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June 7, 2022

CRYPTOASSETS THREATEN FINANCIAL STABILITY

Cryptoassets pose a growing risk to financial stability, says a report from TD Economics. While the crypto market remains small relative to the global equity market, the sector has grown rapidly over the past couple of years and has demonstrated a closer correlation with stock markets, rising from essentially zero in the 2017 to 2019 period to 0.4 in 2020 and 2021, it says. Alongside the increased correlation, linkages to the traditional financial system have grown as well. “Efforts by crypto-asset issuers to buttress the asset class necessarily increase linkages to the traditional financial system, either by drawing in more retail investors, often with leveraged exposure, or by issuing crypto-assets backed by assets in the traditional financial system,” TD says. Additionally, cryptoassets can affect investor sentiment and lead to spillover effects. As a result, there’s a real risk that turmoil in a major cryptoasset would lead to broader market volatility and economic harm.

June 7, 2022

DETAILED CLAIMS ANALYSIS NEEDED FOR CHRONIC CONDITIONS

A great place to start with planning benefits coverage for chronic conditions next year is with a detailed claims analysis to help understand the impact of these on plan members, says a Telus Health ‘Benefits Hub.’ With Canada’s healthcare system strained and stretched to keep up with the shifting demands of the pandemic, many healthcare professionals were forced to restrict or shut down care for chronic conditions such as diabetes, cardio-pulmonary disease, auto-immune concerns, and mental health. After more than two years of limited diagnostic and treatment services for chronic conditions, there is likely a deluge of chronic disease claims coming. In a 2021 study, plan sponsors were asked to estimate what percentage of their workforce was living with a chronic condition. The average estimate was 34 per cent, but the actual number is 60 per cent and employers may be seeing even higher numbers in coming months as the effects of delayed diagnosis and treatment begin to surface. Canadians are living with a range of chronic concerns, with diabetes and mental illness at the top of the list. Along with hypertension, high cholesterol, arthritis, asthma, and chronic pain, these types of conditions account for 68 per cent of benefits costs, but the impact to employers goes further when lost productivity is taken into account. While coming months seem certain to bring an increase in disability claims and higher drug costs, it says plan sponsors can take steps to help minimize the impact of chronic illness by focusing on a culture of well-being and looking for tools that increase access to quality care. A detailed claims will help determine if a plan is offering the right support for preventing chronic conditions and for reducing disability claim volumes and durations.

June 7, 2022

EMPLOYEES THINK COMMITMENT TO DE&I LACKING

Almost a third