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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?

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

For RTIP 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.

For all other plan members:

Your employee group benefits plan does not include trip cancellation coverage. If you would like trip cancellation coverage, OTIP has partnered with 21st Century Travel Insurance Limited to give you exclusive rates and comprehensive coverage, wherever and whenever you need it.

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.

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 “Travelling? Check your benefits plan Travel Coverage first”.

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 eligible emergency medical treatments. Your benefits booklet contains details about your Emergency Out-of-Country benefits.

Learn more: COVID-19 test and vaccine information

Will my plan cover me if I am placed in a medical quarantine or government imposed lockdown while travelling, but not having a medical emergency?

Your plan does not provide any coverage for trip interruption costs (e.g. accomodations, food or tranportation). This is because the plan is intended to protect you if you have a medical emergancy.

Subject to the terms of your plan/policy, if you or a family member experiences a medical emergency and gets sick while travelling and are quarantined/locked down, you may 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) may 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.

Trip Cancellation

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 Members Only:

Can I cancel my trip due to a 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.

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

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

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

As an RTIP member, your Trip Cancellation coverage 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 plans/policy 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?

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

For RTIP members: 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

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.

Are expenses related to COVID-19 testing covered under my plan?  

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

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.

Please contact your service providers to learn more on what measures they have put in place to protect their patients.

Are virtual appointments covered under my plan?

We recognize that during the COVID-19 pandemic, 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

Visit the Government of Ontario's website for regulations related to Emergency Leaves and available support.

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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