Sun Life Launches Stitch to Expand Access to Supplemental Health Benefits

Offering reaches part-time, contract, and gig-workers

Sun Life has launched a new, comprehensive way for employers to offer supplemental health benefits to all of their employees, including part-time and gig workers who typically are not eligible for benefits. Stitch, an innovative solution fully administered by Sun Life, gives employees access to Sun Life’s broad portfolio of supplemental health benefits and an experienced team of benefits counselors and licensed agents, with zero administrative work for the employer. Employees can purchase their benefits online or via mobile at any time of the year and take the insurance with them if they leave their jobs.

Supplemental health benefits pay members directly if they have an accident, experience a critical illness such as cancer, stroke, or heart disease, or are hospitalized for several days. The lump-sum payments can be used for anything the member wishes, from medical bills to mortgage payments. These benefits help close the coverage gaps in health insurance by cushioning the out-of-pocket financial burdens that can accompany a major health event.

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“Many employees, whether full- or part-time, often don’t have access to the benefits that complement health insurance and help reduce financial risk,” says David Healy, senior vice president, Group Benefits at Sun Life U.S. “With Stitch we are broadening access to supplemental health benefits by eliminating the administrative work for employers, making the benefits available to a wider range of employees, and making it easier for them to enroll, ask questions, and even take it to their next job.”

Often people are not aware of the potential out-of-pocket expenses associated with an accident or major health diagnosis. Deductibles, out-of-pocket maximums and co-insurance can add up to thousands of dollars, creating pricey gaps in healthcare coverage. The Kaiser Family Foundation research on deductibles showed an average in each state ranging from $2,800 to over $4,000 per year for a family. Stitch includes useful information and real-world examples to help employees navigate their benefits decisions and choose a plan that is specific to their needs.

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Supplemental health benefits create a financial safety net that helps employees feel more secure. With Stitch Sun Life handles the billing, decision support, member payments, enrollment, and claims management, allowing employers the time and energy to focus on other employee needs. Employees can enroll in the benefits without interacting with a sales representative, or can access a licensed agent to help enroll and answer questions.

Many employers want to offer additional benefits like supplemental health to their employees, but don’t always have the capacity to manage those benefits. Stitch is accessible through an online, mobile-friendly platform that is available throughout the year, so employees can enroll, change, or cancel coverage at any time.

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