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Questions about COVID-19 and your benefits?  Learn more here

COVID-19 Information Centre


Please bookmark this page for the latest information on how this pandemic is impacting your plan and its members.

The content on this site will be updated on a regular basis – visiting here is the best way to ensure you are referencing the most up-to-date information possible.

Members can access the latest information about COVID-19 and their benefits at medaviebc.ca/covid19.


Frequently Asked Questions

All content reflects standard group coverage. Some group policies may differ.

Will Medavie Blue Cross extend coverage to workers impacted by a temporary layoff during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Medavie Blue Cross recognizes the challenges many employers are facing in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. We will extend coverage for all benefits except disability benefits during a temporary layoff, per the temporary layoff provisions of the in force contract. This provision is typically for layoffs up to six (6) months. Employers should check their contract, as plans may vary.

Whether workers are paid or unpaid during their period of layoff, premiums must continue to be paid.

In March, we implemented temporary administrative process changes to: a) continue coverage when plan participation fell below the minimum threshold; and/or b) extend disability coverage, both upon request. These changes were effective until June 30th. If a request of this nature was made prior to June 30th and the employer’s plan to transition employees back to work remains in progress, please speak to your Medavie Blue Cross representative.


*Revised* How does Ontario’s new infectious disease regulation under the Employment Standards Act impact worker coverage?

On May 29, 2020, the Government of Ontario added a new regulation under the Employment Standards Act, 2020 (ESA), called O. Reg. 228/20: Infectious Disease Emergency Leave.

This new regulation concerns non-unionized workers in Ontario who have had their hours of work eliminated or temporarily reduced during the “COVID-19 Period”, which started on March 1, 2020. Specifically, it adds new rules concerning the potential termination, severance and constructive dismissal of these employees.

On September 3, 2020, the government amended the Employment Standard Act to define the COVID-19 Period as ending on January 2, 2021.

For plan members considered to be on leave under IDEL, we will maintain their coverage for all lines of benefit, including STD and LTD, provided premiums are paid, until the IDEL regulation expires. Thereafter we will follow group policy provisions for coverage with respect to layoffs and employment termination.

Any plan sponsor putting temporary layoffs in place due to COVID-19 should consult their employment lawyer or human resources expert to ensure that their benefit coverage related to the employees conforms to this regulation.

Please keep Medavie Blue Cross informed of any layoffs or terminations, through your Account Associate.


Will Medavie Blue Cross extend coverage to workers impacted by a temporary reduction in work hours during the COVID-19 pandemic if they fall below the ‘minimum number of hours worked’ requirement?

In March, we implemented temporary administrative process changes to temporarily allow members to maintain benefits even if their hours were reduced below the ‘minimum number of hours worked’ requirement. These changes were effective until June 30th. If a request of this nature was made prior to June 30th and the employer’s plan to transition affected employees back to full time work remains in progress, please speak to your Medavie Blue Cross representative.

Currently, plan sponsors must advise Medavie Blue Cross of salary reductions for newly affected employees so coverage (and premium) can be adjusted in the event of a claim during the period of reduced hours.


If a plan member hasn’t completed their waiting period and are temporarily laid-off, when would they become eligible for benefits?

The time spent while temporarily laid-off due to COVID-19 counts towards a plan member’s waiting period. The plan member would therefore be eligible for benefits on the later of; their return to work date or the end of the waiting period.


What happens if an employer is unable to pay their premium on time because of the financial hardship they are experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Medavie Blue Cross understands that employers may still be struggling in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Employers who have concerns about their ability to pay their premiums can contact their Medavie Blue Cross representative to discuss the allowable premium payment grace period.


What happens if an employer is unable to receive and/or evaluate their group benefits renewal because of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Upon request, we allowed small businesses (up to 50 employees) with a demonstrated inability to proceed with their renewal because of COVID-19 to postpone renewals scheduled for May, June and July. All renewals scheduled for August and beyond are now proceeding as they normally would.


Can a group temporarily discontinue/suspend all coverage and resume the same coverage when the COVID-19 pandemic is over?

