Focus Update keeps our plan sponsors informed with important news and information about group benefits. Here you'll find industry updates, legislative changes, product launches, plan amendments and other relevant news.

January 2018

Service provider delisting update

Sun Life sometimes finds it necessary to disallow certain healthcare service providers, clinics, facilities or medical suppliers (all referred to as “provider” below) from claims processing and reimbursement in an effort to better protect your plan.


Expanding Sun Life’s Fraud Risk Management capabilities into Disability

In November 2017, we announced that Sun Life’s Fraud Risk Management (FRM) Team would be partnering with Group Life & Disability (GL&D) to reduce the potential of fraudulent activity impacting disability claims.


Briefing Four of the “Healthy Brains at Work” series is now available

We are pleased to announce that the fourth and final instalment of the series, “Healthy Brains at Work: Estimating the Impact of Workplace Mental Health Benefits and Programs,” is now available.

738 - It’s coming! Designed for Health 2018

We’re thrilled to announce the upcoming arrival of a ground-breaking benchmark report - Designed for Health 2018. The report represents the most comprehensive look at group benefits plans in the marketplace today. We’ll be releasing the report in late March 2018.


737 - Alberta Fee Guide Update

At Sun Life, we advocate for our plan sponsors and members, and we are constantly looking to bring you more affordable dental costs.


736 - A better way to see personal investment accounts and insurance policies is here

When plan members sign in to mysunlife.ca, they'll now be able to see their accounts, policies and contracts - workplace and personal - making it faster, easier and more convenient to do business with Sun Life and access their product details all in one place.


735 - Advance notice to plan members before dependent coverage ends

Beginning early in January 2018, Sun Life will begin a program to help plan members and their dependent(s) prepare if medical and dental benefits may be ending.


734 - Enhancements coming to Focus Update news

Get ready for a new look and experience to Focus Update news in 2018!


733 - Increase in EI maximum ensurable earnings affects STD plans

The federal government announced the 2018 Employment Insurance (EI) premium rates and maximums.


732 - NEW Innovative support for plan members on disability

Sun Life is partnering with Medical Confidence Inc. (MC) to help plan members on disability get the support they need from diagnosis to recovery.

731 - Sun Life Financial’s Group Life & Disability launching a new partnership with the Fraud Risk Management team

Group Life & Disability (GL&D) is pleased to announce the implementation of a formal and collaborative program with Sun Life’s Fraud Risk Management (FRM) team. The new process will further enhance our existing efforts to reduce the potential of fraudulent activity impacting disability claims.


730 - Sun Life is giving plan members more great options to make it easy for them to save for the future

Earlier this year, Sun Life introduced an easy, innovative way for plan members with both group benefits and retirement saving plans to save for the future, which was the ability to direct their health claim payments to their Group RRSP. Our research has shown that gaps in financial wellness exist for many employees, relating to both day-to-day money management and an understanding of how saving more today can help ensure financial security during retirement. And it’s this gap that employers can help close by creating environments to further support good financial behaviours.


729 - November 23, 2017 - Service provider delisting update

Sun Life sometimes finds it necessary to disallow certain healthcare service providers, clinics, facilities or medical suppliers (all referred to as “provider” within the linked PDF) from claims processing and reimbursement in an effort to better protect your plan.


728 - November 23 TELUS Health Complete and HealthWATCH for Business®drug formularies are now available

With the rate of chronic diseases on the rise and the high costs of specialty drugs, plan sponsors face an increase in drug costs that may threaten the sustainability of their plans. To help with the cost-containment strategies, we have a suite of formularies managed by TELUS Health and by Reformulary Group. We are pleased to announce that we are expanding our formulary offering by introducing the TELUS Health Complete formulary, managed by TELUS Health and the HealthWATCH for Business® formulary, managed by Shoppers Drug Mart.


727 - Saskatchewan PST implementation update and next steps for administrative services only (ASO)

As previously communicated, Saskatchewan announced that provincial sales tax (PST) of 6% applies to all insurance premiums and Administrative Services Only plans (ASO), effective August 1, 2017.


726 - OHIP+ set to launch January 1

OHIP+ is launching as scheduled on January 1, 2018, As of that date, all Ontarians under 25 have OHIP coverage - regardless of income, family or student status - will automatically be covered under the Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) program, with no deductible or co-payment.


725 - PVS – Preferred Vision Services are being discontinued

Starting January 1, 2018, Preferred Vision Services (PVS) is ceasing operation and their services will no longer be available to Sun Life Clients across Canada.

724 - Workplace Solutions – Supporting employee financial wellness

Financial education is a key component of overall financial wellness. When employees feel empowered with the knowledge to manage their finances and prepare for the future, they are able to make better decisions for themselves and their families.


723 - Exciting new updates – new disability claim forms

We’re excited to announce several form updates to help support you and your plan members when applying for disability benefits.


722 - Plan member booklets now available on the Plan Advisor Services website

As part of our goal to meet the evolving needs for managing and servicing your Clients and to make it easier for you to conduct business with Sun Life, advisors can now access plan member booklets on the Plan Advisor Services (PAS) website.


721 - Coming soon – Exciting, new features on the my Sun Life Mobile app!

Sun Life is happy to announce several new features to the my Sun Life Mobile app that will make it easier and more convenient for plan members to manage their plans, achieve lifetime financial security and live healthier lives.


720 - Service provider delisting update

Sun Life sometimes finds it necessary to disallow certain healthcare service providers, clinics, facilities or medical suppliers (all referred to as “provider” within the linked PDF) from claims processing and reimbursement in an effort to better protect your plan.


719 - Quebec group insurance pooling update for 2018 –what’s changing?

Every year, the Quebec Drug Insurance Pooling Corporation (also referred to as the Société de compensation en assurance médicaments du Québec) revises the Quebec group insurance pooling terms and conditions. We have started applying new pooling levels and fees to all 2018 renewal calculations that involve Quebec plan members.


