As the workplace undergoes rapid transformation amid automation and technological advancements, plan sponsors will need to re-imagine the crossroads between new technology and employee benefits.

The issues will be a key focus of panel discussion at Benefits Canada’s 2018 Benefits and Pension Summit on April 16, 2018, at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Toronto.

“I think what we’re trying to accomplish is a discussion or dialogue on the use of technology in the benefits equation to improve the value of benefits or how employers are doing that, how some of our vendors are doing that within the benefits space,” says Wendy Poirier, Canadian health and benefits growth leader at Willis Towers Watson, who will moderate the panel.

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Tim Clarke, president of TC Health Consulting Inc. and a panellist, says the session will look at how technology is already affecting group benefits plans and how it will continue to do so in the future. Programs such as telemedicine and virtual health care are changing the way plan members access benefits, and employees are using technology like mobile apps to access information about their coverage, he notes.

“For plan sponsors, they need to be aware of the things that are happening . . . now and happening in the near future. They need to be aware that the pace of change is accelerating. And they need to be aware that in order to take advantage of a lot of the new ideas and new technologies that are coming down the pipeline, that may mean employers need to think differently about how they adapt them.”

At the same time, employers need to consider where insurers are spending their time and energy on developing new technologies for group benefits, says Poirier, who cites the importance of “having a better understanding of what’s out there from a benefit provider perspective and the technology and tools . . . and just finding out from the other providers how they’re supporting their customers with technology development.” 

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Along with Poirier and Clarke, the panel will also include: Wayne Millar, vice-president of marketing and digital solutions at Sun Life Financial; Anne Nicoll, vice-president of business development at Medavie Blue Cross; and Linda Speedy, chief talent officer at KPMG Canada, who will share an employer case study.

Find out more about what’s driving the future of work at the 2018 Benefits and Pension Summit.

Register for the event here.