March 1st, 2024

Sun Life CEO optimistic on Canadian dental plan potential

By The Canadian Press on February 8, 2024.

Sun Life Financial Inc.'s chief executive says the potential upside of operating the new Canadian dental care plan outweigh the risks. Kevin Strain says the insurer has the scale to deliver on the program that the government says is the largest coverage rollout in the history of Canada. Sun Life Financial Inc. logo is shown at the company's annual general meeting in Toronto on Wednesday, May 6, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

TORONTO – Sun Life Financial Inc.’s chief executive says the potential upside of operating the new Canadian dental care plan outweighs the risks.

Kevin Strain says the insurer has the scale to deliver on the program that the government says is the largest coverage rollout in the history of Canada.

The federal government announced in early December that it had awarded a contract worth roughly $747 million to Sun Life to help administer the program over five years with potential to extend it another five.

The dental contract comes as Sun Life has been working to push further into the health side of group benefits and client coverage.

Sun Life bought DentaQuest, the largest provider of Medicaid dental benefits in the U.S. for $3.1 billion in 2021, and Dialogue Health Technologies Inc., a Canadian virtual health care and wellness platform, in a $365-million deal last year.

Late Wednesday, the insurance giant reported underlying net income of $983 million for the last quarter of 2023, up from $892 million in the fourth quarter a year earlier.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 8, 2024.

Companies in this story: (TSX:SLF)

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