Dave Jones 
     Senior Vice-President, Group Benefits

Last year was truly unprecedented. Together, we faced many challenges. Through it all, I’m proud of how we remained focused on our true purpose – to help you and your employees live healthier lives. 

Through this unprecedented time, our teams responded to be there for you and your plan members. We helped you address COVID-19 challenges in many ways. These included: 

  • launching our COVID-19 website to make it easier to access important information,
  • providing premium deferrals and credits to help with cash flow,
  • extending our call centre hours,
  • facilitating easier access to care – including coverage for many virtual paramedical services and accepting prescriptions from nurse practitioners, and
  • waiving the waiting period for eligible COVID-19 positive short-term disability (STD) claims to help plan members impacted by this virus.

We shifted many priorities and fast-tracked the launch of several products and services over the past year. Many of our innovations are now a permanent part of our group benefits offer. I have no doubt that your employees will benefit from these innovations for years to come. 

The virtual care evolution

Virtual care is a great example of a new service with a lasting benefit. Lumino Health Virtual Care, powered by Dialogue, provided plan members with free support through the most trying early days of the pandemic. It continues to help plan members across Canada access care to help keep their families healthy.

We believe investing in virtual care is the right thing to do. The use of virtual care provides fast and convenient access to care. It saves time, reduces worry and stress, and can increase employee productivity. We also developed a toolkit that has everything you need to create awareness of Lumino Health Virtual Care for your employees. 

Plan sustainability front and centre

We continue to introduce innovations and strategies that bend the benefits cost curve. For example:

  • We launched our new Reference Drug Program. It encourages individuals to choose lower cost drugs where research shows they work as well as higher cost alternatives.
  • We actively promote health consumerism through Lumino Provider Search. Cost indicators ($/$$/$$$) can help plan members maximize their coverage by choosing lower-cost providers. 
  • For health products and services, we use data, claims behaviour and best practices to set reasonable and customary limits. 

Support for mental health

We know that Canadians are struggling with their mental health more than ever before. And we believe we all share a responsibility to reduce stigma and increase supports for mental health. 

Mental health is now the leading cause of long-term disability. It’s also the fastest growing disability claims area in Canada.  We continued to expand our support in this area. This included:

  • Developing a toolkit to help you create a mental health strategy for your organization. The toolkit guides you through our mental health practices, tools and resources. 
  • Launching a mental health webinar series for plan sponsors and plan members. We initially developed the series to help reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health. However, the content in the series goes beyond COVID-19. It also addresses Canada’s long-standing mental health crisis. 
  • Offering the Mental Health Navigator to plan members. This service helps plan members get access to additional mental health support. It helps to ensure they get the treatment they need, and that they’re on the right path to recovery.
  • Adding pharmacogenomics as an optional Extended Health Care benefit, and adding it to our disability toolkit.
  • Providing access to online cognitive behavioural therapy, and virtual independent medical exams for those claiming disability benefits. 

We greatly appreciate and value your ongoing partnership and support. Through good times and challenging times, we’re dedicated to helping you achieve the organizational health goals you have for your workforce. We remain committed to helping your employees live healthier lives.

 Dave

Coming in 2021

This year we are keeping our focus on finding the right changes, enhancements, and technologies to keep our group benefit plans at the forefront of our industry. 

View what’s coming in 2021