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Out of Country Coverage

*** As of January 21, 2021 – check with the official Government of Canada travel advisories for the current status on travel.***

As the COVID pandemic continues, we have all been required to adapt to unfamiliar and new ways of living our lives and conducting business. Although we have been inundated with information, advice and reassurances, confirmation of procedures or assurances that some things have not changed, at least not recently, can be helpful.

Currently, the most frequently asked questions are about emergency out of country travel insurance (OOC). Although non-essential travel is strongly discouraged, there are still many people who are travelling for work declared essential and a few who have decided to travel for non-essential reasons. Some travel to be with family and others to properties that they may have in warmer climates.

First and foremost, we strongly encourage you to heed the official Government of Canada travel advisories and border closures. The official Government of Canada travel advisory says to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice. However, if you do decide to travel, it’s important to understand your travel coverage and what’s expected of you.

  • Plan members travelling to countries that have reopened their borders will be covered for eligible expenses, including those related to COVID-19.
  • Plan members travelling to another country should consult that country’s travel restrictions and guidelines before departure and re-entry into Canada including quarantining and negative test requirements.
  • Trip duration limits as defined by your policy still apply. Plan members should be aware that if they are outside of Canada and cannot return (possibly due to quarantine requirements) that their coverage may expire during that quarantine period.
  • Plan members that are part of an essential service industry, i.e. truck drivers hauling food and supplies, who must travel outside Canada for their employment, will continue to have Emergency Out of Country coverage as per the policy provisions. When travelling for work, prior to seeking medical treatment outside of Canada, the expectation is that the employer be contacted to initiate a claim with Worker’s Compensation.
  • If you do travel and COVID-19 symptoms arise, contact your travel provider immediately for support. You can find the phone number on the back of your ID card or on your mobile app. It is important to remember that travel coverage is for emergency treatment that cannot be delayed until you return to your home province.
  • Plan members who still choose to travel for non-essential/leisure purposes need to confirm their coverage prior to departure. While carriers continue to view the Government advisory as the primary guideline, they understand that plan members will make their own choices around travelling. In these situations, most insurers believe that providing peace of mind is the right thing to do.
    For that reason, your travel plan may include coverage for emergency medical expenses related to COVID-19 for the period ending June 30, 2021, up to the existing maximums and limitations within each plan. Please confirm prior to departure.This additional coverage may apply to all destinations globally – regardless of the COVID-19 travel advisory being in place or reason for travel (i.e. leisure, work, school) – and is subject to all other terms, conditions, and limitations of your benefits plan, including the requirement that you must be symptom free, in good health, and that all pre-existing conditions must be stable for 90 days prior to departure.
  • Finally, some older travellers may be able to access a COVID 19 vaccination outside of Canada. Please note that your OOC coverage will not pick up any of the cost charged for a vaccination administered outside Canada.

If you are unsure if these policies apply to your plan, you can:

  • Contact the Customer Service team of your benefits provider
  • Speak with your employer – if applicable or
  • Speak with your ASSOCIUM contact

We strongly encourage everyone to monitor and heed travel restrictions and protocols. It is important that we keep ourselves, our families and our communities safe.

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ASSOCIUM Benefits is a very unique employee group benefits provider, focused on supporting benefits Advisors and their employer clients. We provide Brokers and Plan Sponsors with a range of solutions from traditional group benefits to more customized, cost and tax effective employee compensation. Let’s connect to find out how we can help.

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