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.
On March 13, 2020, the Government of Canada announced a global travel advisory covering all international travel. This announcement impacts our group travel coverage:
All travellers leaving Canada on or after March 16, 2020 (March 9 for cruise ship travel) are no longer eligible for any travel medical coverage related to COVID-19.
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.
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
The provincial pharmacy regulators in several provinces, in consultation with government, have issued temporary drug dispensing directives to pharmacists to ensure a stable supply of drugs for all patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. In these provinces, prescription drugs will only be dispensed for one month’s supply at a time except under exceptional circumstances. This could result in additional pharmacy dispensing fees.
This mandatory measure was not initiated by Medavie Blue Cross, but we understand that efforts are needed to ensure all Canadians can continue to have access to the drugs they need during this uncertain time.
As always, we look to pharmacists’ clinical and professional judgement to ensure the varying medication needs of our members are met.
Members who will face extreme hardship, and who are on long-term prescriptions with no expectation that their treatment will end, have the option of asking their pharmacist to consider an exception and dispense a larger quantity.
We will continue to assess if other adjustments are required to our drug claims processing practices to ensure appropriate supply of medication to our members.
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.
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.