Manulife Financial launches Group Critical Illness insurance to help Canadian plan members and their families

WATERLOO, ON, May 31, 2007 – Manulife Financial Group Benefits recently unveiled new group insurance to offer lump-sum benefits to Canadian plan members and their families diagnosed with a critical illness.

“Manulife is proud to offer this product, which is specifically designed to help employees and their families at a time when they need financial help the most,” said Rick Brunet, Executive Vice President, Group Benefits, for Manulife Financial in Canada. “When critical illness strikes, you’re faced with many unexpected expenses besides the ones covered under government and group benefits plans. Group Critical Illness insurance from Manulife provides money for those expenses, leaving employees free to focus on recovery.”

Manulife Financial Group Critical Illness Insurance will supplement coverage available to plan members through their employer’s group health, life and disability plans, by providing covered individuals with a lump-sum benefit and access to premier health information and navigation services should they become critically ill.

“Manulife already offers individual critical illness insurance and this is another way we can assist many more Canadians to be free to focus on their health,” Mr. Brunet added. “For employers, offering critical illness insurance as part of a comprehensive and competitive group benefits plan also can help attract and retain employees, support employee health plus inspire loyalty in the workplace.”

With Manulife Group Critical Illness Insurance, there is no requirement for loss of life, income or an incurred health care expense. Plan members can use the benefit for anything they wish, such as:

  • Financial needs – to replace income, pay down debts or preserve personal savings, retirement funds or other investments;
  • Health care costs – to cover alternate treatment options, medical equipment or expenses not covered by provincial or group benefits plans;
  • Lifestyle choices – to repair or renovate a home, upgrade a vehicle or pay for other family pursuits.

Two types of plans

Plan sponsors can choose between primary or comprehensive Group Critical Illness insurance plans, with basic and optional solutions for plan members. Primary Group Critical Illness insurance covers the four most frequently diagnosed critical illnesses: cancer, heart attack, stroke and coronary artery bypass surgery. The comprehensive plan provides coverage for an additional 18 conditions. Optional coverage can also be purchased by plan members for themselves, their spouse and their children. To view a Flash presentation or for more details on Manulife Financial Group Critical Illness Insurance, please visit:

Health resources

Along with Manulife’s new plan, health information and navigation services support plan members through personal and family health events, whether it is a covered critical illness or not. Plan members are connected to phone and Web-based services that provide access to:

  • Health, nutrition, fitness and drug information;
  • Searchable doctor, clinic and hospital databases, plus;
  • Detailed health information for newly diagnosed conditions.

Second opinion and referral services

Manulife’s Group Critical Illness insurance coverage also provides plan members with access to a valuable second-opinion and referral service for life-threatening conditions.

More than 16,000 Canadian businesses have entrusted their employee benefit programs to Manulife Group Benefits. Coverage is provided for businesses of all sizes, from two employees to Canada’s largest employers. Group Benefits provides a broad range of coverage, including health and dental care, emergency travel assistance, short- and long-term disability, absence management services, life insurance, and accidental death and dismemberment coverage.

About Manulife Financial

Manulife Financial is a leading Canadian-based financial services group serving millions of customers in 19 countries and territories worldwide. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia, and primarily through John Hancock in the United States, the Company offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents, and distribution partners. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were Cdn$426 billion (US$370 billion) as at March 31, 2007. For more information, visit