Frequently Asked Questions: COVID-19 & Travel

Important information regarding travel during COVID-19:

Before planning your trip out of Canada, consult the Government of Canada’s travel advice and advisories specific to your destination. As the health situation remains uncertain, entry requirements for your destination could change at any time. Be prepared and verify what requirements are in place at your destination in order to prepare for your trip.

Coverage for COVID-19 – December 15, 2021: The Government of Canada has reinstated it’s advisory to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada. Should you need to travel out of country, the Emergency Medical Care benefits under all our standard travel insurance solutions provide coverage for COVID-19 related care at your destination, provided the covered traveler has not tested positive or experienced symptoms of the virus in the 90 days prior to their departure. Please click here for Travel Plan coverage details.

If you need written proof of your insurance coverage for COVID-19:

For Individual or Annual plan policyholders: You will find this information in the last section of your travel insurance certificate.

For VIP Travel or Group plan members: Please contact us to obtain proof of coverage.

Know before you go.

Saskatchewan Blue Cross travel plans include Emergency Medical Care coverage of up to $5,000,000, including for COVID-19.  Other carrier travel policies may only provide limited coverage for COVID-19, as low as $100,000, which may not cover the cost of care at your destination. Be sure to clarify the details of your policy before you leave home. Make sure to ask questions to get a clear understanding of what coverage maximums are, what medical and non-medical expenses a plan covers, and to ensure you’re adequately protected for the destination you’re travelling to.

General Travel Insurance Information

Does Saskatchewan Blue Cross travel insurance cover COVID-19 related illnesses? Icon/UI/plus-circle

Yes, the Emergency Medical Care benefits provided under all our standard travel insurance solutions provide coverage for COVID-19 related care at destination, provided the covered traveler has not tested positive or experienced symptoms of the virus in the 90 days prior to their departure. This includes our Annual and Individual Travel Plans, the optional VIP Travel Benefits under our Personal Health Plans, and the Outside Province of Residence Travel Benefits under our Group Benefit Plans.

Does Saskatchewan Blue Cross travel insurance exclude specific destinations from COVID-19 coverage? Icon/UI/plus-circle

No, specific destinations are not excluded from COVID-19 coverage at this time.

Is the level of coverage sufficient to cover the treatment of COVID-19 in a foreign hospital? Icon/UI/plus-circle

The Emergency Medical Care benefits provided under all of our standard travel insurance solutions provide up to $5,000,000 of overall coverage for hospitalization fees, physician and health care professional fees, emergency transportation costs, and more  - COVID-19 related care at destination is included in the overall Emergency Medical Care coverage and is not restricted to a separate maximum or limitation.

Will Saskatchewan Blue Cross travel insurance cover any side effects of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine while on a trip? Icon/UI/plus-circle

Yes, the Emergency Medical Care benefits provided under all our standard travel insurance solutions provide coverage for sudden and unforeseen illnesses or accidents requiring immediate treatment – should you require urgent medical care due to complications or side effects of receiving the vaccine, this would represent a covered medical emergency, subject to all other important policy terms, limitations, and exclusions.

Will Saskatchewan Blue Cross travel insurance cover the cost of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine while on a trip? Icon/UI/plus-circle

No, the Emergency Medical Care benefits provided under all our standard travel insurance solutions provide coverage for sudden and unforeseen illnesses or accidents requiring immediate treatment – the cost of receiving the preventive vaccine would not be covered, as it does not represent urgent medical care following a sudden illness.

Will Saskatchewan Blue Cross travel insurance cover meals & accommodations if I test positive and have to remain at my destination beyond my planned return date? Icon/UI/plus-circle

All our standard travel insurance solutions provide coverage for extra costs of commercial accommodations and meals resulting from a delayed return trip due to a sudden and unforeseen illness or accident requiring immediate treatment.

If you have been placed in quarantine beyond your planned return date due to a positive COVID-19 screening test for air travel or government regulation, coverage for meals and accommodations is not available. Please contact our Travel Assistance Provider using the phone numbers indicated on your coverage/identification card.

If you have been placed in quarantine beyond your planned return date due to a positive COVID-19 test, and require immediate treatment for the management of your symptoms and medical condition, coverage for meals and accommodations is available – these benefits are generally limited to a maximum reimbursement, and we recommend you review your Policy or Benefits Booklet for specific policy terms, limitations, and exclusions.