718 - Diabetes Awareness Month

November is also Diabetes Awareness Month and Sun Life has again partnered with Diabetes Canada to encourage Canadians to visit www.sunilfeagainstdiabetes.ca and take the CANRISK test.


717 - Commitment to innovation earns award for Sun Life’s Jean-Michel Lavoie

We’re proud to share that Jean-Michel Lavoie, Assistant Vice-President of Product Development for Group Benefits, has been recognized as one of 25 industry leaders in innovation by LIMRA. Jean-Michel was recognized thanks to his significant contributions to Sun Life’s Group Benefits product strategy.


716 - Financial Literacy Month –NEW Bright Paper helping you make the connection between financial wellness and overall health

Financial wellness is a key pillar of your employees’ overall well-being. Sun Life’s latest Bright Paper, Empowering employees to improve their financial wellness, takes a look at the financial wellness of Canadians and its impact on the workplace. According to the most recent Sun Life Financial Canadian Health Index, almost one-third of Canadians surveyed are distracted at work as a result of their financial situation and financial wellness is often overlooked as part of a workplace health strategy.

715 - Service provider delisting update

Sun Life sometimes finds it necessary to disallow certain healthcare service providers, clinics, facilities or medical suppliers (all referred to as “provider” within the linked PDF) from claims processing and reimbursement in an effort to better protect your plan.


714 - New PDD email alerts leading plan members to health knowledge

Beginning in October 2017, plan members will receive an email notification when a PDD (Pay­ Direct Drug) claim is being paid. The email will lead the plan member to additional information that can help them manage their health.


713 - Updated Group Life and Life Waiver claim forms

We have recently updated our forms for Group Life and Life Waiver claim forms and have posted them to our public site.


712 - Enhancements to RightDirections, Sun Life’s EAP product offering, launching soon!

The RightDirections product offering is launching new digital enhancements to improve the plan sponsor and plan member experience - with no change in pricing.


711 - Sun Life now delists healthcare providers that offer incentives

In previous Focus Updates, we've let you know about our program of delisting healthcare providers. This is to inform you about one component of that program. We have found it necessary to delist paramedical providers, clinics, facilities and medical suppliers that offer inappropriate incentives to promote the purchase of medical services and supplies.


710 - BC PharmaCare to cover First Nations clients

As of October 01, 2017, the BC First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) has made an agreement with BC PharmaCare and the Non-Insured Health Benefits program (NIHB) to cover First Nations clients through the provincial health care program.


709 - Service provider delisting update

Sun Life sometimes finds it necessary to disallow certain healthcare service providers, clinics, facilities or medical suppliers (all referred to as “provider” within the linked PDF) from claims processing and reimbursement in an effort to better protect your plan.

708 - Mass Contract Amendment – Drug Risk Management (DRM)

As communicated in our August 31 Focus Update, we will be introducing an additional layer of review for new drugs and new usages for existing drugs. We will be implementing this change on November 1 2017, and will be amending your contract to reflect this.


707 - Honouring Canadian Healthy Workplace Month with tips to keeping your employees healthy in the workplace

October is Canadian Healthy Workplace Month, and Sun Life is a proud sponsor of this important awareness campaign. And since October 10th is also World Mental Health Day, we thought this would be a good time to remind you about the importance of mental health and its impact in the workplace.

705 - Integrated Health Solutions’(IHS) new digital solution now available to all clients

Sun Life is pleased to announce that we have partnered with CoreHealth Technologies to connect Clients to innovate, digital wellness solutions designed to help organizations achieve their healthy workplace objectives and maximize the health, engagement and productivity of their workforce.


704 - Celebrating the heart of our business during Client Appreciation Week

At Sun Life, we do not take our Client relationships lightly - we know you have other options, so when you choose to work with us, we do not take this for granted.


703 - New resources available for fraud awareness and prevention

Fraud Management is a key component of plan sustainability, which is why Sun Life's fraud team is actively engaged in detecting, investigating and preventing fraud against the group benefit plans. Taking a comprehensive, industry-leading and innovative approach, the fraud management team helps to protect your plan from potential risk and helps to manage your premium costs from the damaging effects of fraud and abuse. Read on to learn about two new resources available for download.


702 - Learn how you can support your employees when cancer strikes

200,000 Canadians face a new cancer diagnosis each year, and struggle with their families to move forward in their journey to recovery. The incidence of cancer rises with age, and Canada's aging workforce means cancer will strike in an increasing number of employees.


701 - Presenting Ella, the insurance industry’s first interactive digital persona

Last week, Sun Life Financial announced the newest member of the Sun Life family. Ella, a caring and knowledgeable digital coach, is ready to help plan members navigate their online (and soon mobile) options in a personalized way.


700 - Service provider delisting update

Sun Life sometimes finds it necessary to disallow certain healthcare service providers, clinics, facilities or medical suppliers (all referred to as “provider” within the linked PDF) from claims processing and reimbursement in an effort to better protect your plan.


698 - New GB Medical & Dental Cost Plus Form

Sun Life is introducing changes to the Medical & Dental Cost Plus claim form. As a result, a revised version of the adhoc claim form is now available. In order to prevent any delay in processing future requests, please ensure to discard all previous versions of this form.


697 - New Features for Web and Mobile

The Fall, Sun Life plan members will have access to new tools and services that will allow them to more easily and effectively manage their plans and their health when engaging with us online via web or mobile. These new features respond to what plan members have told us they wanted, and will align with Sun Life's purpose of helping our Clients achieve lifetime financial security and live healthier lives.


696 - Upcoming enhancements to Top DIN Listing report

A new feature will be added to the Top DIN (Drug Identification Number) Listing report to help you better manage your group benefits plan and the drug spend when considering drug cost containment products.

