Manulife Financial Extends Access to Comprehensive Health Care Resources

Health Service Navigator® now available to thousands of holders of Affinity health and critical illness insurance at no additional cost

ONTARIO, Nov. 28, 2011 /CNW/ - Manulife Financial announced today that it has expanded access to Health Service Navigator® to thousands more Canadians who hold health insurance and critical illness insurance through Affinity Markets. Offered at no additional cost to Affinity policyholders, Health Service Navigator provides users with important health news and tools to assist them in navigating the Canadian healthcare system, including online exclusive access and the ability to contact a call centre to discuss medical condition information.

Health Service Navigator offers policyholders a wide range of services and the latest healthcare information, including: help in finding a family doctor or specialist; access to a health screening guide; community support groups; determining expenses covered by provincial health plans; and a health and drug library. It also allows policyholders, where appropriate, the opportunity to seek expert medical second opinions from 'world-class' institutions including the Mayo Clinic, Children's Hospital of Boston and UCLA Healthcare.

Manulife Financial initially introduced Health Service Navigator through its Group Benefits division in 2007.

"Today more than ever, Canadians are faced with the difficult task of finding information they can trust and rely upon while navigating our complex health care system," noted Gavin Robinson, Senior Vice-President, Affinity Markets. "As a leader in group and individual health insurance, we are proud to offer more Canadians the valuable and easy-to-access insight and support provided by our Health Service Navigator."

A recent study by the Health Council of Canada found that only 48 per cent of Canadians feel engaged and are active participants in their own health care.1 By offering more Canadians access to the integrated services provided by Health Service Navigator, Manulife Financial is helping address this issue and empower more patients to participate in the management of their own health care concerns.

"Opening the door to Health Service Navigator at no additional cost to so many individuals already protected by our individual health and dental insurance and critical illness insurance is something we know can make such an important difference," said Mr. Robinson. "Being able to go online to Manulifehealth.ca to get proven valuable information is what our customers deserve.  And being able to pick up the phone and talk to a caring professional for help - especially when a medical second opinion is what you need - can help relieve the worry of a difficult health situation and enable a person to concentrate on staying well or getting care."

About Affinity Markets
Affinity Markets is a division of Manulife Financial that offers a broad range of life, disability, creditor, health and travel insurance directly to the consumer and through professional and alumni associations, retiree organizations, financial institutions, retailers, travel groups, agents and other specialty distribution channels. With over 200 partner sponsors, insuring over 1 million Canadians, Manulife Financial's Affinity Markets is the leader in the affinity marketplace for health, life and travel insurance.

About Group Benefits  
Group Benefits is a division of Manulife Financial that offers plans to complement and supplement provincial health plans, Workers' Compensation, CPP/QPP, and other programs.

About Manulife Financial
Manulife Financial is a leading Canada-based financial services group operating in 21 countries and territories worldwide. For more than 120 years, clients have looked to Manulife for strong, reliable, trustworthy and forward-thinking solutions for their most significant financial decisions. Our international network of employees, agents and distribution partners offers financial protection and wealth management products and services to millions of clients. We provide asset management services to institutional customers worldwide as well as reinsurance solutions, specializing in property and casualty retrocession. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were C$492billion (US$473 billion) as at September 30, 2011. The Company operates as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia and primarily as John Hancock in the United States.

Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '945' on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at manulife.com.

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1 Health Council of Canada, "How Engaged are Canadians in their Primary Care? Results from the 2010 Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy Survey," September 2011, http://healthcouncilcanada.ca/docs/rpts/2011/Commonwealth5/Commonwealth5_EN_Final.pdf

SOURCE Manulife Financial

For further information:

Media contact:
Michael May
AVP, Media Relations
Manulife Financial - Canadian Division
1-519-594-2660
michael_may@manulife.com

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