Green Shield Canada widens digital healthcare focus

by Leo Almazora19 Jun 2020

Green Shield Canada is boosting its emphasis on mental healthcare via a digital enhancement to its individually purchased health and dental benefit plans.

Effective July 1, GSC individual plans – including SureHealth and Health Assist – will include BEACON’s standard digital mental health program. GSC individual planholders will have access to personalized cognitive behavioural therapy administered by an experienced, regulated mental health professional at no extra cost.

“COVID-19 has brought significant financial and emotional hardships for many Canadians, and our mental resilience is being tested on a daily basis,” said Joe Blomeley, GSC’s EVP, Individual, Public Sector and Mental Health. “We see the BEACON program as a high-value enhancement that will benefit anyone feeling depressed or anxious, or having difficulty sleeping, especially in these challenging times”

Other upcoming enhancements for individual customers, to be communicated under the new YourAccess2 banner, include access to other digital services including the PocketPills digital pharmacy and discounted rates on telemedicine consultations via Maple.

“In our conversations with customers, we have seen growing confidence in all types of digital health care, and we have structured our plan enhancements with this in mind,” Blomeley said.

GSC has taken other steps during the pandemic to make accessing mental-health services easier, including the sponsorship of Stronger Minds, which provides a no-cost digital mental health program for all Canadians.

GSC has also given $470,000 in mental health grants to organizations across the country – including the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research and the Canadian Mental Health Association, among others – with a focus on at-risk populations, digital mental health, and academic research.

“We’re confident these grants will further accelerate the development of mental health programs and services, while giving us a deeper understanding of community needs, especially at-risk communities,” Blomeley said.