695 - New Features for Web and Mobile

Sun Life will be remitting estimated SK PST payments to the province of Saskatchewan on behalf of plan sponsors until our ASO statements/invoices officially include the 6% SK PST.


694 - New Features for Web and Mobile

Good news for Quebec residents! As communicated in Focus Update, the province of Quebec has adopted Bill 92, which will go into effect on September 15, 2017.


693 - New Features for Web and Mobile

At Sun Life, we advocate for our plan sponsors and members, and we are constantly looking to bring you more affordable dental costs.


692 - New Features for Web and Mobile

Over the next few months, several exciting redesign changes will be seen on mysunlife.ca, providing a better digital user experience and making it easier for your employees to do business with us.


691 - New Features for Web and Mobile

Sun Life sometimes finds it necessary to disallow certain healthcare providers, clinics, facilities or medical suppliers (all referred to as "provider" below) from claims processing and reimbursement in an effort to better protect your plan.


689 - New Features for Web and Mobile

As communicated in our April 2016 Focus Update, the ACDQ has advised its member dentists to stop assigning benefits for their patients. The decision to stop assigning claims lies with the ACDQ and the individual dentist. This applies to assignment to all carriers, including Sun Life, who are not subscribed to the ACDQ's payment-handling service, Dentaide.


688 - New Features for Web and Mobile

Back in March, we gave you an overview of the digital enhancements being launched during the first half of the year. From now until December, there are more to come - making it faster, easier, and more convenient for our clients to manage their plans both online and on the go.


687 - New Features for Web and Mobile

Sun Life is all about delivering innovative solutions to our clients! Sometimes mental health issues require medication; other times they require Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). At Sun Life, we are looking to support our clients in all ways.


686 - New Features for Web and Mobile

We're excited to announce an enhancement we're making to our Extended Health Care (EHC) product - both for our standard product and for our existing clients with EHC plans.


685A - New Features for Web and Mobile

As of November 1, 2017, Sun Life will be implementing an additional layer of review for new drugs and new usages of existing drugs to supplement the approval made by Health Canada.


685B - New Features for Web and Mobile

As of November 1, 2017, Sun Life will be implementing an additional layer of review for new drugs and new usages of existing drugs and we will be amending your contract to reflect this.


684 - New Features for Web and Mobile

Sun Life is amending the suicide and/or self-inflicted injuries exclusions that can be found in your Disability, Life, AD&D, Critical Illness, EHC and Dental plans.


683 - New Features for Web and Mobile

Important information to share with plan members about changes to the eligibility of osteopathic providers.


682 - New Features for Web and Mobile

Sun Life sometimes finds it necessary to disallow certain healthcare providers, clinics, facilities or medical suppliers (all referred to as "provider" below) from claims processing and reimbursement in an effort to better protect your plan.


681 - New Features for Web and Mobile

On May 25th, Sun Life sponsored a panel discussion for the Benefits and Pensions Monitor Meetings & Events 'Disability Trends & Risks' conference.


680 - New Features for Web and Mobile

Since Saskatchewan has confirmed the scope of the application of the PST the CLHIA, Sun Life and other member companies continue to consult with the government to obtain further information and clarity. We will continue to provide you with updates, including any changes to the details provided below, as further information and clarification becomes available.


Special Communications - SK PST Communications

Saskatchewan provincial sales tax at 6%, effective July 1, 2017

678 - Sun Life supporting BC

Sun Life Financial continues to provide direct support to plan members who are being impacted by the wildfires in BC. Teams across all business areas of Sun Life have been made aware of the situation to ensure we are able to provide assistance to those impacted in this difficult time.


677 - Service provider delisting update

Sun Life sometimes finds it necessary to disallow certain healthcare providers, clinics, facilities or medical suppliers (all referred to as "provider" below) from claims processing and reimbursement in an effort to better protect your plan.


676 - OHIP+ : Children and Youth Pharmacare Program Update

It its 2017 budget released on April 27, 2017, the Government of Ontario announced a new drug benefit program called "OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare" for everyone, under age 25, regardless of family income. The program will begin January 1, 2018, and will cover the cost of medications funded through the Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) program - with no deductible or co-payment.


675 - Two in a row – Sun Life voted #1 group insurance provider

We're honoured to announce that Sun Life Financial Group Benefits has been voted the winner of the Group Insurance Providers category in Canadian HR Reporter's 2017 Reader's Choice Awards.


674 - Service provider delisting update

Sun Life sometimes finds it necessary to disallow certain healthcare providers, clinics, facilities or medical suppliers (all referred to as "provider" below) from claims processing and reimbursement in an effort to better protect your plan.


673 - Quebec amends its public drug plan

Every year, Quebec revises the amounts related to its public drug plan. As of July 1, 2017, changes have been made to the out-of-pocket maximum and co-insurance amounts. These changes affect plan sponsors who provide drug coverage to plan members residing in Quebec.


672 - Quebec Bill 92 coming into effect in September

As communicated in our January 2017 Focus Update, Quebec has adopted Bill 92, which will come into effect on September 15, 2017.


671 - More ways for plan members to rate providers

Since the launch of Sun Life's national healthcare provider ratings network, GB members have provided over one million ratings! Our members have responded overwhelmingly to help empower each other to take charge of their health and well-being.


670 - Sun Life’s next steps for the Saskatchewan PST on group insurance premiums

This Focus update outlines our current implementation plan for Group insurance policy premiums


669 - Industry first! A new way for plan members to save for their retirement

Sun Life Financial is happy to announce a new, easy way for plan members to save for their retirement. Plan members with both benefits and retirement plans from Sun Life now have the option to direct their paramedical and medical claims reimbursement to their Group RRSP instead of it being deposited into their bank account.

