Understanding what conditions are impacting your plan members and your organization, as well as the resulting cost, is important. Alberta Blue Cross monitors and reviews drug claiming information to provide insight into the prevalence of health conditions in our populations and the associated costs that can impact plan sustainability in the future.

The following are the top 10 health conditions ranked by total amount paid (Table 1) and by number of claims (Table 2).

Top 10 health conditions based on amount paid*

RankHealth Condition
2Crohn’s disease/ulcerative colitis
5Rheumatoid arthritis
7Cardiovascular disease
8Multiple sclerosis

Top 10 health conditions based on number of claims*

RankHealth Condition
1Cardiovascular disease
3Infection (antibotic)
6High cholesterol
8Thyroid disorders
9Pain (narcotic)
10Pain (non-narcotic)

As can be seen above, there are a mix of conditions at play in the top 10 conditions. Non-modifiable conditions such as Crohn’s Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis represent higher-cost, lower-frequency claims. By contrast, cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol and diabetes—typically viewed as conditions where the disease severity can be modified—are among the top conditions by number of claims as well as by amount paid.

While lifestyle changes generally have limited impact on non-modifiable conditions, some of the more modifiable conditions noted above can be tackled through education, diet and physical activity. Wellness initiatives, such as Alberta Blue Cross’s Balance® platform, can help. Balance helps users assess and track their health and wellness habits and includes features like medication and activity reminders, educational articles and more. For more information on this and other resources available to help manage health, please speak with your Alberta Blue Cross representative.

*The rankings above are based on 2019 Alberta Blue Cross private plan drug claims data and reflect Health Canada-approved indications (health conditions) of the medications.

Balance® is a registered mark of the Canadian Association of Blue Cross Plans, an association of independent Blue Cross plans

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