Novel Coronavirus: Information for plan members
The Novel Coronavirus has generated significant media attention since the first identified cases were confirmed in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China in late December.
Since then, many Canadian travellers have reconsidered their travel plans to reduce their risk of exposure to the virus.
OTIP cares about the health and well-being of our members and has compiled information to help keep you informed. Please review our FAQ below for important information, including travel tips if you’re considering a trip abroad.
For the latest information on this developing situation, please visit the Government of Canada’s website: www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html.
What is the Novel Coronavirus?
The 2019 Novel Coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV, is a new respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified.
What are the symptoms?
Common symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing.
Currently, there is no specific treatment or vaccine available.
What can you do to prevent the spread of the virus?
- Wash your hands often with soap under warm running water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing.
- Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
Should you avoid travel to affected regions?
It is recommended that you avoid travel to affected regions. Reconsider any non-essential travel to regions where the Novel Coronavirus has been reported.
Visit the Government of Canada’s website for the latest travel advice.
What travel coverage do you have?
If you are a member of an employee group benefits plan, please review our article “Going out of country? Take your benefits card with you” for specific information on your out-of-country travel coverage, including what to do if you need medical attention while travelling abroad.
If you are a retired member with RTIP or ARM insurance, please review the details of what’s covered in your deluxe travel insurance on our website.
What happens if you get sick while travelling abroad?
In the event of an illness or medical emergency, you, your family member or travelling companion 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 “Going out of country? Take your benefits card with you”.