666 - Adding more convenience and cost management to drug plans

Over the next 18 months, your drug plan will be converted to our standard offering of a Pay-Direct drug (PDD) card. This will include adding Prior Authorization (PA), Preferred Pharmacy Network (PPN) and mandatory generic substitution to your plan


665 - Service provider delisting update

Sun Life sometimes finds it necessary to disallow certain healthcare service providers, clinics, facilities or medical suppliers (all referred to as “provider” below) from claims processing and reimbursement in an effort to better protect your plan.


663 - New flyer helps educate and protect plan members from scams

Fraud scams are increasing in the financial sector, making plan members targets for phishing, pharming, social engineering, as well as loan, cheque and consumer reward program scams.


662 - Service provider delisting update

Sun Life sometimes finds it necessary to disallow certain healthcare service providers, clinics, facilities or medical suppliers (all referred to as “provider” below) from claims processing and reimbursement in an effort to better protect your plan.


659 - Pharma Negotiated Savings Initiatives – Update

One of the many ways Sun Life helps plan sponsors with drug plan sustainability is by negotiating the right drug for the right price, through our Pharma Negotiated Savings Initative.


658 - New article will empower you to use your outside voice when it comes to mental health in the workplace

In May, Sun Life supported CMHA's #GETLOUD week for mental health awareness, and we want to get even louder by keeping the conversation going with a new article that will empower you and give you the tools you need to address mental health in the workplace.


657 - Innovative pilot project to test virtual cognitive behavioural therapy delivery

Sun Life Financial is teaming up with the University of Regina in a pilot project that may lead to faster, easier access to cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for plan members.

656 - Fort McMurray – One-year commemorative anniversary

Our clients know that they can count on Sun Life as a resource for knowledge and support. We were there for our clients and plan members during the Fort McMurray wildfires last year, to provide practical and timely support.


655 - A fresh new look comes to mysunlife.ca (Joint)

In our March 16 issue, we shared a list of exciting changes coming to the my Sun Life Mobile app and mysunlife.ca this year -- all providing a better user experience and making it easier for plan members to manage their plans.


654 - A fresh new look comes to mysunlife.ca (GB Only)

In our March 16 issue, we shared a list of exciting changes coming to the my Sun Life Mobile app and mysunlife.ca this year -- all providing a better user experience and making it easier for plan members to manage their plans.

653 - Service provider delisting update

Sun Life sometimes finds it necessary to disallow certain healthcare service providers, clinics, facilities or medical suppliers (all referred to as “provider” below) from claims processing and reimbursement in an effort to better protect your plan.


652 - Provider Search is now available on mysunlife.ca

Sun Life is making it even easier and more convenient for plan members to find a health care provider in their area. Already accessible to plan members on their mobile devices via the my Sun Life Mobile App, Provider Search is now also available from their desktop computers at mysunlife.ca (as of April 23, 2017).


651 - #GETLOUD with Sun Life as we support Mental Health Week

May 1-7 marks the 66th Canadian Mental Health Association’s (CMHA) Mental Health Week — an annual national event that takes place during the first week in May to encourage people from all walks of life to learn, talk, reflect and engage with others on all issues relating to mental health.


650 - Service provider delisting update

Sun Life sometimes finds it necessary to disallow certain healthcare service providers, clinics, facilities or medical suppliers (all referred to as “provider” below) from claims processing and reimbursement in an effort to better protect your plan.


649 - Quebec compensation tax rate remains unchanged

On March 28 2017, Quebec’s Minister of Finance announced that the current compensation tax rate will be extended for the next five years and as such will remain unchanged until March 31, 2022. The tax reduction initially set to begin on April 1, 2017, will apply to the period from April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2024.


648 - Updated group benefits forms coming soon

Over the next few months, plan sponsor and plan member group benefits forms will have a new appearance as they are converted into a new tool that provides a more functional and user friendly form.


647 - Service provider delisting update

Sun Life sometimes finds it necessary to disallow certain healthcare service providers, clinics, facilities or medical suppliers (all referred to as “provider” below) from claims processing and reimbursement in an effort to better protect your plan.


646 - Sun Life launches "Bright Minds" plan member - insights community!

At Sun Life Financial, we are committed to providing the best products and services possible, but there is always room for improvement. We believe the best way to find out how to improve our products and services is to ask our clients. We are very excited to introduce, “BRIGHT MINDS”, a private online insights community made up of Sun Life plan members.


645 - Medically Assisted Death - Legislative and Industry Update

On June 17, 2016, the federal government passed Bill C-14, which amends the Criminal Code and other acts to address the topic of medical assistance in dying. The law describes the conditions under which seriously and hopelessly ill or dying adults may seek medical help to end their lives. While the federal legislation legalizes physician assisted deaths for all Canadians, it does not address insurance related issues.


644 - Sun Life Pharma News keeps you on top of trends and changes

Sun Life Pharma News is a tri-annual bulletin that shares the latest trends and changes to the pharmaceutical industry, as well as insights from the Sun Life Pharma team.

643 - Popular provider rating feature now allows department ratings

Starting on March 26, 2017, plan members making a paramedical e-claim on mysunlife.ca will also be able to rate their dependent’s experience with the service provider.


642 - Moving Up: Sun Life Financial is relocating its Corporate Headquarters to One York Street

Sun Life Financial will consolidate its two Toronto offices into a new corporate headquarters, located in the dynamic financial district at One York Street. The Business Development unit, including National Accounts, SunSolutions and SunAdvantage, is set to move on April 7, 2017.


641 - Extended hours for online tools now available

The extended ME Tool hours will allow plan members across Canada to enrol later in the evening hours, making it more convenient for them to manage their benefits plans. If you have posted the hours on your own intranet or published it in other communications, please remember to update the hours shown.


640 - Reminder - It’s Fraud Prevention Month! Get #fraudsmart

Fraud Prevention Month is in full-swing and we want to get you and your employees #fraudsmart to help ensure your plan is protected from this growing problem in group benefits.


