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How Manulife is transforming employee health through proactive care

Manulife is helping Canadian workers to navigate an often complex and increasingly stretched health care system using a preventative health approach.
Tania Amardeil
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Manulife Group Benefits isn’t just about paying claims anymore.

As an industry leader with approximately five million Canadians covered by its group benefits plans, Manulife is evolving from a traditional claims payer to a health partner focused on employee health outcomes and advancing digital health technology. Today, Manulife is helping to lead the future of employee and organizational health by providing Canadians with innovative health solutions that go beyond traditional insurance coverage.

Delivering the future of employee health care

Working Canadians face a myriad of health issues that affect their ability to perform their jobs effectively, resulting in absenteeism, lost productivity and increased health care costs.

Ashesh Desai, Head of Group Benefits, Manulife Canada

Our data demonstrates that on average, about 48 days are lost per employee each year due to health-related absenteeism or presenteeism,” says Ashesh Desai, Head of Group Benefits at Manulife Canada. “Our data also shows that 40 per cent of people aren’t doing the recommended amount of physical activity and that 46 per cent are experiencing at least one work-related mental health risk factor. Just paying claims isn’t going to help these issues.”

The team at Manulife decided to take a more proactive approach to supporting Canadians on their health care journeys.

Creating a culture of health and wellness

One of the ways Manulife is achieving this goal is by focusing on helping Canadians manage personal health issues and navigate Canada’s complex, often-disjointed health care system with a focus on prevention.

“We’re in a very unique position,” says Desai. “We receive and process a lot of claims for people, so we have an opportunity to connect with them every time a claim is processed to understand the impact of that claim. As a result of what we’ve learned, we’re building an innovative and proactive care model. We’re focused on prevention, timely intervention, and supported recovery by helping offer the right care, at the right time, in the right place.”

Manulife’s innovative new care model integrates all of its offerings—from wellness and disability programs to pharmacy, dental and beyond—bringing it all together into one place that’s accessible and personalized.

The benefits of a personalized approach

From personalized medicine programs to accessible resources to prompt guidance based on individuals’ health data trends, Manulife’s preventative approach is all about promoting healthy lifestyles, providing access to information and support, and addressing health concerns early, to help reduce the likelihood of more severe health issues down the road. Going far beyond traditional benefits, the proactive care model aims to create a culture of health and wellness that supports employees at every stage of their health journey — including prevention, intervention, and recovery.

The approach also focuses heavily on accessibility. “We know that most working Canadians want their employers to make it easier for them to digitally access their health care benefits all in one spot,” says Desai. “No one wants to go to multiple spots to access their claims, how much coverage they have left, and so on. We’re very focused on making lives better and making decisions easier, and we’re very focused on enhancing our digital capabilities.”

Want to learn more about what the future of employee health care means for your business or organization? Contact your advisor or Manulife representative, or visit manulife.ca/employeehealth to learn more.