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Coronavirus (COVID-19) : Information for plan members


OTIP cares about the health and well-being of our members and has compiled information to help keep you informed. Please review our FAQs below for important information, including:

For the latest information, please visit the Government of Canada’s website: www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html.
 

Travel Coverage

Should I avoid travel to affected regions?

The Government of Canada has continued to maintain a Level 3 global travel advisory which recommends to avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada. Visit the Government of Canada’s website for the latest travel advice.

For RTIP/ARM members: If you book a trip to a location with a Level 3 (or higher) travel advisory, you cannot claim trip cancellation or trip interruption. Please review your benefits booklet for a list of reasons that can be claimed under trip cancellation or trip interruption.

What happens if I get sick while travelling abroad?

In the event of an illness or medical emergency, you, your family member or travelling companion covered under the plan must call Allianz as soon as possible. The phone number can be found on the back of your benefits card. It is important to make the call using a landline phone if possible as your mobile phone may not work.

Learn more: COVID-19 test and vaccine information

The 24/7 emergency medical assistance contact centre provides immediate assistance to travellers in their language of choice, such as:

  • Referral to local medical care and/or legal assistance
  • Monitoring of medical care
  • Paying medical bills where possible
  • Arranging medical transportation for the patient
  • Return home of dependent children
  • Communicating with family members
  • Assisting with replacing lost or stolen travel documents or tickets
  • Arranging for the return of a vehicle
  • Returning the remains of the deceased traveller

For more details on emergency travel assistance, please review our article “Going out of country? Take your benefits card with you”.

Does my Emergency Out-of-Country insurance cover me if I get COVID-19 while travelling?

When travelling, if you (or a covered member of your family) have a medical emergency and get sick (with the coronavirus or another illness), your Out-of-Country coverage will pay for your emergency medical treatments. Your benefits booklet contains details about your Emergency Out-of-Country benefits.

Learn more: COVID-19 test and vaccine information

As an employee benefits plan member or an RTIP/ARM member, what happens if I am placed in quarantine by a doctor or public health official or am locked down while I am travelling?

Subject to the terms of your plan/policy, if you or a family member experience a medical emergency and get sick while travelling and are quarantined/locked down, you would be eligible for coverage under your emergency Out-of-province/Out-of-Canada benefit. In addition, Trip Interruption coverage (part of your Emergency Travel Assistance plan) will cover your costs for food, accommodations, and return transportation home (example: if you miss your originally scheduled flight). This is also subject to the terms of your plan/policy.

If you are placed in medical quarantine or are locked down while travelling, but are not having a medical emergency, your plan does not provide any coverage for trip interruption costs. This is because the plan is intended to protect you if you have a medical emergency and get sick. If you are diagnosed as positive for COVID-19 (or another illness) while in quarantine, you are eligible for coverage subject to the terms of your plan/policy.

What happens if I am quarantined by a doctor or public health official or am locked down, but I’m nearing the maximum number of days eligible for coverage while out-of-country?

If you are quarantined/locked down but nearing the maximum number of days of eligible coverage, your Emergency Out-of-Province/Out-of-Canada coverage will be extended until you are stable, released from quarantine and able to secure safe passage home.

This applies as long as you are under quarantine/locked down – whether you have been diagnosed or not, and have not been out of the country for more than the maximum number of days allowed by your plan. Coverage is based on the specific terms of your plan/policy.

We are currently travelling outside of Canada. Can we stay there beyond the 95 days due to the lockdown in Ontario?

As per the terms and conditions of your RTIP/ARM travel coverage, you have coverage for up to 95 consecutive days per trip. If you would like to stay for longer than 95 days, you can contact 21st Century Travel Insurance at 1-800-567-0021 to purchase additional travel insurance.



Trip Cancellation

The Government of Canada has continued to maintain a Level 3 global travel advisory to avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada. Visit the Government of Canada’s website for the latest travel advice.

If you are a member of an employee group benefits plan, your plan does not provide Trip Cancellation.

RTIP/ARM Members Only:

Can I cancel my trip due to the Government of Canada’s global Level 3/4 travel advisory?

Trip Cancellation/Interruption coverage is included in your plan. If you wish to cancel travel due to Government of Canada related travel advisories, coverage only applies if your travel was booked when there was no travel advisory in effect for your intended destination.

Please note that the Government of Canada’s travel warning regarding cruise ships continues to be a Level 4. Therefore, as long as the trip was booked when there was no travel advisory in effect, RTIP/ARM members are covered under the Trip Cancellation benefit.

