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About Optional Benefits

Optional Benefits is supplemental insurance you can buy at a preferred rate as a member of a Medavie Blue Cross group. You can choose Critical Illness, Life Insurance or both. Accidental Death & Dismemberment is available as an add-on when you buy Optional Life Insurance. Online Doctors is available as an add-on when you buy Critical Illness or Optional Life Insurance. All benefits pay out a lump sum for you to spend as you wish.

Please note that not all products are offered to all groups.

As a member of a preferred group plan, you qualify for rates that are typically lower than you might find on your own. The application process is simple: you can do everything online and, if you’re within the open enrolment period, you don’t need to answer medical questions for certain coverage amounts.

If you’re not adequately insured, the financial impact of an unexpected accident or illness can be devastating. In time of need, the Critical Illness benefit will put a tax-free, lump sum cash payment in your pocket to help pay unexpected costs or protect your hard-earned savings during your recovery. You can use the money however you want.

Our Critical Illness covers 36 conditions – more than most products on the market.

You can easily calculate your monthly payment by using the online calculator. Make sure you have the unique code for your group so you can access the quote tool; you likely received the code in an email or other communication from your organization.

You can apply for Optional Benefits coverage for yourself and/or your spouse. Your child or children can only be covered if you or your spouse are also covered. One rate covers all children—independent of the size of your family—and we won’t ask medical questions about your children.

Please note that if both you and your spouse are employed by the same organization, you may not be covered more than once under the plan. That means if you’re covered as an employee, you can’t also be covered as a spouse.

What does that mean?

Your group has a special introductory period known as “open enrolment”, during which time we waive medical questions for coverage under a certain amount (known as the “Non-Evidence Limit”). Open enrolment periods are usually 31 days, but it may be different for your group; your group administrators will let you know the dates of your open enrolment period.

Qualifying for coverage without having to answer medical questions can be a real benefit—and lets you apply in minutes—but open enrolment only lasts for a limited time, so take advantage while you can.

If you want even more financial protection, you can apply for coverage amounts above the Non-Evidence Limit; you'll just need to answer medical questions during the application process.

The Non-Evidence Limit is the amount of coverage you can purchase without answering any medical questions. When you use the quote tool, you’ll be told what that amount is for your group. The Non-Evidence Limit is only in effect during the open enrolment period.

There are certain circumstances that enable you to change your coverage (for example, to increase your coverage amounts, or to add a spouse or dependent) as if you were in an open enrolment period. In other words, you can apply for amounts up to the Non-Evidence Limit without answering medical questions.

These “Life Events” are:

  • marriage or common law union;
  • birth or adoption of a child;
  • divorce or legal separation;
  • the Member's or Dependent's other coverage terminates for reasons outside of their control;
  • death of a dependent.

You must apply within 31 days of the Life Event occurring. If you apply after 31 days, you’ll need to answer medical questions.

Your beneficiary is the person (or persons) who will receive your life insurance benefits. You can add one or more beneficiaries to your Optional Life coverage. If you’ve chosen spousal or child life insurance, you’re designated as the beneficiary.

If you don’t assign a beneficiary, your life insurance benefits will be paid to your estate.

*Please note: in Quebec, if you designate your spouse as a beneficiary, they’re considered an irrevocable beneficiary (unless you’ve specifically requested that they be considered revocable). Making changes to an irrevocable beneficiary designation (either to remove their name as beneficiary or to change the allocation percentage) requires the written consent of the named irrevocable beneficiary.

Your contingent is the person (or persons) who will receive your life insurance benefits in the event your designated beneficiary is deceased. If you don’t assign a contingent, benefits will be paid to your estate.

If you choose a beneficiary or contingent under the age of 19, you must designate a trustee. If the Optional Life benefit is paid while your beneficiary/contingent is under age 19, the trustee will retain legal control of the benefit received until the beneficiary/contingent reaches age 19.

Your trustee must be 19 or older. Your primary beneficiary can't be named as trustee for a contingent.

Applying for Optional Benefits

After you’ve calculated your rate (make sure you have your group code to access the quote tool), click the ‘Start application’ button at the bottom of the screen. After the first step of the application (we’ll ask your name, email address and birth date), you’ll be emailed a unique link to your application so you can continue the process at a later time or from a different device. You can complete the entire process online—even signing your application!

No; you can complete the application in stages, if that works best for you. After the first step of the application (we’ll ask your name, email address and birth date), you’ll be emailed a unique link to your application so you can continue the process at a later time or from a different device—you can start your application on your work computer and continue it at home on your tablet.

It depends! During the initial enrolment period for your group, there’s a certain amount of coverage you can purchase without completing a medical questionnaire; that amount is known as the Non-Evidence Limit. You don’t need to answer any medical questions if you apply for this amount or less during the initial enrolment period. If you want even greater financial protection, you can apply for coverage amounts above the Non-Evidence Limit, but you’ll need to complete a medical questionnaire as part of your application.

If you apply outside of the open enrolment period, or 31 days after a life event, you’ll need to answer medical questions for any amount of coverage.

