COVID-19 information

Updated: April 30, 2021

COVID-19 information

Updated: April 30, 2021


March 16, 2021

Ongoing support for mental health

With spring arriving, longer days and warmer weather are coming. While the daily pandemic news continues to fluctuate, the overall trend is positive. We’re all looking forward to the days ahead and what the future will bring. 

Our teams continue to evolve our solutions to meet the challenges you and your plan members face. An example – we’ve extended our health and dental admin exceptions until March 31, 2021. This makes it easier for plan members to update prescriptions, referrals and other documents needed to support certain health care claims.

But some of the most important measures we’ve put in place recently relate to mental health support.

That support is urgently needed. Forty percent of Canadians report deteriorating mental health since the onset of the pandemic. That number rises to 61% for those with a pre-existing mental health condition.1

Make the most of Sun Life resources

We believe that positive change in workplace mental health starts at the top. Leaders truly set the tone for their organization. We have an opportunity and responsibility to create mentally healthy workplaces. If you’re unsure of where to start or what next steps to take, our Mental Health Strategy Toolkit can help. I also encourage you to look at our resources for people leaders within your organization. They include our suite of mental health manager training videos.

For plan members, we have many in-plan solutions that provide mental health support. Some of these include Mental Health Navigator, pharmacogenomics and Lumino Health Virtual Care.  Also, our Lumino Health Guides offer access to articles, videos and other resources to support well-being.

Travel advisory still in effect

We continue to support the Government of Canada’s travel advisory to avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada. If borders close as the situation changes, plan members could have their coverage end while they’re still abroad. More than ever, it’s important for plan members who travel outside of Canada to understand travel requirements and know their trip time limit for coverage.

We’re here for you

No matter how our world changes, our promise to support you and your employees is unwavering. Our goal remains to help you and all Canadians live healthier lives.

Stay safe and be well!

 

Dave
 

1 Mental Health Impacts of COVID-19:  Wave 2, Canadian Mental Health Association, University of British Columbia, December 2020 (https://cmha.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/CMHA-UBC-wave-2-Summary-of-Findings-FINAL-EN.pdf)

  • We’re available Monday-Friday. Plan members can reach us by phone at 1-877-SUN-LIFE (1-877-786-5433) from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. They can also go to mysunlife.ca and live chat with us from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET.

    We’re here to help.

We are committed to keeping you up to date and will post new information as it becomes available

Sun Life is operating with an abundance of care to limit the spread of COVID-19 amongst our employees – and the world around us. Our top priority is the health and well-being of our employees, Clients, advisors, consultants and communities.

We are monitoring the global developments related to COVID-19 and adjusting our processes, practices and procedures as the situation evolves.

We want to ensure we continue to deliver for you, our Clients. We know that you need us now, more than ever. We will provide regular updates on this page to help keep you informed.

What's new

We've built our business on managing risks like economic changes

As the world responds to the COVID-19 health and financial crisis, we know there are many questions about where Sun Life stands financially. We’ve built the foundation of our business on managing risks that may happen due to economic changes. We also have 155 years worth of experience to back it up.

Sun Life is resilient.

The best measurement of Sun Life’s financial strength is through our:

  • Capital position
  • Risk framework
  • Financial strength ratings
  • Strong earnings performance and payment of dividends out of these earnings

You can feel comforted during this difficult time knowing:

  • We’re in a very strong capital position. We have a healthy level of capital to meet our financial commitments to Clients.
    • The Life Insurance Capital Adequacy Test (LICAT) ratio measures a company’s ability to meet its obligations. It’s one of several indicators used by Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) to assess an insurer’s financial condition. The minimum required is 90%. Sun Life’s LICAT ratio is 143% – well above the minimum.
       
  • We have a diversified business. With multiple product lines and services and operations around the world, we’re a diverse organization.
    • This helps us prevent over-exposure in any one market or region.
    • This diversity is also important to ongoing success, especially during challenging economic times.
       
  • We're leading in financial ratings. We’re proud to say that Sun Life’s ratings as a public life insurance company are amongst the best in North America. Our best in class ratings show Sun Life’s risk practices and strong financial flexibility.

Sun Life also continues to stay committed to worldwide communities. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we will be donating $1 million to support health care, elder care and address food security needs.

Business Continuity and Pandemic plans

At Sun Life, we are monitoring global developments related to coronavirus very closely.  We are following the guidance of trusted global agencies, as well as medical experts within Sun Life.  We are taking precautionary measures with our own employees in order to minimize any potential risk of disruption to servicing our Clients.

Our enterprise-wide business continuity policy governs business continuity (including pandemic planning) and disaster recovery planning for critical business functions performed at all our major business locations. The focus of our plans is to protect the health and safety of our employees, mitigate business and operational disruptions for our Clients and carry out our regulatory and contractual obligations in a responsible manner. The business continuity plan is flexible and can be adapted to a wide range of events.

Our approach includes building contingency plans founded on “all hazards” crisis management, business continuity, and disaster recovery services including support from vital external service providers and external business partners. Response plans include pandemic, facility outages, systems, power outages, etc.

Disaster recovery plans include offsite recovery and back-up data storage facilities. We also employ a dual recovery strategy which includes redirecting work and/or staff amongst multiple sites, or having staff work-from-home where possible. In some circumstances elements of our recovery plan include participation of major third party service providers. These elements are governed by contracts which include service level agreements.

Overall coordination, guidance and compliance monitoring for business continuity across Sun Life is a centralized function, and a crisis management team comprised of senior management across Sun Life with support teams for Human Resources, Legal and Compliance, Communications, Information Technology and Facilities, is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the business continuity and recovery activities.

Our business continuity policy requires all business continuity plans to be tested at a minimum on an annual basis.

Important details on plan administration

Our Billing Administration team is currently receiving a high volume of requests. We are working hard to answer your questions, but it may take us a little longer than usual.

To help educate plan members about COVID-19 and how it may impact them, we are continuously sharing information on the my Sun Life mobile app, mysunlife.ca, and on sunlife.ca.

Lumino Health offers great resources for plan members to help them stay healthy and well. The Healthy at Home Guide is for Canadians who are spending most of their time at home due to COVID-19. Topics covered include healthy mind, body, work from home and healthy kids. We encourage you to share this resource with your plan members.

We have launched a dedicated page for plan members at sunlife.ca/covid-19 that we will continually update with the latest information.

You can also visit the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) website for industry-related information.