Groups that temporarily terminated all coverage on or before June 30th, 2020 can extend their lapse in coverage up to August 31st, 2020 without financial administration charges. Medavie Blue Cross continues to reserve the right to revaluate the pricing at the end of the discontinuation period if there are material changes to the group. Members will maintain their ID and claims history but losses or expenses incurred during the period of discontinuation are not covered.


If a plan sponsor chooses to pay all (or a portion) of the plan member share of disability premium, while their members are laid off work, how does this affect non-taxable disability benefits?

If an employer wishes to pay any portion of disability premiums on behalf of their employees, any disability benefit payments would be deemed taxable to the employee. If the disability benefit is currently non-taxable (i.e. 100% employee paid), a policy amendment is required. Professional tax advice is always recommended when considering changes to employee compensation or benefits.


How does the COVID-19 pandemic impact applications requiring medical underwriting (i.e. late applicants, coverage over non-evidence maximums)?

All applications will be underwritten according to our standard process. Paramedical service providers have resumed their services and are available when required.

Can members still submit health and dental claims?

Of course! However, in light of the pandemic and potential impact to mail delivery, we encourage plan members to submit claims online via our website or mobile app. Click to learn more about how easy it is to submit claims online.


Can members be reimbursed for claims from health practitioners who offer their services virtually?

Yes. We have conducted a review of the scopes of practice for covered health practitioners to facilitate access to, and continuity of, needed care by virtual means. Currently we will accept receipts for virtual appointments from the health practitioners listed below. Members should consult their own provider(s) to determine if their specific care can be provided remotely. The list below is subject to change as we continue to assess scopes of practice. As always, providers must be registered with Medavie Blue Cross and all claims are adjudicated based on the member’s plan design and our reasonable and customary limits.

Audiologists
Chiropodists
Chiropractors
Counselling Therapists
Registered Dietitians
Naturopaths
Occupational Therapists
Optometrists
Physiotherapists
Podiatrists
Psychoeducators
Psychologists
Psychotherapists
Social Workers
Speech Therapists
Dentists

Guidelines around the types of services allowed, as well as specific protocols in providing virtual therapy, vary by the governing body of each provider type listed above. Again, members should speak with their health care provider to confirm what specific services they can deliver online and rely on them to follow the appropriate protocols.


Have you closed your Quick Pay locations?

Yes. As a precaution we have temporarily closed our Quick Pay locations across Atlantic Canada. We do not have a re-open date for our other locations currently, however, drop boxes for member claims are available at our Moncton, NB, Dartmouth, NS and St. John's locations.


Are charges for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) charged by dental care professionals eligible for reimbursement under a dental plan?

Some dental care professionals have begun charging for PPE as their dental practices re-open during the recovery phase of the pandemic. Plan members are strongly encouraged to discuss any extra charges that may be requested by their provider, prior to their visit.

COVID-19 related surcharges for PPE are NOT eligible benefits under existing dental plans. Dental claims will continue to be paid in accordance with the benefit provisions outlined in the group insurance contract, which does not include reimbursement for these items. Any additional surcharges for added time requirements (i.e. pre-screening, donning and removing PPE and any down time for sanitizing, etc.) are also NOT eligible expenses.

Upon request, plans of any size can add coverage for these surcharges under ‘Basic Care’, subject to the plan’s rules.

Please contact your Medavie Blue Cross representative should you wish to add this coverage to your dental plan and/or to determine the impact on your dental premium.


What about PPE surcharges from other types of health care professionals?

PPE surcharges from eligible, non-dental health care professionals are managed within the reasonable and customary limits that are set per practitioner per visit, based on a monitoring of claims activity.

If a health care professional adds the cost of these items to their invoice, our system controls ensure the total reimbursement for the service will not exceed this limit.


Are PPE expenses eligible under HSA?

Yes. PPE surcharges from both health and dental care professionals are considered eligible under Health Spending Account (HSA) or Personal Spending Account (PSA) plans.


