Great-West Life, a leading group benefits provider in Canada, announced today that the company has signed an agreement with U.S.-based Evolution Benefits(R), Inc. to develop Health SolutionsPlus, a Visa(R) payment card for healthcare spending accounts (HCSAs) – the first in Canada.

The Health SolutionsPlus Visa payment card, which will be made available in Canada for the first time through Great-West Life, will be loaded with a group plan member’s HCSA funds. The card will allow members to conveniently pay for covered health-related products and services from providers authorized by Great-West Life, using the provider’s existing Visa payment processing equipment. This will significantly reduce the need for plan members to pay upfront and submit paper or electronic claims for reimbursement, thereby decreasing out-of-pocket expenses.

“We are committed to continually advancing the customer service experience, and being a leader in the innovative use of technology for our customers,” said Dave Johnston, Executive Vice-President of Great-West Life’s Group Insurance Division. “In addition to providing plan sponsors with new options for benefits plan design, plan members will also be empowered to choose how and where they spend their healthcare spending account funds, thereby offering significantly increased convenience and flexibility. We are pleased to work with Evolution Benefits to bring this important new service to our group insurance customers and their plan members.”

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to provide card technology and services to a leading organization such as Great-West Life,” said Robert Patricelli, Evolution Benefits’ Chairman, President and CEO. “We are pleased that our card technology adapted so well to Great-West Life’s requirements for their Health SolutionsPlus Visa payment card. We look forward to working together to make the program a major success.”

Evolution Benefits’ prepaid benefit card services form the basis of this innovative group benefits solution, providing substantiation technology to automatically verify the eligibility of the items purchased with the card and helping to shield plans from unauthorized costs. The initial release is planned for the latter part of 2010.

About Great-West Life

Founded in Winnipeg in 1891, Great-West Life has long been a leader in the group benefits marketplace. The company has established this position over many decades, through its commitment to quality customer services and through a comprehensive selection of cost-effective benefits plans. Great-West Life offers effective benefit solutions for large and small employee groups of any size. The company serves the needs of more than 33,000 plan sponsors and their plan members and handles 50 million group health and dental claims for its plan members and their dependents each year.

 

About Evolution Benefits(R)

Evolution Benefits(R), Inc. is the industry leader in innovative electronic payment solutions for the employee benefits market. Its prepaid benefits card applies advanced payment and patented auto-substantiation technologies to health-related benefits accounts such as Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Reimbursement Arrangements, and Health Savings Accounts. The Company powers the card programs of more than 340 benefit administrative services organizations and covers more than 19,000 employers in the US. For more information, visit http://www.evolutionbenefits.com/.

For further information: For media inquiries, please contact: Marlene Klassen, APR, Assistant Vice-President, Communication Services, Great-West Life, (204) 946-7705