Press releases

October 07, 2016

Sun Life Summit provides expert insights on how election could affect health care policy, and impacts for employers

SLPC 27851 10/16 (exp. 10/21)

4th annual Sun Life Summit now available for viewing online

WELLESLEY, MA – (October 7, 2016) — The U.S. business group of Sun Life Financial hosted its fourth Sun Life Summit to shed light on important and complex issues surrounding potential health care policy impacts from the upcoming election. The Summit gave perspectives on how employers can navigate upcoming policy changes, as well as better manage disability programs while remaining compliant with federal regulations and avoiding increased costs due to loss of productivity.

The keynote session, “The Politics of Employee Benefits”, featured speaker Katy Spangler, Senior Vice President, Health Policy, for the American Benefits Council. She presented background on the health care policy stances of each presidential candidate, while offering predictions for the future of healthcare, and how employers will be impacted. Spangler noted that while major changes to the Affordable Care Act are unlikely regardless of who wins in November, under Clinton we could see the return of the public option, a government funded insurance plan. “Secretary Clinton would pursue efforts on a public option, but it is unlikely she would have support in the Senate,” said Spangler. “She would look at state innovation waivers as a way to encourage states to offer the public option.”

In the roundtable panel, “Why Work is Healthy,” disability experts Dr. Jennifer Christian and Dr. Chris Brigham joined legal and ACA expert Stacy Barrow to discuss the financial, physical, and societal aspects of going on disability in the US. “Work is far more significant than just a paycheck,” said Dr. Brigham. “It gives us a reason to get up in the morning, to relate to others, it gives us a purpose.”

“In addition to worklessness being a threat to someone’s physical and mental health, it’s also a threat to their social, family, personal, and economic wellbeing,” continued Dr. Christian. “Working gives us a role in society, and most people don’t understand how toxic being away from work can be.”

The last session of the Summit was conducted by Sun Life disability and compliance experts Alexandra Dumont and Marjory Robertson, who presented insights on the regulatory landscape, and how employers can navigate these complicated regulations while still maintaining the bottom line.

“We understand there is a hunger for substantive information and real dialogue about the issues we’re all facing as brokers, employers, and insurers,” said Dan Fishbein, President, Sun Life Financial U.S. “Our Summits are designed to provide a cross-section of viewpoints and expertise, providing insights and actionable steps for a healthy workforce .”

The Sun Life Summit was broadcast live online on September 29, from the Sun Life Center for Healthy Work in Scarborough, ME. Over 2,300 benefits consultants, insurance professionals, and employer representatives tuned in from across the country. Each session of the Summit, as well as speaker background and bios, can be viewed at www.sunlifesummit.com.

About the Sun Life Summit
The 4th Sun Life Summit, held on September 29, 2016, is part of a series of Summits hosted by Sun Life Financial. Sun Life selected the topics of health policy and disability to address the potential changes to the benefits industry with the coming election. The inaugural Sun Life Summit, which was attended by thousands of employers and benefits professionals in October 2013, focused on the changing health care landscape and the impact the Affordable Care Act has on the U.S. workplace. The 2014 Sun Life Summit explored the topic of private exchanges, and the 2015 Sun Life Wake Up Summit focused on the merits of the Affordable Care Act and the value of self-insurance.

About Sun Life Financial
Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of protection and wealth products and services to individuals and corporate customers. Sun Life Financial has operations in a number of markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda. Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF. For more information, please visit www.sunlife.com.

In the United States, Sun Life Financial is one of the largest group benefits providers, serving more than 60,000 employers in small, medium, and large workplaces across the country. Sun Life’s broad portfolio of products and services in the U.S. includes Disability and Absence Management, Life, Dental and Vision, Voluntary, and Stop-Loss insurance. This includes the acquisition of Assurant Employee Benefits in Q1 2016. For more information, please visit www.sunlife.com/us.

Media contact:
Devon Portney Fernald
Sun Life Financial U.S.
781-416-7151
devon.portney.fernald@sunlife.com