639 - EI Premium Reduction Program: Contract wording changes

Effective January 1, 2017, the Employment Insurance legislation has reduced the waiting period for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits from two weeks to one week – with the maximum benefit payment period being maintained at 15 weeks. Plan sponsors taking advantage of the Premium Reduction Program (PRP) are required to make adjustments to align their plans with the change in the waiting period, if they want to remain eligible for the reduced rate under the program.


637 - Exciting times! We’re enhancing the digital plan member experience

At Sun Life we know how important benefits are to an employee’s Total Rewards compensation package. Like you, we’re focused on making plan members happy and making it faster, easier and more convenient for them to manage their benefits and investment plans online and on the go.


636 - Get #fraudsmart during Fraud Prevention Month

March is Fraud Prevention Month and we want to get you and your employees #fraudsmart.


635 - Service provider delisting update

Sun Life sometimes finds it necessary to disallow certain healthcare service providers, clinics, facilities or medical suppliers (all referred to as “provider” below) from claims processing and reimbursement in an effort to better protect your plan.


634 - Auxiliary health fees banned in Quebec

On January 26, Quebec’s health minister announced that going forward, most of the auxiliary health fees previously charged at the doctor’s office are banned in Quebec.

633 - Clarifying group benefits coverage and underwriting issues relating to marijuana

Underwriting issues relating to marijuana usage - and medical marijuana in particular - continue to gain media attention. Two developments in particular have raised questions by plan members, which we discuss in this focus update.


632 - Bright Paper reveals Millennials share similar group benefits needs as generations before them

In the newest Bright Paper, “Life stage” takes centre stage with group benefit plans, Sun Life’s latest generational research reveals that Millennials have “grown into” a set of group benefits needs that looks very much like the needs of the Gen X members and Boomers that came before them.


631 - Our innovation in employee mental health support continues

From the ground-breaking expansion of our internal support for employee mental health, to our introduction of an integrated, strategic approach to supporting the mental, physical and financial wellbeing of our clients, 2016 was a watershed year for our organization – one that reinforced our continued leadership in the mental health area.


630 - Provincial dental fee increases for 2017

It’s that time of year when most provincial and territorial dental associations release their annual fee guides. Typically there is an increase across the board for dental services performed by general practitioners. The information in provincial fee guides helps us establish reimbursement levels for the dental services your plan members receive.


629 - Service provider delisting update

Sun Life sometimes finds it necessary to disallow certain healthcare service providers, clinics, facilities or medical suppliers (all referred to as “provider” below) from claims processing and reimbursement in an effort to better protect your plan.


628 - Sun Life Financial wins Reader’s Digest Trusted BrandTM Award for eighth year running!

Canadians have voted Sun Life Financial as the most Trusted Brand™ of Life Insurance Company for the eighth year in a row, according to the Reader's Digest 2016 Trusted Brand™ Survey.


627 - Quebec public health plan now covering all ultrasounds by radiologists, even in private clinics

Since December 29, 2016, all ultrasounds performed by radiologists, even in private clinics, are covered by RAMQ (the provincial health care plan for Quebec residents). In addition to ultrasounds, optical tomography of the eyeball will also now be covered by RAMQ.


626 - Quebec Bill 92 has been passed into law – what that means to you

In November 2016, amendments were proposed to Quebec Bill 92 that, among other things, would require more details to be provided on drug receipts issued by pharmacists in Quebec. That bill was adopted on December 6, 2016, and will go into effect September 15, 2017.


625 - Chronic disease in the workplace is affecting your employees – Find out how you can combat this growing problem, and how Sun Life can help

February is Heart Health Month and Integrated Health Solutions from Sun Life is offering a free webinar based on the latest Sun Life Bright Paper, “Chronic disease in the workplace: focus on prevention and support”.

624 - Impacts of the new Employment Insurance waiting period

Effective January 1, 2017, the Employment Insurance (EI) waiting period has been reduced from two weeks to one week by the Government of Canada. The duration of the EI benefit remains unchanged, at 15 weeks.


623 - Changes regarding eligibility of osteopathic providers

Important information to share with plan members about changes of eligibility with osteopathic providers.


622 - Service provider delisting update

Sun Life sometimes finds it necessary to disallow certain healthcare service providers, clinics, facilities or medical suppliers (all referred to as “provider” below) from claims processing and reimbursement in an effort to better protect your plan.


Special Edition - What taxable employer contributions to group health benefits plans will mean for your organization


621 - Increase in EI maximum insurable earnings affects STD plans

The federal government announced the 2017 Employment Insurance (EI) premium rates and maximums.

620 - Morneau Shepell purchase of Solareh

On December 20, 2016, Morneau Shepell announced that it has purchased Solareh, the Montreal-based national health and wellness services provider. Solareh is the strategic partner for, and provider of, the Sun Life RightDirections Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Here is the Morneau Shepell media release.


619 - Service provider delisting update

Sun Life sometimes finds it necessary to disallow certain healthcare service providers, clinics, facilities or medical suppliers (all referred to as “provider” below) from claims processing and reimbursement in an effort to better protect your plan.


618 - Sun Life Financial founding sponsor of Financial Wellness and Retirement Readiness 2017 conference

With the increasing interest on the topic of financial wellness and retirement and the general concern for financial security, the Conference Board of Canada has decided to launch the Financial Wellness and Retirement Readiness 2017 conference.


617 - Premium Tax increase in Prince Edward Island, effective January 1, 2017

The Prince Edward Island (PEI) department of Justice and Public Safety issued a bulletin on October 21, 2016 announcing an increase to the premium tax rate, effective January 1, 2017. The PEI premium tax will now be 3.75% versus the previous rate of 3.50%.


