November 2, 2009 -

Every day, millions of Canadians go online to locate general health resources and to find information about specific workplace concerns such as the H1N1 Flu Virus. In fact, a January 2009 Ipsos Reid study revealed that 70 percent of online Canadians visited a healthcare website in the past year, confirming the need for reliable, online Canadian health information and resources, especially during times of heightened health concerns.

"With so many of our Plan Members turning to the Internet as a primary source of health information, we feel that it is very important to provide them with convenience as well as a source they can trust," explains Karen Mason, Senior Vice-President - Group, Equitable Life of Canada®. "Reliability of information and sources is always important, whether our Plan Members and their employers are looking for information regarding their everyday health concerns or for information on a specific issue such as H1N1."

Earlier this year, Equitable Life teamed up with Novus Health™ and Ceridian Canada Ltd. to provide reliable, Canadian health and wellness resources that are offered at no charge as part of all Equitable Life Group Benefit Plans. connects all group clients and their employees with health and wellness information, support and tools through Equitable HealthConnector™ and LifeWorks® Online to help them lead healthy and balanced lives.

"Whether online or by phone, Novus Health through HealthConnector supports our Plan Members by connecting them to resources that can help them locate available health resources where they live, deal with a family or personal medical issue and even how to communicate more effectively with their doctor," says Mason. "It's support and information to help navigate the Canadian healthcare system and to assist our Plan Members in making well informed health decisions."

"An equally important part of being truly healthy lies in understanding and managing the non-medical factors that can also impact our daily lives. That is why we also integrated Ceridian's LifeWorks Online into," adds Mason. "This service provides access to tools, resources and information that can help our Plan Sponsors and Members better cope with everyday issues ranging from work-life balance and family concerns to the stress that accompany dealing with emotional and workplace issues."

By embedding access to Canadian health and wellness resources in all Group Benefit Plans and making these services available to all Plan Members and their families, Equitable Life is also providing employers with a unique edge.

"At the best of times, health and stress-related absences cost Canadian employers billions of dollars a year," explains Norma Crouse, Assistant Vice President - Group Claims. "When you factor in things like an aging workforce and the pace of our daily lives, absences can increase and impact an organization's productivity and profitability. When you give Plan Members the right resources to take a more active role in managing their health and work-life balance as part of their Group Benefits, you are also giving employers the opportunity to reduce the costs associated with workplace absences and health-related claims."

"With, our Group Benefit clients can rest assured that their employees are getting reliable Canadian resources on the same website where they access their benefit information," explains Mason. "This helps them and their families live healthy and balanced lives, and in turn be their most productive at work."