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Canada Life takes steps to eliminate plastic drug cards

December 19, 2019

Line drawing of Toronto skyline.

Stacked flat on top of each other, 1.1 million drug cards are twice as tall as the CN Tower.

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Company encourages plan sponsors to support the initiative by going digital

Winnipeg, December 19, 2019. . . To reduce its carbon footprint, today Canada Life announced it is taking a bold first step to eliminate plastic drug cards.

Beginning January 1, 2020, Canada Life will begin encouraging its group benefits plan sponsors to opt out of providing plastic drug cards to their members. The leading provider of group health benefits in Canada has already begun educating sponsors and stakeholders about the change. The goal is to go to a completely digital member experience by 2021.

“In 2018, we issued approximately 1.1 million cards,” says Ryan Weiss, Vice-President, Product & Experience, Group Customer, Canada Life. “Stacked flat on top of each other, the pile would be twice as tall as the CN Tower. I’m confident that when offered the choice, plan sponsors will agree plastic cards are no longer a necessary feature of their plan.”

Drug cards – once the hallmark of a benefits plan – are no longer sacred. With advancements in digital technology, customers can get their drug card online or from GroupNet mobile, Canada Life’s benefits app that allows members to make claims, check coverage balances, and even has a mobile-friendly version of the card that can be added to a device’s electronic wallet.

Weiss points out that it’s not the physical card that gives customers access to the benefits plan.

“It’s the identification number that’s important,” he said. “Most providers like dental offices and pharmacies keep a digital record of a client’s insurance information. The plastic card, in most instances, is for one-time use – just like a plastic straw or water bottle.”

In 2020, the company will be looking at other ways to reduce its environmental footprint. Printed plan member benefits booklets are next in line for the recycle bin.

“Reducing and eventually eliminating our paper products is another goal for 2020,” says Weiss. “In this day and age, a searchable, digital format is easier for members to get the information they need, when and where they need it.”

For more information about Canada Life’s goal of eliminating plastic drug cards, watch this video.

About Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life

Great-West Life, together with London Life and Canada Life, are leading Canadian insurers focused on improving the financial, physical and mental well-being of Canadians. United under the new Canada Life brand, we help Canadians achieve their potential, every day. Our customers across Canada have trusted us to provide for their financial security needs and deliver on the promises we have made. Together, we serve the financial security needs of more than 13 million people across Canada and are leading providers of a wide range of insurance and wealth management products and services for individuals, families and business owners, from coast to coast to coast.

For more information contact:

Liz Kulyk
Director, Media Relations and Public Affairs
Canada Life
2 0 4 9 2 6 5 0 1 2
Media.Relations@canadalife.com

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