The COVID-19 pandemic caused health and dental care appointments to be delayed or cancelled. Now that appointments are being re-scheduled, will benefit maximums/coverage be extended for people: a) whose policy year ended (i.e. annual maximums were reset); or b) whose coverage is no longer in effect (i.e. over-age dependants)?

We will continue to administer our group benefits plan according to the terms of each contract, which means claims incurred during the current policy year and/or before someone’s coverage has come to an end will be paid according to the plan rules and benefit maximums for that policy year.


Have the terms of a Health Spending Account (HSA) and/or Personal Spending Account (PSA) changed?

HSA and PSA terms remain the same and these plans will continue to be managed in accordance with the contractual provisions. Members can check their benefit and grace periods in their benefits booklet and learn more about the many expenses they can claim against their HSA and/or PSA balances by checking their booklet or our online Help Centre.

Our HSA admin system is designed to protect plans against actions typically not permitted by the Canada Revenue Agency. Temporarily extending the period for unused HSA credits can be entertained but system testing is required for quality assurance purposes. An allocation equal to the balance of expiring credits can more easily be added to the credit allocation for the next policy year.


Does group life insurance cover a death resulting from COVID-19?

Yes. If a covered plan member or eligible dependant were to die as a result of contracting COVID-19 then the life insurance claim would be payable, assuming all other terms of the group life policy are satisfied.

What is the latest on dispensing limits at pharmacies?

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.


What can members do to help protect the health of themselves and others at the pharmacy?

We are closely monitoring the effects of COVID-19 on the demand for prescription drugs. We are working closely with pharmacy partners to ensure members have access to the drugs they need, when they need them.

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 social interactions, members can also consider receiving prescriptions through home delivery service. Members can talk to a pharmacist about their options.


How are you helping plan members access their medication through mail order services?

Helping your members access the products and services they need has always been a priority for us. As the COVID-19 pandemic has changed so much of peoples’ lives, we have been working to address changing expectations of how plan members access health care benefits. This includes options for accessing their prescribed drugs.

To support plan members’ access to the convenience and comfort of home delivery for their daily maintenance medications, we have established our My Home Rx offering. Available to all Medavie Blue Cross plan members, except in the province of Quebec, My Home Rx leverages our relationships with two leading home delivery pharmacy service providers, Sobeys Pharmacy by Mail and Alliance Pharmacy, to make it easy for members to access the drugs they need, the way they want.

Simple, convenient and safe

Online purchases and home delivery of many goods and services have become a standard part of daily life. The COVID-19 experience is changing expectations and comfort-level of Canadians in how they access health care products and services as well, including greater interest in obtaining prescriptions by mail.

My Home Rx helps Medavie Blue Cross plan members to access their prescriptions for maintenance drugs through our home delivery pharmacy partners - with added convenience and the comfort of physical distancing - without any changes required to your plan design.

Lower cost for plans and members

My Home Rx offers the benefits of free home delivery and low dispensing fees versus many traditional pharmacy options. This provides an opportunity for savings, both for the member and their drug plan.

My Home Rx pharmacy partners are committed to supporting members with ongoing management of their medications, including optimizing their supply of chronic maintenance drugs to 90 days per fill where appropriate and feasible.

Availability to plan members

The My Home Rx offering is available to all Medavie Blue Cross plan members outside of Quebec*. If your plan currently offers our PHARMACY PARTNERS preferred pharmacy network (PPN), which includes Sobeys and Alliance, your members can also take advantage of the convenience and savings of the home delivery services offered by these pharmacies through My Home Rx as well.

*For Plans and Members in Quebec: The My Home Rx offering is not available in Quebec. Members based in Quebec can take advantage of existing locally available mail order pharmacy services. Our member communication educates them on the benefits of mail order pharmacy and encourages them to ask their local pharmacy about home delivery options.

Please share the following message with your plan members through email, internal newsletters, or any other information channels you have available:

My Home Rx: Home Delivery of Prescription Drugs

Our benefits provider, Medavie Blue Cross, has launched My Home Rx, a new offering of home delivery services for your prescription drugs. My Home Rx provides convenient options for free delivery of your prescriptions to your door, with online refill ordering and low dispensing fees to help save money, all without having to leave your home. Find out more at medaviebc.ca/members/programs/myhomerx.