616 - Exciting new enhancements added to my Sun Life Mobile App and mysunlife.ca

Sun Life is proud of our commitment to innovation and our dedication to developing new digital health technologies to empower Canadians to take a more active role in managing their mental, physical and financial well-being. We are excited to announce the launch of two new digital health features for plan members.


615 - Service provider delisting update

Sun Life sometimes finds it necessary to disallow certain healthcare service providers, clinics, facilities or medical suppliers (all referred to as “provider” below) from claims processing and reimbursement in an effort to better protect your plan.

614 - Quebec group insurance pooling update for 2017 – what’s changing?

Every year, the Quebec Drug Insurance Pooling Corporation (also referred to as the Société de compensation en assurance médicaments du Québec) revises the Quebec group insurance pooling terms and conditions. We have started applying new pooling levels and fees to all 2017 renewal calculations that involve Quebec plan members.


613 - Service provider delisting update

Sun Life sometimes finds it necessary to disallow certain healthcare service providers, clinics, facilities or medical suppliers (all referred to as “provider” below) from claims processing and reimbursement in an effort to better protect your plan.


612 - Sun Life sponsored Conference Board of Canada’s research reports now available

In an effort to provide more information to plan sponsors on the trends of specialty drugs, Sun Life has sponsored research reports on specialty medications by The Conference Board of Canada (CBoC). Sun Life’s latest pharmaceutical benefits Bright Paper, “Specialty Drugs: Trends, Challenges and Solutions,” was heavily referenced as a strong resource on the topic. The resulting two reports by the CBoC are now available online.


611 - The latest Sun Life Canadian Wellness Return on Investment Study Update and Bright Paper are now available!

The Sun Life-Ivey Canadian Wellness Return on Investment Study is a workplace wellness research study conducted by Sun Life in alliance with the Ivey Business School at Western University. After five years of research and analysis, we’re proud to report that this comprehensive, first-of-its-kind study in Canada was recently completed and we’re ready to share what we’ve learned in the latest The Sun Life-Ivey Wellness Return on Investment (ROI) Study Update and Sun Life Bright Paper on Chronic Disease in the Workplace.


610 - Allianz Global Assistance is our new provider of travel assistance services

As communicated to you in Focus Update #590 and Focus Update #595, effective October 3, 2016, our provider of emergency out-of-country and out-of-province travel assistance services changed to AZGA Service Canada Inc. (Allianz Global Assistance), replacing our previous provider, Europ Assistance USA, Inc. If you have Extended Health Care without Medi-Passport (travel assistance services), your out-of-country and out-of-province emergency claims will also be managed by Allianz Global Assistance.


609 - It will soon be easier for members to send documents to Sun Life using the mobile app

Beginning on November 21, we’re giving members the option to send other requested paperwork. Besides faxing, emailing or mailing requested follow-up paperwork, members will have the additional option of simply snapping a photo of the documents and sending them through the mobile app, available on Android and Apple devices.


608 - Improving mobile app capabilities a new focus of Sun Life innovation

At Sun Life, we continuously evolve to provide the best solutions for our plan sponsors and their plan members. As a result of that evolution, we will be focusing my Sun Life Mobile app support on the diverse Android ecosystem and Apple iOS platforms.


607 - Exciting changes coming soon – enhanced Wellness Centre launch!

Get ready – plan member health engagement is taking a huge leap forward with the upcoming launch of our enhanced online Wellness Centre.


606 - Sun Life Pharma News keeps you on top of trends and changes

Sun Life Pharma News is a tri-annual bulletin that shares the latest trends and changes to the pharmaceutical industry, as well as insights from the Sun Life Pharma team.


605 - November is Diabetes Awareness Month

Sun Life is committed to raising awareness about the prevention of diabetes and its related complications. This month, we’ve prepared a diabetes health and wellness article for you to read and share with your employees to promote education about the disease.

604 - Contract Amendment - Sun Life’s prior authorization program to be applied to your Pay-Direct Drug (PDD) group benefits plan

As communicated to you in a Focus Update in August, Sun Life will be adding the prior authorization (PA) program to your Pay-Direct Drug (PDD) group benefits plan via an amendment to your contract effective November 1, 2016.


603 - Update on changes to the Employment Insurance waiting period

The Employment Insurance (EI) waiting period is the unpaid period of time that must be served before a claimant can begin to receive EI benefits. It has been set at two weeks since the program’s inception and serves as a deductible, similar to private insurance.


602 - Planned outages for Sun Life’s secure sites

All of Sun Life’s secure sites are receiving scheduled maintenance and security updates over three dates. These are expected to take longer than our usually scheduled maintenance.

601 - Third report of the “Healthy Brains at Work” series is now available

Sun Life is a Lead Research Sponsor of the Conference Board of Canada initiative that seeks to better understand the employer’s role in addressing mental health. Titled “Healthy Brains at Work,” this series has produced reports that have been released in 2015 and 2016.


600 - Prince Edward Island Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) rate increases effective October 1, 2016

In its April 2016 budget, the government of Prince Edward Island (PEI) announced that an increase to the provincial portion of the HST rate collected on goods and services will take effect on October 1, 2016. The HST rate will increase from 14% to 15%.


599 - Service provider delisting update

Sun Life sometimes finds it necessary to disallow certain healthcare service providers, clinics, facilities or medical suppliers (all referred to as “provider” below) from claims processing and reimbursement in an effort to better protect your plan.


598 - Time to update eligibility records for over-age dependents/full-time students

With school enrolment here again, Sun Life needs current records for over-age dependents who are eligible to receive benefits. We need any changes as soon as possible to ensure we process their claims correctly and that you are not covering ineligible dependents.

597 - Enhancement to the way EHC ASO Stop Loss credits are applied

Effective November 1, 2016, we are enhancing our administrative practices so your extended health care (EHC) administrative services only (ASO) stop loss claims will be credited during the same month in which the claims were paid.


