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News releases

February 28, 2024

Sun Life report shows clinical intervention programs in group benefits improve health outcomes and help people return to work

WELLESLEY, Mass., Feb. 28, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Sun Life U.S. has released reports from two clinical intervention programs offered to eligible members receiving disability or critical illness benefits. The reports showed that members who used these programs experienced improved health outcomes. The reports highlight data and insights from each program with health partners AbleTo and Goodpath, which launched in 2022 and 2023, respectively. These programs align with Sun Life's strategy to help people access the care and coverage they need by providing health services and programs that complement core health insurance.   

AbleTo provides virtual behavioral health services to covered members receiving disability or critical illness benefits due to a cancer diagnosis. Goodpath provides integrative virtual whole-person care and coaching to those on disability for musculoskeletal conditions of the neck or back or for long COVID-19 symptoms. Both programs provide Sun Life members with personal support to help them through their medical condition with the goal of improving health and returning to productivity sooner.

Results show that AbleTo's behavioral health program significantly reduced depression, anxiety, and stress, while Goodpath's program resulted in meaningful reductions in pain and improvement of physical and mental health symptoms.

"With these partnerships, we are able to drive improved outcomes for our members, help them further address their health needs and, if possible, help them return to better health and work," said Sheila Sokolski, assistant vice president, Group Benefits Product and Marketing, Sun Life U.S.  "We're pleased to know that these programs will have positive outcomes for our employer clients as well, helping them retain valued employees and contributing to stronger health and productivity outcomes."

"The data has exceeded our expectations, so we're very excited to engage more members in these programs," said Sheila Weiss, R.N., assistant vice president, Group Claims and Clinical Services, Sun Life U.S. "As virtual services, the AbleTo and Goodpath programs meet people where they are, broadening access to care for more of our members, including those who otherwise may not be able to see a mental health specialist or receive health and wellness coaching. We continue to expand our focus on member health, strengthening our disability management practice."

AbleTo's behavioral health service is an eight-week program offered to eligible members receiving short-term disability or critical illness benefits due to cancer. Members engage in virtual sessions with a dedicated therapist and receive content to help them address mental health issues and cope with their diagnosis. Sun Life's own claim data, as well as industry research, shows that mental health issues are among the most prominent comorbid conditions for those dealing with a serious health diagnosis like cancer. Before treatment begins, each AbleTo participant attends an initial consultation to assess a care pathway based on their unique needs. Along with a therapist, participants are paired with a behavioral health coach and receive access to digital tools they can use between sessions to work toward their goals.

Goodpath provides virtual whole-person care and coaching for several chronic conditions through a single platform. Through Sun Life's partnership, Goodpath is offered to eligible members receiving short-term disability benefits for musculoskeletal issues of the neck and back (one of the most common health conditions associated with disability), or long-term disability for long COVID symptoms, a continuing health concern for workers and employers. Participants work one-on-one with a dedicated health coach, receive physical items shipped to their homes, and have access to virtual content and treatments. Each member begins with a health assessment that examines their unique symptoms, habits, lifestyle, and other underlying conditions, including mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.

To learn more about Sun Life's results with the AbleTo and Goodpath programs, download the recent reports here.

About Sun Life
Sun Life is a leading international financial services organization providing asset management, wealth, insurance and health solutions to individual and institutional Clients. Sun Life 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. As of December 31, 2023, Sun Life had total assets under management of C$1.40 trillion. For more information, please visit www.sunlife.com.

Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.

Sun Life U.S. is one of the largest providers of employee and government benefits, helping more than 50 million Americans access the healthcare and coverage they need. Through employers, industry partners and government programs, Sun Life U.S. offers a portfolio of benefits and services, including dental, vision, disability, absence management, life, supplemental health, medical stop-loss insurance, and healthcare navigation. Sun Life employs more than 8,300 people in the U.S., including associates in our partner dental practices and affiliated companies in asset management. Group insurance policies are issued by Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada (Wellesley Hills, Mass.), except in New York, where policies are issued by Sun Life and Health Insurance Company (U.S.) (Lansing, Mich.). For more information visit our website and newsroom.

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Devon Fernald
Sun Life U.S.

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SOURCE Sun Life U.S.