Equitable Life Takes the Next Step in Health and Wellness Solutions for
Canadian Employers

WATERLOO, ON, May 31 /CNW/ - Starting June 1, 2010, Equitable Life of Canada is offering employers the ability to further support employee health and wellness. By providing access to the following services, Equitable Life will also address employers' needs to manage the cost and impact of workplace absenteeism:

    
    -   FeelingBetterNow(R) is provided by Mensante. FeelingBetterNow.com
        (FBN) is a confidential and anonymous interactive, web-based mental
        health care system designed to assist family physicians and patients
        in the early diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of common and
        potentially debilitating mental health issues. FBN will help identify
        when an individual is at risk for common mental health disorders,
        including depression, anxiety and alcoholism and will provide
        patients and their doctors with the practical help they need to treat
        and follow up on these disorders using medical best practices.
    -   The CAREpath Navigation System(TM) is a cancer assistance program
        that helps reduce the physical and emotional impact that cancer
        places on employees and their families by ensuring medical best
        practices are utilized. When people call CAREpath, an experienced
        team of oncology nurses and physicians guide each individual towards
        the right treatment at the right place and at the right time. These
        professionals help individuals before their first visit to an
        oncologist and continue to provide guidance throughout cancer
        treatment, thereby returning them to health and productive lifestyles
        sooner.
    -   WorldCare(TM) Second Opinion provides expert, timely e-consultations
        for serious illnesses. WorldCare delivers highly specialized and
        personalized electronic second medical opinions from the best medical
        centres in North America to local attending physicians. Second
        opinions include a confirmation or modification of the original
        diagnosis and treatment recommendations, including alternative
        treatments and/or therapies, based upon the latest cutting-edge
        research from experts from member hospitals of the WorldCare
        Consortium(SM).
    -   Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provided by Ceridian Canada.
        LifeWorks(R) Solutions integrates a full EAP program with work-life
        and wellness services and provides access to support from
        professional counsellors via the telephone, face-to-face sessions and
        online. An EAP program allows employees to seek professional support
        and assistance before their personal issues impact their productivity
        at work or lead to avoidable absences.
    

"Canadian employers recognize the value of healthy employees and workplaces," explains Karen Mason, Senior Vice President, Group, Equitable Life of Canada(R). "Because of the high cost of absenteeism, group benefit plans need to support employee health and work-life balance and help employers reduce their absence-related costs."

In fact, according to the Staying@Work study from consultants Watson Wyatt Worldwide, Canadian employers will lose an estimated $16 billion a year to absences, identifying a need for solutions that support employee health and contribute to workplace wellness.

Equitable Life introduced EquitableHealth.ca(TM) in 2009 as part of all group benefit plans to address this need. EquitableHealth.ca (EquitableSante.caMC) connects employees with online, reliable, Canadian health and wellness resources through the Equitable HealthConnector(TM) platform.

"Online resources support employees in their efforts to be at their best at home and can help with workplace absenteeism and productivity issues," adds Mike Waechter, Director, Group Marketing. "With an aging workforce, rising mental health issues and challenges, increasing cases of cancer and other serious illnesses, we needed to provide the next step in health and wellness solutions."

"By partnering with leading health and wellness service providers, we can now offer Canadian employers solutions to the costs and impacts of workplace absenteeism," says Mason. "By providing access to services that can support employee health and work-life balance challenges, employers will benefit from a more productive and present workforce and in turn reduce the impacts of avoidable absences."

About Equitable Life of Canada

Since 1920, customers have been depending on Equitable Life for security through financial protection and support. One of the largest Canadian mutual life insurance companies, Equitable Life focuses on providing long-term growth and stability to customers. Through partnerships with MGAs and advisors, Equitable Life offers customers a wide selection of competitive products to meet a range of financial planning and health needs for individual life and health, individual savings and retirement and group life and health insurance. (www.equitable.ca)

SOURCE Equitable Life of Canada

For further information: For further information: Media Relations Contact: James Kaylor, Communications Specialist - Group Marketing, Equitable Life of Canada, Direct Line: (519) 904-8155, Email: jkaylor@equitable.ca

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Equitable Life of Canada

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