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CoronaVirus and your benefit plan

COVID-19 is a concern. 

Each of us, as business owner’s must institute appropriate protocols for ensuring business continues, while maintaining the safety of our most value asset–our employees. The information shared in this newsletter is as up-to-date as the information made available and is subject to change.

As you will note, the insurance community is following the Government of Canada lead, encourages people to self-direct with the most up-to-date information available.

Group Travel Insurance:
Emergency Medical Assistance included on a group policy typically does not include flight or trip cancellation, nor does it include baggage loss. The purpose of the Emergency Medical Assistance as it applies to a group policy is the protection of the employee and their immediate family members travelling with them in the event of an unforeseen medical emergency while travelling.

Travel insurance is intended to cover losses arising from sudden and unforeseeable circumstances. Any claims resulting from events known to a policyholder when purchasing insurance are not covered.

Travel insurance generally excludes losses if the Government of Canada issues a travel advisory against non-essential travel to a particular destination, or in this case ALL DESTINATIONS. Meaning, if you are travelling to a “known” risk area AFTER the travel advisory is issued, then there is no coverage. If you have travelled and are currently in an area which was considered a “non-risk” at the time of leaving Canada, and then the destination becomes a “risk”, then the coverage is intact and if something happens to you or your family members travelling with you, then claims are eligible.

While travel to countries with travel advisory warnings won’t automatically exclude members from coverage, plans do vary, so that’s why insurance carriers assess claims individually – just like they do for all medical emergency claims

For individual travel insurance, customers who obtained travel insurance prior to a travel advisory being issued for their destination may still be eligible for coverage.

While travelling, employees should take their travel insurance coverage information with them. Important information includes plan details, policy/certificate number and phone numbers for emergency travel assistance while abroad.

Short Term Disability (STD)

For those plans which include Short Term Disability, the coverage remains in-tact with no change. If an employee can not attend work because they have been medically quarantined or have have contracted the virus, then the terms as outlined in your policy booklet remain the same. Paperwork for claim submission proceeds the same as any other claim submission.

At this time the quarantine needs to be medically directed (i.e. it must be an order from a medical doctor or public health official/authority), in order for the insurer to consider paying claims under the STD plan.

Depending on the insurance carrier, Quarantine MAY be considered as hospitalization and STD benefits may be paid from 1st day for plans with first day hospital. For plans that do not have 1st day hospital, some carriers MAY waive the STD elimination period and benefits will be paid from the date of quarantine.

As I understand it, for those carriers pay claims, the maximum period considered for quarantine with no symptoms is 14 days.

For plans without any Short Term Disability coverage, employees will rely upon the Employment Insurance Sickness benefits and their terms and conditions for paying out.

Our goal, at MP Benefits Inc. is to continue to serve you and your employees without interruption. We’ll continue to share more information as it develops. If you have questions or concerns, CALL.


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Disclaimer: Please note that the information provided, while authoritative, is not guaranteed for accuracy and legality. The site is read by a world-wide audience and employment, taxation, legal vary accordingly. Please seek legal, accounting and human resources counsel from qualified professionals to make certain your legal/accounting/compliance interpretation and decisions are correct for your location. This information is for guidance, ideas, and assistance.