How are you caring for members on treatments requiring Prior Authorization?

We understand that for members currently on a drug requiring prior authorization, it may be difficult to obtain the required renewal information, such as updated tests or exams. If you have a prior authorization set to renew, but your appointment is after your current authorization has expired, please have your Patient Support Program (PSP) Case Worker reach out to our Special Authorization Unit directly, or call our Customer Contact Centre who can provide you with next steps direction.

*Revised* What if a member cannot work because they are in quarantine because of COVID-19 or have contracted COVID-19?

The COVID-19 pandemic is evolving rapidly. New information emerges constantly and decision making is required frequently. We will continue to provide updates, as necessary. We remain committed to supporting members when an injury of illness prevents them from doing their essential work tasks.

Medavie Blue Cross continues to manage and pay short term disability claims according to our regular disability management guidelines. Regarding COVID-19 specifically and in conjunction with the implementation of the new Employment Insurance program, the following guidelines now apply:

1. Positive COVID-19 test and member is unable to work from home because of illness or 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

2. Not positive for COVID-19 but member is too ill to work due to flu-like symptoms: Submit the standard Disability application forms, reflecting condition and inability to work. Standard waiting period applies.

3. Member is unable to work because they are being advised to quarantine, but they are not too ill to work otherwise: Member may qualify for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. Learn more about qualifying for EI here. Member 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 sponsor and it is best to check your specific disability coverage. Sick and vacation policies vary by employer and are outside the Medavie Blue Cross group benefit plan.

What mental health supports or resources are available to plan members?

We know that COVID-19 is taking a toll on the physical and mental wellbeing of many Canadians. For plan members that are experiencing stress or anxiety, and/or struggling to cope, please know that expert help is just a call or click away. Here are just some of the services and supports available to help our members get through this difficult time – from the security, privacy and comfort of your home.


How can I make my employees and plan members aware of these resources?

Please feel free to adapt or share the following message with your members using email, internal newsletter or your other communications channels:

To our valued employees,

During the Covid-19 pandemic you may be concerned about your health and/or the health of your loved ones. We would like to assure you that our benefits partner, Medavie Blue Cross, has many tools in place to support your physical and mental health through this time.

This includes:

  • The ability to claim for virtual visits with your practitioners, from physiotherapists to psychologists and many others. Learn more about virtual visits.
  • Access to online doctor visits through their Connected Care platform – connect with a doctor in minutes and get referred to specialists who can provide consultation and / or treatment online.
  • Access to digital Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (iCBT) which is a proven, effective tool to manage mental health concerns such as anxiety and depression. There are even modules available to help those who may be struggling to cope specifically due to the pandemic. Learn more through the Connected Care platform.
    • This service can be claimed as part of your psychologist benefit in the Medavie mobile app or plan member site. Here's how to claim for digital CBT.

For more information on these and other tools that are available to support your mental health during this time, visit the Medavie Blue Cross Covid-19 Mental Health Resources web page.

Groups with our inConfidence Employee & Family Assistance Plan Only: You may also access our Employee and Family Assistance Program, inConfidence, for support.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, the Canadian Mental Health Association advises that you call 1-833-456-4566 toll free (In QC: 1-866-277-3553), 24/7 or visit www.crisisservicescanada.ca.

Finally, to learn more about the services available through Medavie Blue Cross and access your benefits, visit the plan member centre or download the Medavie Mobile App from the App Store or Google Play.

Wishing you and your loved ones well,

Your HR team.

What is a Government of Canada travel advisory (i.e. warning)?