596 - Messages on mysunlife.ca have a new home!

We’re making it easier for plan members to manage their messages as we continue to improve their web experience.


595 - Allianz Global Assistance is our new provider of travel assistance services

As communicated to you in Focus Update #590, effective October 3, 2016, our provider of emergency out-of-country and out-of-province travel assistance services will be AZGA Service Canada Inc.


594 - New Capability Allows Plan Members to Rate Paramedical Providers

Beginning August 22, your plan members will be able to rate their paramedical* providers’ service (from 1 to 5 stars) when submitting these expenses using the desktop version of mysunlife.ca.


593 - Service provider delisting update

Sun Life sometimes finds it necessary to disallow certain healthcare service providers, clinics, facilities or medical suppliers (all referred to as “provider” below) from claims processing and reimbursement in an effort to better protect your plan.


592 - Helping you manage drug costs with prior authorization

Prior authorization (PA) is one of the ways you can contain the costs of claims for high cost drugs and still ensure that your plan members are getting the right drugs at the right time in their treatment course.

591 - Service provider delisting update

Sun Life sometimes finds it necessary to disallow certain healthcare service providers, clinics, facilities or medical suppliers (all referred to as “provider” below) from claims processing and reimbursement in an effort to better protect your plan.


590 - Allianz to become new provider of travel assistance services

Starting on October 3, 2016, our provider of emergency out-of-country and out-of-province travel assistance services will be Allianz Global Assistance. The telephone numbers and all existing services will remain the same. Our goal is to make this transition as seamless an experience as possible for you and your plan members.


589 - Quebec amends drug plan

Quebec has made some changes to the out-of-pocket maximum and co-insurance amounts for its basic drug plan. The changes, effective July 1, 2016, affect plan sponsors who provide drug coverage to Quebec plan members.


588 - Postal strike: options for paying group benefits insurance and administration services only (ASO) premiums

While the postal strike is in effect, you may need to look at other options for submitting payments to Sun Life.


587 - Sun Life a winner in first annual Canadian HR Reporter Readers’ Choice Awards!

In their first annual Readers’ Choice Awards, the Canadian HR Reporter polled its readers to find out who their favourites in the industry are and Sun Life is a winner!


586 - The 2016 edition of The Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey provides insights into what employers and employees are looking for in their group benefit plans

The 2016 edition of The Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey revealed its findings on June 14, 2016 at the Fairmont Royal York hotel in Toronto.


585 - RAMQ coverage for fertility drugs has changed

Drugs that are on RAMQ’s formulary are required by legislation to also be covered by private insurance plans at an amount that is at least equal to the RAMQ coverage. In 2010, fertility drugs were added to their formulary of covered drugs and insurance carriers with plans in Quebec provided coverage as required.

584 - my Sun Life Mobile connects plan members easily and directly with our Customer Care Centre for quick access to support for their plans

This month, benefits and savings plan members who access their plans through my Sun Life Mobile will be able to easily connect with the Customer Care Centre with a new feature on the app.


583 - Service provider delisting update

Sun Life sometimes finds it necessary to disallow certain healthcare service providers, clinics, facilities or medical suppliers (all referred to as “provider” below) from claims processing and reimbursement in an effort to better protect your plan.


582 - Possible postal disruption: Keeping plan members “in touch” with their benefits

For plan members who submit claims and receive reimbursements and statements by mail, a postal disruption could mean significant delays in submitting claims, getting reimbursed and generally keeping “in touch” with their group benefits.


581 - Working together for a healthier future: Workplace Mental Health Risk Assessment and consulting services

Sun Life’s Integrated Health Solutions (IHS) is pleased to announce the launch of its new Workplace Mental Health Risk Assessment and consulting services.


580 - Important notice for Internet Explorer users

Earlier this year, Microsoft announced that only the most current version of Internet Explorer available for supported operating systems will continue to receive support. As a result, effective July 1, 2016, Sun Life web pages will no longer validate page functionality or accommodate design for versions of Internet Explorer 10 and below.


579 - Enhancing the online paramedical claims process

Effective June 12, 2016, we’re making a change to our Plan Member Services website that will help provide another means of controlling claims fraud. When claiming online for paramedical expenses, plan members must now include the full address of the facility where they received the treatment.


578 - Tax increases in New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador, effective July 1, 2016

The governments of New Brunswick (NB) and Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) announced tax increases in their budgets that impact group benefits products and services, effective July 1, 2016. Below is the implementation plan that Sun Life will use to address these increases.


577 - Brightening the mysunlife.ca member experience

In a continuing effort to make our website easy for plan members to use and understand, we are making a number of enhancements throughout 2016.


576 - Service provider delisting update

Sun Life sometimes finds it necessary to disallow certain healthcare service providers, clinics, facilities or medical suppliers (all referred to as “provider” below) from claims processing and reimbursement in an effort to better protect your plan.


575 - New online registration process is coming your way

This summer, Sun Life is launching a new registration experience on mysunlife.ca to make signing up for online accounts even easier. It has also been redesigned to be mobile responsive which means that whether your plan members sign up on their computer, their tablet, or even on their phone, the content will be easy to view and simple to navigate. As always, plan members will need to complete their registration on mysunlife.ca before they can start using the my Sun Life Mobile App.


Special Edition - Sun Life supporting Fort McMurray


574 - New Sun Life Pharma News helps keep you on top of trends and changes

Sun Life’s pharmaceutical group benefits team has recently launched the Sun Life Pharma News bulletin. This tri-annual bulletin shares the latest trends and changes to the pharmaceutical industry, as well as insights from the team.


Special Edition - Sun Life responding to the wildfires in Alberta with special support

573 - Just in time for Mental Health Week – new plan member resources are available!

May 2 – 6 is Mental Health Week! As part of Sun Life's commitment to supporting an integrated approach to health, the following one-page information sheets have been designed to support employee mental health, while also considering health from a holistic approach.


