Ontario Ironworkers: Building Today, Protecting Tomorrow

The Ontario Ironworkers are a trade union with a footprint spanning the province, from Windsor to Thunder Bay and points in between. They have a rich history of top-notch craftsmanship, working on projects ranging from the iconic Canada’s Wonderland to the future of Toronto’s skyline, such as The One, a 94-storey residential complex at Bloor and Yonge, which upon completion will be the tallest habitable building in Canada.

On January 1, 2021, the Ironworkers became the first plan of fully unionized workers to subscribe to the Reformulary®, Reformulary Group’s proprietary drug formulary. The switch was guided by the Ironworkers Trustees’ recognition that drug plan sustainability is a major concern of plans like theirs across Canada. The decision was aligned with their progressive and forward-thinking vision of a sustainable prescription drug benefit that offers robust coverage for today and tomorrow’s plan members. By implementing the Reformulary, members can be engaged in their own healthcare, while ensuring that the medicines they take provide the best healthcare value.

“It went extremely well. Everybody, including Reformulary Group and our consulting partner Eckler, did a great job. It was well-planned, smoothly communicated, and members had access to excellent support,” said Mike Melvin, Managing Director of Ontario Ironworkers/Rodmen Benefit Plan. “One of the keys to a smooth implementation was universal and permanent grandfathering for members and their dependents, meaning that there was no change or interruption in coverage for members with existing prescriptions,” commented Mike.

Reformulary Group, Eckler and the Ironworkers deployed a comprehensive communication program to ensure members were fully informed about the transition. Reformulary’s DrugFinder® search tool was available to members well in advance of January 1st; letters went out to members; and, a pre-recorded Town Hall-type video was shared widely with members.

Results have been excellent: Plan spend is lower today that pre-Reformulary, despite a significant increase in the number of claimants and grandfathering of members on existing prescriptions at implementation. As long-term partners in the Ironworkers’ prescription drug benefit plan, the Reformulary provides a sustainable plan that meets member needs now and lets them keep building for tomorrow.