Will Saskatchewan Blue Cross travel insurance cover a new airline ticket or date change for an existing one if I test positive and have to remain at my destination beyond my planned return date? Icon/UI/plus-circle

No, our standard travel insurance solutions do not provide coverage for trip interruption benefits of this nature.

Will Saskatchewan Blue Cross travel insurance cover COVID-19 screening tests for governmental entry/exit requirements? Icon/UI/plus-circle

No, the Emergency Medical Care benefits provided under all our standard travel insurance solutions provide coverage for sudden and unforeseen illnesses or accidents requiring immediate treatment – as COVID-19 screening tests for air travel or government regulation are not required due to illness, costs related to obtaining a PCR test and results abroad are not covered under these benefits.

Does Saskatchewan Blue Cross travel insurance cover COVID-19 and all other health emergencies? Icon/UI/plus-circle

Yes, the Emergency Medical Care benefits provided under all our standard travel insurance solutions provide coverage for sudden and unforeseen illnesses or accidents requiring immediate treatment, subject to important policy terms, limitations, and exclusions. We want you to understand (and it is in your best interests to know) what your plan includes, what it excludes, and what is limited (payable but with limits). Please take time to read through your Policy or Benefits Booklet before you travel.

Annual & Individual Travel Plans

Does the Emergency Medical Care benefit cover the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine while on a trip? Icon/UI/plus-circle

Emergency Medical Care insurance covers urgent care necessary to stabilize a medical condition following an accident or sudden illness. If such care is required during your trip due to side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine, you will be covered as long as you meet the pre-existing conditions requirements.

If you are concerned about the possible side effects, we urge you to consult health authority recommendations or to discuss them with your healthcare professional prior to receiving the vaccine.

If the government were to close the borders again, would you cover the costs of extending the trip, possible quarantine abroad or return to Canada? Icon/UI/plus-circle

Our responsibility is to advise and support our clients, while respecting the restrictions imposed by the various governments. Please note that:

  • Subsistence allowance does not cover expenses related to preventive or mandatory quarantine before returning tonthe country, on site or upon arrival at the destination.
  • Subsistence allowance expenses may be covered when a traveller must delay their return due to a medical emergency, including a medical emergency related to COVID-19.
  • A medical emergency means the person is suffering from serious symptoms that require medical attention and possibly repatriation.
  • We do not cover quarantine fees upon return to the country.

We advise all our clients to call us in case of any doubt or if their situation changes. Options to extend insurance coverage may be considered if a person becomes stranded abroad

 

How do government announcements related to essential travel affect your policies? Icon/UI/plus-circle

We are monitoring the recommendations of the Government of Canada and World Health Organization, as well as the global situation regarding the spread of the virus. The Emergency Medical Care benefit covers COVID-19 unless it is considered a pre-existing condition prior to departure.

I need written proof of your insurance coverage for COVID-19. What do I need to do? Icon/UI/plus-circle

You will find written proof of your insurance coverage for COVID-19 in the last section of your travel insurance certificate.

Is the Omicron variant covered by my travel insurance? Icon/UI/plus-circle

We would like to reassure all our clients regarding their travel insurance coverage. The Emergency Medical Care benefit covers COVID-19 and its variants, including Omicron, unless it is considered a pre-existing condition prior to departure.

What happens if I don’t get tested for COVID-19 before my return date? Icon/UI/plus-circle

Please consult the website of the Government of Canada to get the latest information on this subject.

Can Travel Assistance help me find a place where I can be tested for COVID-19 while on a trip? Icon/UI/plus-circle

We recommend that you contact the local health authorities for the most up-to-date information in your location. Travel Assistance is available 24/7 to help you in the event of an emergency during your trip. However, we cannot guarantee that this service will have access to all the information regarding the COVID-19 testing centres at your destination.

Does Emergency Medical Care cover the cost of getting tested for COVID-19 while on a trip? Icon/UI/plus-circle

No. Emergency Medical Care only covers diagnostic costs when prescribed by a doctor following a medical emergency or sudden illness. A test to comply with a government requirement is not considered a medical emergency.

