COVID-19 Testing and Vaccines
COVID-19 tests are available through government agencies, so are not covered by benefits plans.
Travel-specific COVID-19 tests are not covered by benefits plans. A prescription from a medical practitioner is required for any COVID-19 tests to be eligible for reimbursement through a Health Spending Account (HSA).
Similarly, because the distribution of vaccines is being managed by government agencies, coverage through your benefit plan does not apply.
Contrary to misinformation being shared online, receiving a COVID-19 vaccine will have no effect on the ability to obtain coverage or benefits from life insurance or supplementary health insurance.
These claims are incorrect and have no basis in fact whatsoever. Receiving the vaccine will not affect your individual or workplace life or health insurance benefits, or ability to apply for future coverage.
Unsure where to find reliable information on the COVID-19 vaccine? Check out this article on our Living Well Hub blog: Busting Common Myths about COVID-19 Vaccines.
If you opt to travel internationally, 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.
Any plan members with travel coverage should carefully consider the following:
1. 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.
Please note: due to the impact of COVID-19 on health and travel resources in foreign countries, although we will endeavor to provide access to health resources in case of an emergency, we may be limited in the support that can be accessed.
2. Medavie Blue Cross travel insurance does not cover:
- Any COVID-19 testing, including those required by governments to re-enter the country
- Any costs related to delays caused by testing requirements
- Any costs related to quarantines, including those mandated by governments.
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.
Trips booked after March 16, 2020 to any destination outside Canada are not eligible for Trip Cancellation coverage. Trip Cancellation coverage does not apply to inter-provincial travel. Most travel providers are providing refunds or credits for booked travel or events.
Several Canadian travel providers have been offering refunds for cancellation of tickets, vacations, and trip credits according to their initial method of payment.
Make sure you take the necessary steps to secure your refund within the deadlines, if applicable. Trip cancellation insurance will not apply in cases where a refund was available but the member missed the deadline to apply.
WestJet will be contacting clients who are eligible for a refund. Refunds are being processed by flight date, prioritizing flights cancelled in March 2020 and then forward. To submit a request for refund for a flight cancelled by WestJet before November 24, 2020, please complete this form. For flights cancelled by WestJet after November 24, 2020, visit Manage Trips to cancel your reservation and confirm if you are eligible for a refund to the original form of payment.
Information on refund requests for Air Canada, for bookings made before April 13, 2021 (in anticipation of a scheduled departure on or after February 1, 2020), are available on Air Canada’s website.
Air Transat will accept refund requests for travel credits, according to the initial method of payment, until August 26th, 2021. Your booking must have been made before April 29, 2021 (in anticipation of a scheduled departure on or after February 1, 2020). Travel credits will be honored beyond August 26, 2021. To get your refund, complete the form available on Air Transat’s website.
Sunwing will accept refund requests for travel credits, according to the initial method of payment, until August 27th, 2021. Your booking must have been made on or before June 25, 2021 (in anticipation of a scheduled departure on or after February 1, 2020). Travel credits will be honored for travel up to September 30, 2026. To get your refund, complete the form available on Sunwing’s website.
Administration fees charged by travel agencies, if any, are not eligible for reimbursement under your travel insurance.
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.
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
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.
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 once the waiting period is satisfied. Attending Physician Statement form and/or positive COVID-19 test report must be submitted.
No COVID-19 test but too ill to work due to flu-like symptoms: Submit the standard Disability application forms, reflecting your condition and 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. You can find out more about qualifying for EI here. You will not qualify for Short Term Disability coverage.
For all Disability applications, the standard Employee and Employer Statement forms are still required.
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.
Disability application forms can be found here.
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.
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 Wellness Account (PWA) plans.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us all to think differently and consider new ways to invest in improving the health and wellbeing of Canadians.
The needs of our communities have been significant throughout this crisis, especially for our most vulnerable and at-risk community members. That’s why, through the Medavie Health Foundation, we committed $5 million to help address food insecurity and youth mental health.
We have been inspired by the stories of people from every corner of our country who are caring for Canadians and building a healthier future together. And now we’re inviting you to explore a few of those stories. Follow the link below to read Communities Coming Together, which shines a spotlight on stories of communities and celebrates their caring resilience throughout the pandemic.
We’re not done yet. We’re continuing to grant out much-needed funds to help communities manage through — and beyond — this pandemic and look forward to sharing further updates.