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Important information about COVID-19 and your benefits

Last updated: July 19, 2022 3:30 p.m. ADT
Please check this site often for updates.

Important information about COVID-19 and your benefits

Last updated: July 19, 2022 3:30 p.m. ADT
Please check this site often for updates.

Our role as a health care leader in our communities is always our number one priority. We understand the importance of our ability to serve you during this global health event.

We want to make sure that you are protecting your health, and you understand how we can help you if you are impacted by this outbreak. Please check this site often for ongoing updates.

COVID-19 Testing, Treatment and Vaccines

COVID-19 tests, including travel-specific tests, are not covered by benefits plans.

For members with a Health Spending Account (HSA), a prescription from a medical practitioner is required for any COVID-19 tests to be eligible for reimbursement.

For members with a Personal Wellness Account (PWA), expenses maybe eligible if the benefit categories Safety and Security Items; Other Medical; or General Lifestyle, Miscellaneous or Leisure Travel are included in coverage.

Because the distribution of vaccines and the newly approved antiviral drug Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir and ritonavir) is being managed by government agencies, coverage through your benefit plan does not apply.

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.

Disability Coverage

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:

1. Unable to work because you have been placed under quarantine or your place of work is closed and your employer cannot accommodate working from home, but not too ill to work otherwise: You will not qualify for Short Term Disability coverage.

2. Positive COVID-19 test, and unable to work because of illness: Qualify for Short Term Disability once the waiting period is satisfied. Submit the standard Disability application forms along with one or more of the following reflecting your condition and inability to work:

  • Documentation of a positive PCR test
  • Image of a positive rapid test
  • Attending Physician Statement or medical note from your physician

Standard telephone consultation/confirmation of illness and waiting period applies.

3. No COVID-19 test but too ill to work due to flu-like symptoms: If you are unable to work due to COVID-19 illness but are not able to submit any of the above medical evidence, please complete and send us the Member Confirmation of Illness form (Medavie Blue Cross Plan Member Confirmation of Illness).

Standard telephone consultation/confirmation of illness and waiting period applies.

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.

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.

Travel Coverage

If you opt to travel internationally, we recommend you carefully review the guidance available at 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. As with other health conditions, any illness must be considered “sudden and unexpected” in order to be eligible, meaning that if you depart with a confirmed case of COVID-19 you will not be covered for any related costs.

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, such as meals & accommodations during quarantine, trip interruptions, delayed returns, trip cancellations, and possible exposure PCR tests.

Trip cancellation

If you have travel coverage through an employer, association, or other group plan: Trips booked after March 16, 2020 to any destination will not be eligible for Trip Cancellation or Interruption coverage related to COVID-19 and its variants. Before purchasing travel arrangements, confirm policies on refunds or credits for flights and events with your travel provider(s).

Find out more about stand-alone personal & family travel coverage here.

Digital Tools

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.

Community and Locations

Medavie continues to help communities respond to the increased needs arising from the COVID-19 through the Medavie Health Foundation, with a focus on youth mental health and access to healthy food. Find out more here

Quick Pay locations are currently closed until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We do not have a re-open date for Moncton, NB, Dartmouth, NS and St. John's our locations; however, drop boxes for member claims are available at these locations.

You can find out about our Medavie Benefits+ location in Halifax here.
You can find information about how to access our services in our online Member Centre.