Group Benefits Bright Papers

A fresh, innovative and creative way to provide you with insight

In the spirit of white papers, Sun Life’s Bright Papers combine careful research and thoughtful analysis to help plan sponsors gain a deeper understanding of employee attitudes and behaviour. We believe that understanding what plan members want and expect is integral to helping them stay healthy, allowing employers to reap the rewards of a healthier workforce.

Click here Break down the administration barrier

A group benefits plan can be a significant competitive advantage for small businesses, both in keeping employees healthy and in attracting and retaining top talent. Yet many small businesses do not offer health benefits. One reason? A worry about the additional administrative burden that adding a benefits plan might entail.

Things are changing fast. Cloud-based innovations have greatly simplified administrative tasks for small businesses – including group benefits plan management, as well as payroll and human resources. Designed specifically for small businesses, these low cost, easy to implement solutions allow small business owners to focus on what’s important – growing their businesses.

Click here Bending the benefits cost curve

Making benefits dollars work harder! Innovations are driving cost savings for benefits plans while also supporting the health of employees.

Click here Innovations in Absence and Disability Management

Recent innovations in disability management are having a profound and positive impact – reducing the incidence and impact of disability in the workplace. From navigating the health care system more efficiently, to making use of virtual care, to identifying effective treatments faster, the latest innovations can make a significant difference to you and your employees.

Click here National Pharmacare: Getting it right

In this paper, we outline a solution that is affordable and effective in extending coverage to all Canadians while also protecting the workplace health benefits that millions of employees and their families rely on. This is not a single payer solution, but one where the private and public sectors work together for the best outcome for all Canadians.

Click here Designed For Health

Designed for Health provides the most comprehensive look at group benefits plans in the country, with analysis based on data from Sun Life's database of over 20,000 group benefits plans covering more than 5 million Canadians.

Click here The Win-Win of Optional Critical Illness Insurance

76% of plan members surveyed agree: Critical Illness Insurance is an important part of an employer benefit plan1. It’s a simple, cost-effective way to add value. Find out how Optional Critical Illness Insurance can position an organization as an employer of choice, contain plan costs and let employees customize a plan to their needs.

1 Sanofi Canada HealthCare Survey, 2016

Click here Medical cannabis and group benefits plan coverage

With the media attention around the legalization of recreational cannabis, a lot of questions are being asked about medical cannabis and its impact on group benefits plans. From the potential effects legalization could have on the workplace, to how medical cannabis fits into this new legal framework as well as the possible implications on benefits plans, this Bright Paper has the answers.

Click here Empowering employees to improve their financial wellness

Financial wellness can significantly impact employees but it’s often overlooked as part of workplace health strategies. And the cost to employers can be high – with higher absence and disability rates, lower productivity, and increased drug plan claims due to physical and mental health issues. With individual debt loads high, savings low, and the potential for rising interest rates, this is an ideal time for employers to take action.

Click here Changing the face of cancer

Nearly 1 in 2 Canadians is expected to be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, while 1 in 4 will die of the disease*. Cancer and related treatments represent growing costs to Group Benefits plans but also, more importantly, have a significant impact on employees and their families. As an employer, learn what you can do today to change the face of cancer.

*Canadian Cancer Statistics Advisory Committee on Cancer Statistics. Canadian Cancer Statistics 2017. Toronto, ON: Canadian Cancer Society; 2017.

Click here "Life stage" takes centre stage with group benefit plans

In mid-2016, we engaged TNS Canada to conduct research into the insights of generations in the workforce and their attitude to the integration of health and wellness across the health spectrum (mental, physical, and financial) – as well as their attitudes to group benefits in general.

Click here Chronic disease in the workplace: focus on prevention and support

This Bright Paper addresses the issue of chronic disease, its impact on the workplace and how employers can mitigate the risk to their organization and support the health and wellbeing of their employees.

Click here Group Benefits Fraud: A Leading Edge Perspective

With fraud management as a key component of plan sustainability, the Bright Paper should be an informative read for sponsors and advisors. It covers the increasing sophistication of the threats that plans face today, explores Sun Life’s intelligence-led anti-fraud approach and the skilled fraud team who work hard to reduce risk every day.

Click here Specialty Drugs: Trends, Challenges and Solutions

This Bright Paper provides you with a clear view of the specialty drug trend, including forecasts, potential impacts on plan costs and pooling and the steps you can take to help protect your plan.

Click here Maximize the value of your group benefits plan: Five opportunities for employers in the oil and gas industry

This Bright Paper outlines five key opportunities to help employers in the oil and gas sector get the maximum value for the dollars spent on their benefits plans. Keeping their employees healthy, productive and engaged is perhaps now more important than ever and the right benefits plan design can help do this, while also helping keep costs in check.

Click here Make the link: healthy lifestyles and mental health

This Bright Paper focuses on five lifestyle factors that support mental health: exercise, nutrition, relationships, relaxation, and volunteerism.

Click here Diabetes: An action plan for employers

Diabetes, classified as a global epidemic by the World Health Organization, can cause serious, sometimes life-threatening health complications. This paper highlights the impact of diabetes on employers and provides a four-step approach that aims to provide a strategic yet practical framework to help tackle the risk of type 2 diabetes in the workplace.

Click here Mental health in the workplace: A little training goes a long way

"Of all the questions that I’m asked by organizations in the course of my work, one of the most common ones related to improving mental health in the workplace is “where do I start?”. This paper goes a long way to addressing that question, by highlighting the elements and benefits of mental health training for managers." -Marie-Helene Pelletier, Director, Workplace Mental Health.

Click here Take your pills: Gaining the benefits of improved drug adherence

In order to gain the positive health outcomes associated with prescription medications, patients must take their drugs “as prescribed” – a simple fact, but in my experience as a pharmacist, it is one that too many patients ignore. Many employers I speak with have minimal knowledge that patient non-adherence to prescribed drug treatments is common and can greatly impact their employees’ health status, benefit plan costs and overall productivity.

Click here Maximize your impact: Gain the advantage in the small business market

A research report for advisors on how to maximize their impact when selling, servicing and renewing group benefits for small business.

New Sun Life research – involving more than 400 Canadian small businesses – reveals what business owners need from their group benefits plan and their advisor. There is no shortage of opportunities – and success rests with advisors who can best address what small businesses are looking for.

Click here to view archived Bright Papers.