Your Travel Insurance Benefits and Coronavirus
Travel Outside Canada?
To limit the spread of COVID-19, the Government of Canada advises that you avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice. If you are currently abroad, you are encouraged to return to Canada immediately. Many countries have put in place travel or border restrictions and other measures such as movement restrictions and quarantines.
All travellers returning to Canada from abroad are asked to self-isolate at home for 14 days, whether they have symptoms or not.
Eligible employees of Western are covered under an Emergency Travel Assistance Plan, administered by Allianz Global Assistance through Manulife Group Benefits. No changes have been made to this coverage as a result of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. Here are some questions and answers that may help you to understand your coverage.
What travel benefits have changed as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak?
There are no changes to the travel benefits provided to eligible employees as a result of the outbreak.
The Emergency Travel Assistance plan is intended to provide coverage while outside of Ontario - should you become injured or unexpectedly ill while travelling. This coverage in place and unchanged. Manulife offers these tips about coronavirus and travel.
Employees are reminded that to limit the spread of COVID-19, the Government of Canada advises avoiding all non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice. Travel currently comes with the added risk of being unable to receive medical attention while abroad due to the existing strain on medical systems, and the risk of having to remain outside of Canada for a prolonged period due to border disruptions, travel restrictions and/or medical inability to travel.
Would I be covered if I became ill with coronavirus (COVID-19) while travelling?
If you are planning to travel outside of Ontario, it is important to be aware of the details of coverage for medical emergencies (COVID-19 or another illness) that is available to you and your family through the Emergency Travel Assistance plan. Manulife and Allianz provide excellent information to help you plan ahead and understand your coverage. Resources are listed below.
An example of important information you should know: Your travel plan provides coverage for emergency medical treatments. A medical emergency is a sudden, unexpected injury, a new medical condition, or a specific medical problem or chronic condition that was diagnosed but medically stable before you began your travels.
Medically stable means that in the 90 days before your departure, you have not been treated or tested for any new symptoms or condition; have not had an increase or worsening of any existing symptoms; did not change treatments or medications (other than normal adjustments for ongoing care); were not admitted to the hospital for treatment of the condition; and do not have any appointments or tests planned after your return home.
Where can I get details about my Emergency Travel Assistance coverage?
If you are planning to travel, we suggest reading the following information to get a comprehensive overview of your coverage, and understand any exclusions that may apply. For help with questions before you travel call Manulife at 1-866-896-8515. For emergency numbers while travelling, see the links below, or confirm in advance by contacting Allianz at 1-800-363-1835.
- Review details in your employee group’s benefit booklet. Visit the Your Benefits webpage and select your employee group to find a link to the appropriate booklet.
- Read the Manulife Emergency Travel Assistance brochure.
- Read a helpful Travel Bulletin from Manulife.
What happens if I am placed in quarantine by a medical doctor or public health official while I am travelling?
If you or a family member experience a medical emergency and get sick while travelling and are quarantined (example: diagnosed with COVID-19), you would be eligible for coverage under your Emergency Travel Assistance benefit. In addition, your trip interruption coverage will cover your costs for food, accommodations, and return transportation home (example: if you miss your originally scheduled flight).
Note: If you are placed under medical quarantine while travelling but are not sick or having a medical emergency, your plan would not provide any coverage for trip interruption costs. This is because Emergency Travel Assistance is intended to protect you if you have a medical emergency or get sick.
Do I have trip cancellation coverage?
Trip cancellation coverage is not part of Western’s Emergency Travel Assistance coverage through Manulife.
There have been recent announcements that major Canadian insurance companies, including Manulife, have stopped providing trip cancellation coverage related to coronavirus. This is unrelated to the group benefits coverage through Western employment.
If you have privately purchased trip cancellation insurance, you are encouraged to contact the insurer of the coverage for further details.
Where can I learn more about coronavirus/ COVID-19? I’m getting worried.
- Manulife offers tips about coronavirus and travel. If you have specific questions about your coverage you can reach Manulife by calling the number on your Manulife benefits card.
- Morneau Shepell is Western’s provider of an Employee and Family Assistance Plan (EFAP). They can provide information about the coronavirus, and about how to cope with the stress that some people may be experiencing because of the outbreak.
Other Western Resources
- Information for the Western community regarding COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus)
- Staff and Faculty absence tracking during the coronavirus outbreak
- Information for Faculty and Staff on Western's Safety Abroad website
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