The Government of Canada (i.e. the federal government) issues travel advisories, available online, that show the overall risk level for a country or territory based on an assessment of the nationwide safety and security situation. If the safety and security situation of a particular region within a country or territory is assessed to be different than that of the rest of the country or territory, the Government assigns a separate risk level to that region. The risk levels are:

Level 1: Exercise normal security precautions
Level 2: Exercise a high degree of caution
Level 3: Avoid non-essential travel
Level 4: Avoid all travel

Travel warnings related to COVID-19 had previously been issued for specific countries and on March 13th, 2020, the Government of Canada issued a warning against all non-essential travel outside of Canada. This is a rapidly evolving situation and warnings are likely to change. It is strongly recommended that Medavie Blue Cross members with travel plans closely monitor travel warnings issued by the Government of Canada because these warnings can impact their travel insurance coverage.


What if there is a travel advisory/warning issued by an entity other than the Government of Canada?

Only travel warnings issued by the Government of Canada (i.e. the federal government) directly impact group travel insurance coverage issued by Medavie Blue Cross. Warnings issued by provincial or foreign governments do not impact coverage.


Are there options to remove an existing Government of Canada travel warning exclusion from a travel policy?

No. The COVID-19 pandemic is a known event. There is no option to modify existing group policy language. We have confirmed that our contract wording is aligned with the recommendation of the Canadian Life and Health Industry Association (CLHIA).

Is a member who needs to travel outside Canada for business covered for COVID-19?

Medavie Blue Cross recognizes that business travel is necessary for many companies during the recovery phase of the pandemic. As we continue to support the efforts of businesses reopening during this recovery phase, emergency hospital and medical travel coverage for COVID-19 related claims is now in effect for all business travel.


Is a member who needs to travel outside Canada for personal reasons covered for COVID-19?

The Government of Canada warning to avoid all non-essential travel outside Canada 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, we are pleased to advise that between September 1, 2020 and July 15, 2021, all standard Medavie Blue Cross travel plans will cover eligible emergency hospital and medical expenses related to COVID-19, subject to existing maximums and all other terms, conditions and limitations of the policy. Before departure, the plan member 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.

Plan members who opt to travel internationally during this period are strongly recommended to 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.


Is a member who is a student travelling to study outside Canada covered for COVID-19?

Emergency hospital and medical travel coverage for COVID-19 claims is extended to students studying abroad. In these cases, COVID-19 coverage will be extended to cover the full-school term if the trip limit in the travel contract permits it.


What approach does Medavie Blue Cross take with Emergency Hospital and Medical Travel Coverage if a member travels to a country or region with a Government of Canada issued travel warning?

Although the Government of Canada warning to avoid non-essential travel outside Canada remains in effect for COVID-19, all standard Medavie Blue Cross travel plans will cover eligible emergency hospital and medical expenses related to COVID-19, subject to existing maximums and all other terms, conditions and limitations of the policy. Before departure, the plan member 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, which is effective for departures between September 1, 2020 and July 15, 2021, is extended to all plans, regardless of funding arrangement or any out-of-country pooling limit. Please contact your Medavie Blue Cross representative for more information.

Normally, COVID-19 expenses related to Emergency Hospital and Medical Travel coverage are NOT COVERED if they are incurred while travelling in a specific country (or a specific region of a country) for which there is a Government of Canada warning to avoid all travel (Level 4) or avoid non-essential travel (Level 3), when such a warning was issued before the departure date and the loss or expense is related to the reason for which the travel warning was issued.


If a member is travelling and unable to return home due to quarantine or unavailable flights, what is their eligible coverage?

If the member’s travel coverage is expired or about to expire (i.e. trip limit has been reached) and they are unable to return home due to circumstances directly beyond their control, Medavie Blue Cross will extend their coverage duration for up to 14 days.

If there was no travel warning on the member’s date of departure and the member is quarantined or stranded beyond their original travel dates at their destination, the member is eligible for meals and accommodations, up to the maximum coverage amount detailed in the relevant group contract/booklet.


What should a member do if they get sick while travelling?

If members are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, they should contact our medical assistance provider, CanAssistance. They can be reached by calling collect at 1-506-854-2222 (worldwide) or toll free at 1-800-563-4444 (Canada and the USA).