Does Emergency Medical Care cover the cost of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine while on a trip? Icon/UI/plus-circle

No. The Emergency Medical Care benefit does not cover preventive care (e.g., vaccines). It only covers urgent medical care required following an accident or sudden illness.

I was denied boarding on my flight back to Canada. Will the Emergency Medical Care benefit cover my expenses for subsistence allowance if I need to extend my trip? Icon/UI/plus-circle

The Emergency Medical Care benefit covers expenses for subsistence allowance only in the event of a medical emergency.

If you are denied boarding your flight, contact our Travel Assistance to request an extension of your insurance. The numbers to reach this 24/7 service are as follows:

  • From Canada or the United States: 1-800-361-6068 (toll free)
  • From Mexico: 01 800 062-3174 (toll free)
  • From the Dominican Republic: 1-800-203-9666 (toll free)
  • From anywhere else in the world: 1-800-7328-7473 (toll free) or 514-286-8411 (collect)

*The Government of Canada requires all travellers to provide a mandatory negative result from a recent COVID-19 test. Click here for
more details.

Am I covered if I decide to travel outside of my province of residence even if a warning to avoid non-essential travel is in place? Icon/UI/plus-circle

All Annual and Individual Travel Plans include the Emergency Medical Care benefit and 24/7 access to Travel Assistance. If you should contract the COVID-19 virus while travelling, the Emergency Medical Care benefit will cover you for as long as your contract is in effect.

It is important to note that given the magnitude of the crisis, the reduced availability of medical resources around the world and the measures taken by different countries to limit the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, our assistance service is very limited in its ability to assist people in emergency situations abroad.

All travellers should be aware that there are health risks when you travel. We would generally advocate reconsidering your travel plans in order to protect the health of travellers and the Canadian public; however we understand that some travel may be necessary.

Can I extend my insurance contract if I am unable to return home as planned due to travel restrictions? Icon/UI/plus-circle

If you must extend your stay due to a situation beyond your control, promptly contact our customer service department at 1-833-729-0186 if you are in Canada or USA or 1-306-518-0145 (collect) from any other country to find out if you are eligible for a contract extension. Make sure you contact us before the expiry date of your contract. Please note that any request to extend your coverage will be subject to our approval.

What should I do if I contract COVID-19 or I get sick while travelling? Icon/UI/plus-circle

If you experience symptoms associated with COVID-19 or have a medical emergency abroad:
Contact Blue Cross Travel Assistance Services immediately. The numbers to reach this 24/7 service are 1-833-729-0186 (toll-free) from Canada or the United States or 1-306-518-0145 (collect) from any other country.

If you cannot reach Blue Cross Travel Assistance Services, do what is medically necessary to stabilize your situation (e.g., go to a nearby hospital or contact local emergency services). Once you have been taken care of, call Blue Cross Travel Assistance Services as soon as possible.

Please note that you are not covered for emergency medical care if you have tested positive for COVID-19 or are showing symptoms prior departure.

Am I covered if I am quarantined during my trip? Icon/UI/plus-circle

If you need to extend your trip as a result of being quarantined, contact us at 1-800-667-6853 or 306-244-1192.

*The Government of Canada requires all travellers to provide a mandatory negative result from a recent COVID-19 test. Click here for more details.

Can you send me a letter proving that you cover expenses related to COVID-19? Icon/UI/plus-circle

If such a document is requested by a government authority, contact our customer service department at 1-833-729-0186 if you are in Canada or USA or 1-306-518-0145 (collect) from any other country.

Can I change the dates of my individual travel insurance contract? Icon/UI/plus-circle

To change the dates of your individual travel insurance contract, please contact our customer service department at 1-306-244-1192 or the authorized representative (broker) that sold you the contract before the effective date of your contract.

I need to extend my trip because I tested positive for COVID-19. Will my contract be extended automatically? Icon/UI/plus-circle

If you need to extend your trip, contact us to find out if you are eligible for a contract extension at 1-800-667-6853 or 306-244-1192.

*The Government of Canada requires all travellers to provide a mandatory negative result from a recent COVID-19 test. Click here for more details.

