Information on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
The pandemic has adjusted the way that businesses operate globally. Many new guidelines have been introduced to protect the health and well being of our communities, including the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), distancing measures and increased sanitization. As health and dental practices re-opened during the recovery phase of the pandemic, we understand that some providers have started charging their patients for the cost of PPE and additional cleaning time.
Medavie Blue Cross also has an obligation to administer our benefit plans according to the benefit contracts we hold with our clients, which do not typically include coverage for charges related to PPE or the additional time required for cleaning of equipment. This means that you may have additional out of pocket expenses when accessing services from a health care practitioner or at a dental clinic during the COVID-19 pandemic. Consequently, we strongly encourage you to discuss any extra charges that you may incur at your health and dental care provider, prior to your visit.
While not eligible under standard health and dental plans, PPE surcharges from health and dental care professionals are covered under both Health Spending Account (HSA) and Personal Spending Account (PSA) plans.
Mental Health Services and Support
We know that COVID-19 is taking a toll on the physical and mental wellbeing of many Canadians.
If you or someone you know is experiencing stress or anxiety, and is struggling to cope, please know that expert help is just a call or click away.
We are currently experiencing higher than normal travel related claims.
Rest assured we are working through them as quickly as possible. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
On March 13, 2020, the Government of Canada announced a global travel advisory covering all international travel.
This warning remains in place and we continue to view this as the essential point of reference with respect to travel safety. However, as countries re-open their borders, we recognize that some plan members may still consider travel outside the country. These members are looking to their travel coverage to provide protection and peace of mind, and we feel strongly it should be there for them during the pandemic.
Consequently, all standard Medavie Blue Cross travel plans will now cover eligible emergency hospital and medical expenses related to COVID-19, subject to existing maximums and all other terms, conditions and limitations of your policy.
To qualify for coverage, before departure you must:
- Be symptom free
- Have not tested positive (or be awaiting a test result), and
- Have not been in contact with anyone who tested positive in the last 14 days.
This change in COVID-19 coverage is effective September 1, 2020 through July 15, 2021.
If you do opt to travel internationally during this period, we recommend you carefully review the guidance available at travel.gc.ca around international travel and requirements around returning to Canada, and to regularly check the site for any new or updated information.
Please note: For plans with trip cancellation insurance, since COVID-19 is considered a known situation, cancelling or interrupting a trip for a reason related to the pandemic remains not covered.
As is noted above, for plans with trip cancellation insurance, since COVID-19 is considered a known situation, cancelling or interrupting a trip for a reason related to the pandemic remains not covered.
We are accepting trip cancellation claims for any trips that were:
- booked on or before March 15 (March 9 for cruise ship travel) and
- are scheduled to depart within the next 14 days from the current day.
Please note that you must first contact your airline or travel provider and enquire about a refund, travel credit or if you can rebook your travel for a later date.
If they do not provide you with a refund or travel credit ask for proof that they are not providing you that refund. If they provide you with a partial refund, ask for proof that they provided you with the partial refund or credit.
If you do not receive a full refund or credit for your trip from your travel provider, please check your trip cancellation coverage and submit any eligible claims to Medavie Blue Cross.
If you have travel booked for more than 14 days beyond the current date, please refer back to this site as it is frequently updated with current information.
Trips booked after March 16 to any destination outside Canada are not eligible for Trip Cancellation coverage until the Government of Canada advisory is removed.
As there is currently no Government of Canada advisory concerning travel within Canada, Trip Cancellation coverage does not apply to inter-provincial travel. Most travel providers are providing refunds or credits for booked travel or events.
Claiming for virtual services
Did you know that you can get a lot of health services online or by phone? It’s a convenient option for getting the care you need during this challenging time.
Right now, covered services can be provided by:
You can submit like any other claim: either directly by the provider through ePay, or by sending us your receipt through the Medavie Mobile app or by logging in at medaviebc.ca. As always, all claims are subject to the coverage provided by your plan and our reasonable and customary limits.
Ask your health provider if they can provide their specific care remotely, and take care of your health even when you can’t meet in-person.
And don’t forget that you can also access Online Doctors at special preferred pricing, and Digital Therapy (covered by most plans), through our Connected Care platform.
Medication access during COVID-19 pandemic
We are closely monitoring the effects of COVID-19 on the demand for prescription drugs. We are working closely with pharmacy partners to ensure our members have access to the medications they need, when they need them.
Following official direction
During the first several weeks of the pandemic, provincial pharmacy regulators across Canada issued directives to pharmacists to limit the supply of prescription medications to 30 days per fill, in an effort to help protect Canada’s drug supply during these uncertain times.
When this occurred, we collaborated with governments, pharmacy regulators, and others in the industry to ensure the best approaches are applied to help ensure adequate supplies of various drugs, while also minimizing financial strain on members. This included focusing on only those drugs that have actual supply issues, and returning to a 90 day supply as soon as possible.
These 30 day prescription drug limits have now been lifted for most medications. If a member encounters a situation where they are still dispensed a limited supply of their regular maintenance medication, they have the option of asking their pharmacist to consider an exception and dispense a larger quantity.
Protecting everyone’s health
In order to help keep pharmacists and their staff healthy, you are asked not to go to any pharmacy if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, new onset of cough or difficulty breathing), in the 14 days after the onset of symptoms or if you think you have been exposed to the virus.
As always, members should ensure their refills are up to date, not waiting to the last minute or until their prescription runs out before reordering.
To help minimize your social interactions, you can also consider receiving your prescriptions through home delivery service. Talk to your pharmacist about your options.
Renewal of Prior Authorization drugs
Some medications – usually high cost specialty drugs – require prior authorization approval to ensure reimbursement.
We understand that for members currently on a drug requiring prior authorization, it may be difficult right now to obtain the required renewal information , such as updated tests or exams.
If you have a prior authorization set to renew between March 1, 2020 to May 31, 2020, we have extended your renewal period by 90 days from your current renewal date or until July 31, 2020, whichever comes first.
Certain drugs, such as for Hepatitis C, are excluded from this extension.
This extension applies to prior authorization renewals only. All new prior authorization requests will continue to follow existing practices.
Home Delivery of Prescription Drugs
In this era of online purchases and home delivery, more plan members than ever are looking for options to have the medications they take on a regular basis (“maintenance drugs”) delivered directly to them by a home delivery pharmacy.
My Home Rx provides convenient options for free home delivery of your prescription maintenance drugs that can help you save money, with the comfort and assurance of avoiding unnecessary trips outside the home.
If your benefits plan includes our disability coverage, this is in place to support you if you are unable to work because of illness or injury – and that applies to COVID-19 related illness. Here are some common situations:
Positive COVID-19 test, and unable to work from home because of illness or your type of work:Qualify for Short Term Disability with waiting period waived.
No COVID-19 test but too ill to work due to flu-like symptoms: Submit a COVID-19 Illness form, reflecting your inability to work. Standard waiting period applies.
Unable to work because you have been placed under quarantine, but not too ill to work otherwise: You may qualify for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits with no waiting period. You can find out more about qualifying for EI here. You will not qualify for Short Term Disability coverage.
Disability coverage varies by plan and it is best to confirm your specific disability coverage with your employer. Sick and vacation policies vary by employer and are not part of your health and disability benefits plan.
We understand your health is important, especially during times like these. Using our digital tools, we can better meet your needs. Let’s work together to support each other. Click here.
You can find out more about the coronavirus and related Government of Canada advisories at canada.ca
The chat icon at the bottom right of this screen links to a COVID-19 screening tool, which helps you assess your current condition and recommends potential next steps to protect your health.