May 02, 2014

Sun Life Wake-Up Summit Shows Private Health Care Exchanges Are a Big Question for Brokers and Companies

WELLESLEY, MA (May 2, 2014) – The U.S. business group of Sun Life Financial Inc. (NYSE: SLF, TSX: SLF) hosted its second Sun Life Wake-Up Summit that presented diverse opinions and thought-provoking conversation on private health care exchanges, a critical employee benefit topic. It also demonstrated how complicated this topic is for companies and brokers and that there is not consensus surrounding the future of how employee benefits will be delivered.

The more than 200 audience members attending the live event at Sun Life stadium in Miami, Florida on April 16 and the more than 2,100 additional people who watched the program live online made it clear that private exchanges are of great interest to the employee benefits community. At the same time, however, the presentations by the panelists and presenters along with the questions that were asked highlighted that companies and brokers are not yet confident that they have adequate information to make informed choices and recommendations.

“Sun Life is pleased to host an event that featured industry experts tackling a topic that is top of mind for the employee benefits community. The Summit revealed that the expansion of private exchanges has yielded no ‘right answer’ or ‘easy fix,’ but rather showcased the options and opportunities for all parties when accessing the new healthcare landscape,” said Dan Fishbein, President of Sun Life Financial U.S. “As the employee benefits landscape continues to change, Sun Life is committed to providing leading edge information that helps our clients stay ahead in this very dynamic environment.”

The Sun Life Wake-Up Life Summit featured panel discussions with renowned health care and economic experts as well as a keynote address from Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, authors of best-selling books Freakonomics and Super Freakonomics. Panelists provided profound insights and predictions about the how quickly change will happen, the consumer’s role in healthcare decisions and how private exchanges can deliver healthcare solutions to individuals:

“If you turn the decision over to the consumer, it is very likely that in order to save money, they will underinsure themselves.” said Rebecca Costa, author of The Watchman’s Rattle, when discussing healthcare reform. “I think that we’re going to see the pendulum swing to massive underinsuring.”

“If you’ve seen one private exchange, well, then you’ve seen one private exchange – there are a lot of differences. Right now, employers do not have enough information to make decisions around private exchanges, but that’s changing as more brokers and benefit administrators dig in and learn more about them,” said Alan Cohen, co-founder of Liazon. “When I think of any good private exchange, it’s a store where people go shopping for the benefits that they need. What makes a good store is having really good products on the shelves in an organized way to meet needs; really good customer service to help people make decisions; and a really efficient processing system.”

Other presenters included representatives from top private exchanges and other providers of employee benefits solutions, including Benefitfocus, Marsh & McLennan Agency, Mercer, and Willis. To hear more insights from the experts at the 2014 Sun Life Wake-Up Summit, please visit


About the Sun Life Wake Up Summit

The Sun Life Wake Up Summit is the second in a series of Summits hosted by Sun Life Financial. The inaugural Sun Life Summit, hosted in October 2013, focused on the changing healthcare landscape and the impact the Affordable Care Act has on the U.S. workplace. The first event was attended by thousands of employers and benefits professionals. The topic of private exchanges was selected for the second Sun Life Summit based on the audience’s interest in the topic and desire to delve deeper into the issue.

The Sun Life Wake Up Summit on April 16, 2014, has been submitted for general credit hours toward PHR, SPHR, and GPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute.


About Sun Life Financial
Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of protection and wealth accumulation products and services to individuals and corporate customers. Sun Life Financial and its partners today have operations in key markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Bermuda. Sun Life Financial Inc., the holding company for the Sun Life Financial group of companies, is a public company. It is not an insurance company and does not offer insurance products for sale in the United States or elsewhere, and does not guarantee the obligations of its insurance company subsidiaries. Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE), and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.

In the United States and elsewhere, insurance products are offered by members of the Sun Life Financial group that are insurance companies. In the United States, Sun Life Financial provides a range of products and services to employers and their employees, including Group and Voluntary Life, Disability, Dental, Critical Illness, Accident, and Stop-Loss insurance products. Product offerings may not be available in all states and may vary depending on state laws and regulations. For more information, please visit


Media contacts
Tim Stone
Sun Life Financial

Becky Brand

SLPC 25821, 04/14 (exp. 04/19)