CanAssistance will assess the symptoms described and direct members as needed to a hospital or clinic for the appropriate care. Depending on the situation and needs, they may also:

  • Provide simultaneous interpretation to help communicate with health care personnel
  • Advance funds to a service provider if required to pay for care up front
  • Plan emergency repatriation to the member’s home province if they are hospitalized
  • Monitor their case closely until they’ve recovered

During the consultation, members should inform the physician if they have visited any high-risk areas (crowded public areas etc.) or been in contact with any animals or persons who showed symptoms associated with COVID-19.


What if a member becomes ill after they return from a trip?

If symptoms develop and a member has travelled to a region with confirmed COVID-19 cases or have been in close contact with someone who has, they should:

  • Stay at home and avoid contact with others
  • Follow up with their health care professional

If members develop fever, cough or difficulty breathing in the next 14 days, they should:

  • Call their health care provider or local public health authority.
  • Tell them about their symptoms and where exactly they were travelling.
  • Let them know whether they’ve had direct contact with animals or persons with COVID-19 symptoms.

If members are ill and must visit a health care professional, they should:

  • Call ahead or tell them when arriving that they have a respiratory illness.
  • They may be asked to wear a mask while waiting for or receiving treatment to prevent the spread of the illness.

If members feel sick during travel to Canada or upon arrival, they should:

  • Inform the flight attendant, cruise staff or a Canadian border services officer, who will decide whether further medical assessment by a quarantine officer is required.

Is a member covered if they need to cancel or interrupt a trip because of COVID-19?

The COVID-19 pandemic is a known situation. The Government of Canada’s global travel warning to avoid all non-essential travel outside Canada, issued in March, remains in effect. Consequently, expenses related to cancelling a trip for a reason related to the COVID-19 pandemic are not covered, unless the trip was booked on or before March 15th, 2020. Furthermore, expenses related to interrupting a trip for a reason related to the pandemic are not covered unless the departure date was on or before March 15th, 2020.


Who should members contact first if they need to cancel their trip and want to be reimbursed?

Members should first seek reimbursements or credits through their airline carrier or travel agent. Medavie Blue Cross is the final payer on Trip Cancellation claims.


How far in advance can trips to a country or specific region where there is currently a Level 3 or Level 4 advisory be cancelled?

At this time, only trips scheduled to depart within two weeks are eligible to be cancelled. This is a rolling two week window that is being monitored continuously and any changes will be communicated. This two week window is expected to continue until the outbreak begins to subside. Members should check our COVID-19 website about trips more than a month away closer to their departure date.


Is a member covered if: A) the government of the destination country is advising travellers that they must be self- quarantined upon arrival; or B) their provincial government is advising travelling that they must be self-quarantined upon their return?

Members are covered in scenario A or B if the trip was booked before the Government of Canada travel warning was issued. The actions and/or recommendations of a foreign or provincial government do not influence travel coverage. Members should contact their travel agent, airline carrier(s) and/or tour operator(s) regarding reimbursement.


Is a member covered if they are already in a country where the foreign government there has grounded flights out of the country?

Members are covered in this scenario if the trip was booked before the Government of Canada travel warning was issued. The actions and/or recommendations of a foreign or provincial government do not influence travel coverage. Members should contact their travel agent, airline carrier(s) and/or tour operator(s) regarding reimbursement.

What is Medavie Blue Cross doing to ensure business continuity in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Our role as a healthcare leader in our communities is always our number one priority. We understand the importance of our ability to serve our clients and plan members amidst this global health event. Rest assured, as we continue to adjust our business practices your needs are our priority focus. We have a detailed plan in place, are continuously monitoring the evolving global impact of COVID-19 and are in regular communication with federal and provincial health authorities.

We are prepared to minimize service disruptions related to COVID-19 outbreaks. We have enabled our work from home program and enacted additional social distancing, cleaning and disinfection measures to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19.


If it is not possible to obtain a ‘wet’ signature from a plan member or plan sponsor on a form, what other options are available?