I extended my contract due to quarantine and my symptoms worsened. Will I be covered for COVID-19 during this period? Icon/UI/plus-circle

If you have been placed in quarantine due to a positive COVID-19 test and require emergency medical attention for this reason, contact our Travel Assistance. The numbers to reach this 24/7 service are as follows:

  • From Canada or the United States: 1-800-361-6068 (toll free)
  • From Mexico: 01 800 062-3174 (toll free)
  • From the Dominican Republic: 1-800-203-9666 (toll free)
  • From anywhere else in the world: 1-800-7328-7473 (toll free) or 514-286-8411 (collect)

VIP Travel Plans & Group/Employer Plans

I’m going to be travelling outside Canada. Will I have emergency medical coverage? Icon/UI/plus-circle

The VIP Travel Optional Benefits under our Blue Choice and Conversion plans and our standard Outside Province of Residence travel benefits under our Group plans will provide Emergency Medical Care coverage for both domestic and international travel, including for COVID-related care at destination*. If you should contract the COVID-19 virus while travelling, the Emergency Medical Care benefits will cover you, provided you have not tested positive for COVID-19 or have shown symptoms of the virus in the 90 days prior to your departure.

It is important to note, access to medical care could be limited in some countries due to COVID-19 and its variants. The availability of health services may vary from one country to the next and the situation is changing every day. Our travel assistance service is there to help you get the assistance you need to find the right care.

*Important: The VIP Travel Optional Benefit contains an exclusion for any expenses incurred in a country, region or city where a travel warning of ‘Avoid non-essential travel’ (Level 3) or ‘Avoid all travel’ (Level 4) was in place prior to the date of departure. As of October 1, 2020, an exception has been made to this rule in the case of the COVID-19 pandemic only. If there is a Level 3 or 4 warning advising against travel for your destination for any reason other than the COVID-19 pandemic, you will not have emergency medical care coverage when travelling to that destination. Please refer to the Government of Canada’s Travel Advisories page to check advisories for reasons other than COVID-19 for your destination.

What should I do if I become ill while travelling? Icon/UI/plus-circle

Contact our Travel Assistance Provider using the phone numbers below within 24 hours of your medical emergency to open a case.

  • Toll-Free within North America 1-866-330-3633 (if unavailable, please call the number below)
  • Collect in all other locations 1-306-667-5299

For more information on what to do if you experience a medical emergency while travelling visit our Travel Assistance and Claims information.

Please note that you are not covered for Emergency Medical Care if you have tested positive for COVID-19 or are showing symptoms within 90 days prior to departure.

Can I extend my insurance contract if I am unable to return home as planned due to travel restrictions? Icon/UI/plus-circle

If you must extend your stay due to a situation beyond your control, promptly contact our customer service department at 1-800-667-6853 or 306-244-1192 to find out if you are eligible for a contract extension. Make sure you contact us before the expiry date of your contract. Please note that any request to extend your coverage will be subject to our approval.

I’m a truck driver. Do I still have emergency medical coverage while working across the border? Icon/UI/plus-circle

The commercial trucking industry and truck drivers are deemed essential to bringing goods and supplies across our borders and your emergency medical coverage will not be impacted.

Am I covered by trip cancellation insurance? Icon/UI/plus-circle

Saskatchewan Blue Cross travel plans do not currently include trip cancellation insurance.

I have VIP Travel Benefits as part of my Blue Choice or Conversion personal health plan. Can I switch to an Annual Travel Plan? Icon/UI/plus-circle

The VIP Travel Benefit is a preferred travel product that is part of our Personal Health Plan options. VIP Travel is a comprehensive product that provides coverage for travel both internationally and within Canada, including coverage for COVID-19. If you have any questions about your coverage, we encourage you to reach out to our office. Our Customer Service Representatives are here to help with any questions you may have and to help you make the right choice for your needs.

What happens if I am quarantined at my travel destination? Icon/UI/plus-circle

In the event you are unable to return to Canada due to quarantine,  we will automatically extend the travel insurance coverage of insured members who are quarantined due to the COVID-19 pandemic and whose contract was in effect on the date the quarantine began.

We define a quarantine as being the isolation, for a determined period, of a sick or potentially infected individual to limit the transmission of a contagious disease.

To be considered “in quarantine” you must therefore be:

  • Potentially infected or infected with COVID-19.
  • Placed in isolation for a period determined by the health authorities (often 14 days) in order to protect the health of the population.

If you are placed in quarantine, your coverage will be extended free of charge until 72 hours after the end of the quarantine or until you return to your province of residence, whichever comes first.