572 - Service provider delisting update

Sun Life sometimes finds it necessary to disallow certain healthcare service providers, clinics, facilities or medical suppliers (all referred to as “provider” below) from claims processing and reimbursement in an effort to better protect your plan.


571 - Contract change to reflect legislative amendment – effective July 1, 2016

Recent amendments to the Insurance Act in Ontario have required us to make changes to the Legal Actions provision found in our contracts and employee benefits booklets. These changes will come into force on July 1, 2016.


570 - New enhancements coming to my Sun Life Mobile

In the coming weeks, plan members who access their Sun Life Financial accounts through my Sun Life Mobile will see up to three new enhancements on the app, depending on which operating system they use for their phones.

569 - Reasonable and customary charges revision for drug claims in Quebec

This change impacts plan members making drug claims in Quebec under a Pay Direct/Deferred Drug (PDD) plans.


568 - Mailing your health and dental claims to Sun Life? Check the address!

In 2010, our health and dental claims processing departments were consolidated to our Waterloo and Montreal offices. To provide faster and more efficient service, all other P.O. boxes will be closed as of September 30, 2016 and mail will no longer be forwarded.


567 - New Digital Benefits Assistant Experience supports members going through a plan change

Starting April 24th, Digital Benefits Assistant (DBA) will provide a new experience on mysunlife.ca to members leaving their workplace plan. This experience will complement the existing, pro-active support already available to members from our Sun Life Service Representatives.


566 - News for plans in Québec allowing assignment of dental claims

New Association des chirurgiens dentistes du Québec (ACDQ) initiative and potential impact to plan members.


565 - Service provider delisting update

Sun Life sometimes finds it necessary to disallow certain healthcare service providers, clinics, facilities or medical suppliers (all referred to as “provider” below) from claims processing and reimbursement in an effort to better protect your plan.


Changes to Extended Health Care Large Amount Pooling levels


564 - Join The Conversation!

Sun Life’s thought leadership platform, The Conversation, launched its website on February 1, 2016. “Prescribed Conversations” is Sun Life’s pharmaceutical benefits page on The Conversation website, providing you with educational and thought-provoking dialogue on what’s going on in the pharmaceutical benefits space, industry trends, the latest research, and more.


563 - New material clarifies eligibility requirements for all Choices products

Sometimes, it may be confusing as to who is eligible to enrol in a Sun Life Choices plan – this includes My Health Choice, My Life Choice and Choices Critical Illness.


562 - Sun Life-Ivey Canadian Wellness ROI Study summary of preliminary findings

Sun Life is excited to be able to share the latest from our preliminary findings from the Sun Life-Ivey Canadian Wellness Return on Investment Study (Sun Life-Ivey Wellness ROI Study). Data analysis to date reinforces workplace wellness best practices and supports the need for a strategic approach.


561 - Benefits Fraud Bright Paper launches during Fraud Prevention Month

March is Fraud Prevention Month and you, our plan sponsors, have been clear about the need for more information to help mitigate the risk of fraud on your plans. Sun Life is pleased to launch our first Bright Paper on fraud, Group Benefits Fraud: A leading edge perspective.


560 - New Digital Benefits Assistant experiences help plan members take action

Client Solutions recently announced how Sun Life was taking another step towards building a more engaging member experience by launching Digital Benefits Assistant (DBA).


559 - Introducing Integrated Health Solutions: Working together for a healthier future

By 2020 50% of the global workforce will be Millennials. 1 Today’s health challenges need a new approach – a complete solution as multi-faceted as health itself. Effective health management plans should be simple to implement and effective in meeting the evolving needs of your organization and its employees.

558 - Service provider delisting update

Sun Life sometimes finds it necessary to disallow certain healthcare service providers, clinics, facilities or medical suppliers (all referred to as “provider” below) from claims processing and reimbursement in an effort to better protect your plan.


557 - Conference Board of Canada’s “Healthy Brains at Work” second report focuses on employers’ programs

As we communicated in a Special Edition of Focus Update in spring 2015, Sun Life is proud to sponsor an exciting research series produced by The Conference Board of Canada, examining employer-sponsored mental health benefits and programs in Canada.


556 - Pharmaceutical Benefits: A look back and the year ahead in 2016 (Quebec)

As a leader in the Canadian pharmaceutical benefits space, Sun Life Group Benefits continually strives to create value for clients through a number of strategic initiatives. In the last couple of years, there have been several successes in terms of savings for plan sponsors and plan members. In 2016, there will be a continued focus on initiatives that offer options for plan sponsors and plan members, and deliver cost management and thought leadership.


555 - Pharmaceutical Benefits: A look back and the year ahead in 2016

As a leader in the Canadian pharmaceutical benefits space, Sun Life Group Benefits continually strives to create value for clients through a number of strategic initiatives. In the last couple of years, there have been several successes in terms of savings for plan sponsors and plan members.

554 - Provincial dental fee increases for 2016

It’s that time of year when most provincial and territorial dental associations release their annual fee guides. Typically there is an increase across the board for dental services performed by general practitioners. The information in provincial fee guides helps us establish reimbursement levels for the dental services your plan members receive.


553 - Apple’s Touch ID coming to my Sun Life Mobile

In early February, plan members who have an iPhone will be able to use Touch ID to access their account easier and faster.


552 - Increase in EI maximum insurable earnings affects STD plans

The federal government recently announced the 2016 Employment Insurance (EI) premium rates and maximums, effective January 1, 2016.


551 - Service provider delisting update

Sun Life sometimes finds it necessary to disallow certain healthcare service providers, clinics, facilities or medical suppliers (all referred to as “provider” below) from claims processing and reimbursement in an effort to better protect your plan.


Newfoundland and Labrador HST rate increase cancelled