In the quote calculator, drag the slider to adjust the amount of coverage you want. Your maximum coverage amounts will be visible at the end of the slider. Coverage amounts for adults increase in units of $10,000. For children, the amounts increase by $5,000 at a time.

The amount of coverage you can purchase during the open enrolment period without answering any medical questions (the Non-Evidence Limit) was likely communicated to you by your organization or found in your Optional Benefits enrolment package. It’s also indicated in the quote tool. Simply insert the unique access code provided by your organization into the rate calculator and you can identify at what coverage level medical questions will become applicable.

If you’re applying for Optional Life insurance, you’ll be given the opportunity to designate one or more beneficiaries. You’re not obliged to specify one—benefits will be paid to your estate if you don’t choose one. However, we recommend you do designate at least one beneficiary. This simplifies benefit payout (since resolutions for estate settlements can be a lengthy and time-consuming process) as well as ensuring the benefit goes directly to your beneficiary rather than being added to your estate holdings, which may then be used to pay off debts and other fees.

If you name a child who is under the age of 19 as a beneficiary, benefits will not be able to be paid directly to that child. In these cases, you’ll be asked to choose a trustee over the age of 19 to retain legal control of the benefit received until the beneficiary reaches age 19.

After you submit your application, you’ll receive an email requesting your “electronic signature”. Follow the link in the email and you’ll be asked to simply click in the indicated boxes to “sign” the document. You don’t have to add your handwritten signature to anything.

If you’re applying during the open enrolment period, you’re automatically approved for amounts under the Non-Evidence Limit.

For coverage amounts above that limit, or for applications submitted outside the open enrolment period, we’ll be in touch to let you know whether your application has been approved or declined.

I’ve purchased Optional Benefits

If you apply within your group’s open enrolment period:

If you buy coverage for an amount that DOES NOT require answering any medical questions (i.e. amounts up to and including the Non-Evidence Limit), your coverage is effective on the first day of the month following receipt of your electronically signed application form by Medavie Blue Cross.

If you apply for an amount that DOES require answering medical questions (i.e. amounts over the Non-Evidence Limit), your effective date is split in two. Your coverage for amounts up to the Non-Evidence Limit is effective on the first day of the month following receipt of your electronically signed application form by Medavie Blue Cross. The effective date for coverage for amounts higher than the Non-Evidence Limit will be communicated to you once your application has been processed and approved.

For example, if your Non-Evidence Limit is $20,000 and you submit your signed application for $100,000 of coverage on January 15, $20,000 of your coverage will be effective on February 1 (the first of the month following receipt of your signed application), and the remaining $80,000 is effective on the date this additional amount is approved by Medavie Blue Cross.

The first payment withdrawal will coincide with the beginning of your coverage (see above). You may use credit card or pre-authorized deposit (PAD) to pay for your coverage. If you are using pre-authorized deposit, it may take up to three business days for your account to be debited—depending on your financial institution. Please check with your financial institution for details.

The rates are organized in five-year age brackets (e.g. 30-34, 35-39). Your rate will change on the first day of the month after you reach the next age bracket. On occasion, Medavie Blue Cross introduces slight rate adjustments due to market conditions.

To increase your coverage or to add a spouse or dependents, simply complete a new Optional Benefits application, making sure to apply only for the additional amounts you’re interested in. If you’ve undergone a Life Event (see above) within the past 31 days, you’re eligible to make changes to your coverage for amounts under the Non-Evidence Limit without answering medical questions.

To make any other changes (for example, to change beneficiaries or to remove a spouse from your coverage), complete a Change Form.

If you’re outside of the open enrolment period, under most circumstance you’ll need to answer medical questions. However, if you’ve undergone a Life Event (see above) within the past 31 days, we’ll waive the medical questions for total amounts up to the Non-Evidence Limit.

General coverage details (including coverage amounts and designated beneficiaries) are available on the Member Services Site & the Medavie Mobile App. You can also download a PDF of your detailed policy booklet from the Member Services Site.

For Critical Illness, Optional Life and AD&D, you and/or your spouse may qualify to convert your terminating plans to individual plans with Medavie Blue Cross if your coverage terminates on or before your respective 65th birthdays. Please give us a call at 1-833-233-2583 for assistance with this.

Consult your policy booklet for more details on your right to convert.

All claim forms for Critical Illness, Life and AD&D benefits can be obtained in the member resources section of our website.

You can submit your completed claim form to Medavie Blue Cross by mail, fax or scan to the address indicated on the applicable form.

I have a question that wasn’t covered above.

Please give us a call!

For questions regarding Optional Benefits application or quote: 1-844-949-3809

For questions relating to existing Optional Benefits coverage, claim or premiums: 1-888-919-7378

I have a question that wasn’t covered above.

Please give us a call!

For questions regarding Optional Benefits application or quote: 1-844-949-3809

For questions relating to existing Optional Benefits coverage, claim or premiums: 1-888-919-7378


Medavie Blue Cross is a member of the Canadian Association of Blue Cross Plans.
*Trade-mark of the Canadian Association of Blue Cross Plans. †Trade-mark of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. All rights reserved.
Benefits are underwritten by Blue Cross Life Insurance Company of Canada.
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