With the COVID-19 virus dominating the news and cancelling – well, everything, we wanted to share a couple of quick impacts that the virus could have on different things covered by your benefit plans.
A number of travel insurance carriers we work with have recently put exclusions in place on new policies sold that exclude COVID-19 related trip coverage or health claims. Policies that were purchased before these exclusions were in place seem to be honoured.
If your Travel Insurance is with your Group Benefit plan, most carriers are putting an exclusion in place – that means expenses incurred in a country or region where the Government of Canada has posted a travel advisory likely won’t be covered. This shouldn’t apply to people already present in a country when the Government of Canada issues an advisory – as long as they take measures to comply as soon as possible with the advisory.
Short Term Disability (Weekly Indemnity)
Insurers are working together to develop revised guidelines for Short Term Disability claims related to COVID-19. This will vary by carrier, but what we’ve found is that carriers are generally no longer requiring a doctor’s visit in order to make a claim related to this illness – the last thing they want is to overwhelm medical facilities with exposed people just to fill out paperwork. Instead, each insurance carrier will likely have its own Short-Term Disability claim form to fill out and sign. It’s still to be taken seriously – it’s still a legal document – but it saves the step of the medical visit.
The form will likely look something like this one produced by the CLHIA (the umbrella organization for Canada’s life and health insurance companies).
For updated information
Here are some resources that are frequently updated – and may be even more reliable than your cousin’s Facebook feed: