update
The Inside Story - February 2017
  • Want to Keep Employees and the Financials of Your Benefits Plan Healthy?
  • WHAT'S UP... We’re Hitting the Road with the GSC 2017 Health Study, Proposed Federal Tax on Employer Health Benefit Contributions, Recent Research Sheds Light on Health Management Efforts
  • Community Giving Program: Homeless Connect Toronto
g(sc) TALK - Winter 2017
  • Gearing up for a healthy 2017 with GSC's Dietitian Health Coaching
  • Frontline CareTM in action: 211 and The Centre for Social Innovation
  • Darn' good health advice
The Inside Story - January 2017
  • Depression and the Medicalization of Sadness… Has “Treatment” Come to Mean “Drugs”?
  • WHAT'S UP... New Canadian Drugs and Substances Strategy, Ontario Pharmacists Now Giving Additional Vaccines, Chronic Condition Infographics
  • Community Giving Program: YWCA of Yellowknife
View Past Editions