What if I get sick with COVID-19 and need to cancel a trip I have planned?

As an RTIP/ARM member, your Trip Cancellation benefits would typically allow for coverage where you (or your travel companion) develop a new medical condition (including COVID-19) and are not able to travel, subject to the terms of your contract and provided the cancellation takes place before your departure date.

The following Trip Cancellation/Interruption coverage is included in your plan if you meet the criteria outlined above and as detailed in your benefits booklet:

  • Up to $6,000 per person, per trip, for pre-paid, non-refundable, unused expenses if you are unable to travel or continue to travel as a result of death, illness, or serious injury to yourself or a family member.
  • Return airfare in the event of trip interruption

Further details of what’s covered in your deluxe travel insurance can be found on our website and in your benefits booklet.

How do I make a claim to cancel my trip?

Please follow the steps below to submit a Trip Cancellation claim:

  1. Visit www.otip.com/forms and open the Extended Health Benefits Claim Form
  2. Complete the form and attach the following documentation:
    1. Reason for travel
    2. Travel dates
    3. Reason for cancellation
      1. If because of travel advisory, this simply needs to be stated.
      2. Please ensure you have notified all travel service providers of the cancellation in order to avoid forfeiting any credits or refunds for which you may have been eligible.
      3. If due to illness, injury or accident, please provide a letter from a physician outlining the nature of the patient’s illness and the medical reasons why the patient is unable to travel, including the estimated date they will be fit to travel again.
    4. A copy of the trip itinerary
    5. Original unused tickets, vouchers, etc.
    6. Original receipts for all pre-paid travel expenses being claimed
    7. Documentation that all of the pre-paid travel expenses are non-refundable, eligible for credit or in the case of airline tickets, changeable to another travel date for a small fee. Only the change fee would be eligible. As a rule, the change fee amount cannot exceed the original cost of the ticket.
    8. Original receipt showing the change fee has been paid, if applicable.

Air Miles/Rewards Programs:

  • Expenses paid using rewards points are not eligible under the plan.  Any costs incurred to recover rewards are also not eligible for consideration.
  • If you book a trip with rewards points (e.g. Air Miles or Aeroplan) and subsequently cancel the trip, only the prepaid expenses paid with ‘cash’ would be eligible for consideration (e.g. taxes and booking fees).
     

Trip Interruption

All Trip Interruption claims, including those related to illness or medical emergency or those related to a travel advisory, must go through Allianz as soon as possible. The phone number can be found on the back of your benefits card. For more details on emergency travel assistance, please review our article “Going out of country? Take your benefits card with you”.

If you are a member of an employee group benefits plan, Trip Interruption coverage only applies if you get sick or injured while you are travelling. Please refer to your benefits booklet for a complete list of reasons you may claim under trip interruption/cancellation.

Visit the Government of Canada’s website for the latest travel advice.

COVID-19 test and vaccine information

Is the COVID vaccine considered experimental?

COVID vaccines approved by Health Canada and administered by government-approved clinics are not considered experimental.

If I die as a result of getting the COVID vaccine, is my life insurance still valid?

If you die as a result of the COVID vaccine, this does not impact your life coverage or amount payable. Your beneficiary(ies) is eligible to receive the life insurance payout based on your plan details.

NOTE: Death from the COVID vaccine would not be considered an Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) claim. AD&D coverage is specific to a loss due to an accident.

If I get the COVID vaccine, does this impact my benefits coverage?

The COVID-19 vaccination has no impact to your coverage under your benefits plan or any new applications you may apply for with us.

We continue to follow guidance and recommendations from the WHO and the Canadian government, including supporting government-approved vaccines to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

I have just returned from my travels outside of Canada. To enter Canada, I had to get a test to provide proof that I did not have COVID-19. Will the test be covered by my plan? 

Starting January 7, 2021, air travellers five years of age or older are required to provide a negative COVID-19 test result conducted within 72 hours of departure to the airline prior to boarding international flights bound for Canada.

COVID-19 tests completed for travel purposes (entry/departure) will not be covered under the plan.

I had a medical emergency during my trip out-of-country and I was tested for COVID-19. Will the test be covered under the plan?

If your medical emergency care included diagnostic testing (e.g. COVID 19 testing), this may be covered by your plan.

Members, who are out-of-country and have specific coverage questions related to an illness/treatment, should contact Allianz for coverage details.

I want to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Will my plan cover the cost of the vaccine?

