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Transforming Group Protection Business through Virtual Care

Written by Roger Peverelli and Reggy de Feniks - Founders The DIA Community on Oct 27, 2023

Teladoc Health provides whole-person virtual care to give everyone access to the best health care, from primary to chronic care, to mental health and complex needs anywhere in the world through their virtual care platform. By putting quality care within reach of every person in their healthcare journey, they help address top cost and quality of life drivers, improving outcomes for customers, organizations and insurers.

Teladoc Health and Canada Life have been partners for more than 10 years. In 2020 they launched a holistic health and wellbeing solution under the “WeCare” brand that helped transform the Group Protection industry in the UK. We sat down with Carlos Nueno, International President of Teladoc Health International and Dan Crook, Protection Sales Director at Canada Life to talk about how virtual care is transforming the insurance space through the partnership between Teladoc Health and Canada Life, and their well-being solution “WeCare”.

What do you see as the main challenges in the Health (insurance) industry?

Carlos: “In general, public health systems are under stress. There’s a shortage of clinicians of all sorts; from doctors to nurses to specialists. Also, life expectancy continues to grow, which means that we need to manage more chronic conditions. But luckily, technology has evolved in ways that we can leverage to improve healthcare. Specifically, Virtual Care has proven to provide a faster access to care, avoiding unnecessary wait times and queues and speeding the treatment of more acute cases. Teladoc Health partner with industry players to improve the customer experience when accessing health and wellbeing services.”

Dan: “In the UK specifically, NHS is being questioned in terms of the quality and the speed of service that is provided. Ambulance wait times are going up and wait times in general are increasing. We’re seeing an increase in being able to get diagnostics within six weeks. All the signs are there that we need to think differently about how we can provide a great health solution in the UK. There are lots of new health and wellbeing apps that are being produced in the UK on a regular basis. We have to really challenge ourselves on how we can remain relevant, how can we differentiate, and how can we keep analysing to ensure that the solutions we offer are of the highest possible standard.”

Carlos, how does Teladoc help the group protection business in particular?

Carlos: “We provide all sorts of virtual care services. It’s not only about GP or primary care. We provide all different layers of medical capabilities (wellbeing, mental and chronic care) that we can render remotely. We also provide technology, which we integrate with our partners, usually through APIs and SDKs. So, we either do that in partnership with our customers or as a white-label product. We do all this based on a deep understanding of the insurance industry: we’ve been working in this industry for over 20 years. We understand how all these services have to be valuable for the customer and our partners.”

Dan, what is Canada Life’s strategy in terms of group protection business?

“Canada Life has been operating since 1903 and we have a range of retirement wealth and protection products. In the UK we cover 27,000 different employers, representing 3 million employees, which is roughly 10% of the UK workforce. In the UK we see opportunities in the SME space: smaller employers that do not have insurance. We also want to build better consumer outcomes, focusing on those touch moments. And finally, we want to be more than a provider. We want to be a responsible market leader; a life companion on a societal level for all the customers and their employees.”

Can you elaborate a bit more on the solution “WeCare”?

Dan: “WeCare is a digital platform that opens up a world of health & wellbeing. With WeCare, Canada Life’s members have access to GPs 24/7. They also have access to expert opinions, therapy sessions and nutritionist consultations. WeCare has more than 150,000 registered members, and almost 5,000 corporations registered. WeCare has delivered over 100,000 consultations, which speaks to the success of the programme.

Together, we also launched “WeCare Plus” which includes a new digital approach to the traditional Employee Assistance Programs. WeCare Plus offers online therapy support and access to content and physical therapy, when needed, as well as digital and immediate access to medical, wellbeing, legal and financial support.”

Can you share some of the results of WeCare (Plus)?

Dan: “Yes! WeCare Plus has had a significant impact on the mental health of employees, decreasing the severity of cases by 67% from higher levels of acuity to non-critical ones. Additionally, the services have helped reduce face-to-face GP/hospital visits by 55% and changed the diagnosis and treatment of customers who have used the second opinion service by 27% and 68% respectively. Finally, WeCare has a 97% recommendation, 95% of patients are satisfied/very satisfied and 53% of patients avoided taking time off work.”

What are your plans for the future?

Carlos: “The partnership mindset between Canada Life and Teladoc Health has been key to continuously allowing Canada Life to be ahead of the market. We are currently working together on the next evolution of the programme to help Canada Life on its journey to transform the company beyond a traditional Life Insurer and become a companion of their customers in their health and wellbeing journey.

Virtual care is here to stay. We see a care transition from hospital to home because of the many new opportunities to deliver care remotely. Think of diagnostics, but also chronic care through medical devices at home. We are only at the beginning of an exciting journey to help people better manage their health anywhere and anytime.”

About Teladoc Health

Teladoc Health (NYSE: TDOC), is empowering all people everywhere to live their healthiest lives by transforming the healthcare experience. Teladoc Health drives better health outcomes across the full continuum of care, at every stage in a person’s health journey. Teladoc Health leverages more than two decades of expertise and data-driven insights to meet the growing virtual care needs of consumers and healthcare professionals.

In 2022, the company conducted 21 million virtual visits covering more than 80 million people around the world.

Carlos Nueno, International President, Teladoc Health
Dan Crook, Protection Sales Director, Canada Life
Amsterdam 12-13 June

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