We recognize that signing a required form in ink may pose challenges and we are now accepting many forms using the following digital means during the COVID-19 pandemic:

Plan members and plan sponsors

  • Complete the relevant form, print it and sign it then scan or take a photo of it and email it to us.
  • Complete the form using your smart phone, tablet or computer and save a copy of it. Apply an electronic handwritten signature (actual signature written on a screen) to the document by using your e-signature app and email it to us. Note: We are not accepting e-signatures that are not handwritten (i.e. those generated by ‘click to sign’ solutions).
  • Plan sponsor statements for disability claims can have the name and date typed on the form and submitted from an email address containing the plan sponsor domain. (i.e. @companyname.ca). Documents without a handwritten signature will not be accepted if sent from a personal email address.
  • Enrolment data can continue to be uploaded to us in digital format

Plan sponsors

There may be circumstances where a wet signature may still be required. We will advise members or sponsors when these circumstances arise and work together to arrive at a satisfactory solution.


What is Medavie Blue Cross doing to keep everyone informed?

For advisors and plan sponsors, Medavie Blue Cross continues to issue follow up communications and update this ‘COVID-19 Info Centre’ webpage.

For members, our contact centre is able to address member inquiries and there is an escalation process, when necessary. Our global travel assistance provider, CanAssistance, is also fully equipped to answer questions related to COVID-19 from members.

Medavie Blue Cross has also established a COVID-19 webpage in both English and French for relevant updates on COVID-19, which is featured prominently on our home page.

How is Medavie supporting the communities it serves during this pandemic?

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.

Medavie’s mission is to improve the wellbeing of Canadians – and we have never been more committed to that goal than now. That commitment to caring for Canadians extends to our communities, as well. The needs of our communities are significant in this time of crisis, especially for our most vulnerable and at-risk community members.

That’s why, through the Medavie Health Foundation, we’ve committed $5 million to improving access to food and mental health support.

This funding will focus on initiatives addressing food insecurity, the mental health needs of adolescents, and frontline responders coping with COVID-19-related anxiety and post-traumatic stress. It will distributed to community organizations over the coming weeks and months to address urgent needs and provide support as they manage through – and beyond – this pandemic. We’re also relaxing requirements for organizations currently receiving funding so we can make it as easy and quick as possible to help those who desperately need it.

We will provide you with further details on funding recipients in coming weeks.

The health and wellbeing of our communities is at the heart of our Foundation, which was created over a decade ago as a separate entity for charitable purposes to support the communities where our employees and clients live and work.

This contribution, of course, is in addition to the initiatives we have put in place to help support our clients and stakeholders through this pandemic.


Improving the wellbeing of Canadians

For over 75 years, Medavie and our employees have maintained a strong tradition of supporting our communities. So it comes as no surprise that during this crisis they have risen to the challenge and continue to do so each and every day. Whether that means adopting new work practices and working from home, or dressing in full PPE gear as they face the front line of our healthcare response. Regardless of what ‘coming to work’ might mean for our team members today, one thing is for sure: their efforts unite us in our fight against COVID-19 and continue Medavie’s role as a not-for-profit health solutions partner.

Canadians have long believed in helping one another, especially our most vulnerable. It’s reflected in our daily lives, our society and our place on the world stage. It’s also reflected in our beliefs as an organization. There has never been a moment when our mission is as critical as it is now. Whether it is by supporting patients, clients, members, employees and our communities, we know Medavie has a vital role to play in the lives of Canadians.

What is a coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) causes coronavirus disease COVID-19. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. (Source: World Health Organization)


Where can everyone learn more?

Additional information and resources related to COVID-19 can be found in both English and French on the Government of Canada’s website.



Downloads

Mental Health message template to share with your plan members English | French

COVID-19 Digital Tools Member Flyer - English | French

Message from the CEO - English | French

FAQ for Individual Business in Atlantic Canada - English | French

Employee Confirmation of Illness Form - English | French

Travel Insurance Claim Forms - English | French


As we support our clients and plan members through the pandemic, rest assured that all normal business needs are also being fully addressed. Please contact your Medavie Blue Cross representative if you have any questions about any of our products or services.