On December 10, 2020, the federal government announced that they will cover the cost of COVID-19 vaccines for Canadians who receive the vaccine in Canada. Therefore, the cost of the vaccine will not be covered by your plan whether you got the vaccine in Canada or while travelling.

If I got the COVID-19 vaccine in Canada before I left on my trip and then I had a reaction to the vaccine and had to be hospitalized, will I be covered under the plan?

If you were medically stable prior to your trip, (i.e. you were not tested for COVID 90 days before your trip) and during your trip you had a reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine that was administered in Canada, this would be considered an unexpected illness or emergency. Please contact Allianz as soon as possible. The phone number can be found on the back of your benefits card. It is important to make the call using a landline phone if possible as your mobile phone may not work.

Allianz will assess your claim to determine coverage eligibility.

If I get the COVID-19 vaccine while out-of-country and then I had a reaction to the vaccine and had to be hospitalized. Will I be covered under the plan?

If during your travels, you get the vaccine and have a medical emergency resulting from a reaction to the vaccine:

  • If you are covered under an employee group benefits plan, Allianz will assess your claim to determine coverage eligibility.
  • If you are retired and have coverage under the RTIP/ARM plans, claims will not be covered.

Service Providers and Appointments

What are my practitioners doing to ensure my safety?

Health-care professionals are taking important steps to improve safety considering COVID-19.

Most practitioners are being required to limit the number of in person visits and make modifications to their processes and physical workspaces, including the use of personal protective equipment.

What if I can’t get an appointment with my normal health-care professional or service provider?

If your normal provider is unable to accommodate your need for an appointment, you may select an alternative provider. We encourage you to exercise caution when selecting an alternative provider. Some service providers have been delisted by the insurer, Manulife. This means that claims submitted for services provided by a delisted provider would not be covered under your plan. To view a list of delisted providers:

If you are a member of an employee group benefits plan:

  1. Log in at www.otip.com
  2. Click on My Claims
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and go to the Wellness centre
  4. Click on View list of providers not covered


If you are a retired member with RTIP/ARM health insurance:

  1. Visit www.otip.com and click the Log in button
  2. From the drop-down menu, select RTIP/ARM (for retired members)
  3. Enter your Plan contract and Member certificate numbers, which can be found on your benefits card, as well as the password you created when you registered
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and go to the Wellness centre
  5. Click on View list of providers not covered

 

Are virtual appointments covered under my plan?

We recognize that during these unprecedented times, some service providers are offering virtual appointments to clients. Virtual appointments will be covered under your group benefit plan, provided the practitioner is:

  • Licensed and registered in the province in which they are practicing
  • Providing services within the scope of the provider’s license
  • Practicing within the guidelines of their governing body (i.e. service by phone or other electronic device is approved by the practitioner’s governing board)

Based on the provincial guidelines today, eligible expenses for virtual appointments will be considered for:

  • Dietitian
  • Naturopath
  • Occupational therapist
  • Optometrist
  • Physiotherapist
  • Psychologist
  • Social worker
  • Speech therapist

Please note that guidelines around the type of services allowed as well as specific protocols in providing virtual therapy are variable by governing body. We recommend that you speak with your professional to get clarification on the specific services they can render online.
 

Infectious Disease Emergency Leave

In March 2020, the Government of Ontario introduced a new regulation, Infectious Disease Emergency Leave, under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA), also known as Bill 186.

The Emergency Leave: Declared Emergencies and Infectious Disease Emergencies applies to two categories of reasons for an employee needing to be absent from work: “Declared Emergencies” and “Infectious Disease Emergencies.”

Since the Government of Ontario has designated COVID-19 as an infectious disease, if a member is unable to work due to COVID-19, they can take an unpaid leave. Members can access the leave as long as the reason for taking the leave continues to exist, and the disease remains designated by the regulation.

For members who go on an Emergency Leave: Declared Emergencies and Infectious Disease Emergencies, you will continue to have benefits coverage under your employee group benefits plan, with the same level of funding and coverage you had prior to your leave.

 

Disclaimer:

This FAQ is intended to provide plan members with general information regarding their coverage in relation to COVID-19 inquiries. It is not intended to be comprehensive. If there is discrepancy between the information in this guide and the benefits booklet, the terms and details of the benefits booklet apply. Please refer to your benefits booklet for full plan terms and details or call OTIP Benefits Services at 1-866-783-6847. To email OTIP, please visit the Contact Us page and select ‘send us an online note’ for instructions on how to send a secure email to Benefits Services.

 

 

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