Frequently Asked Questions: COVID-19 & Travel

Important information regarding travel during COVID-19:

Although the Government of Canada is still advising against non-essential travel at this time, we recognize that you may require out-of-country medical coverage for essential travel. Please review the guidelines set by the Government of Canada’s Travel Advice and Advisories page before you leave the country to ensure you have the most up-to-date information before travelling.

Have a question you don't see the answer to? Contact us.

Update - February 17, 2021: Please note that the Government of Canada has announced that as of now, all travellers entering Canada at the land border will also have to provide a negative result for a COVID-19 test taken within the last 72 hours. For more information on this subject, please contact us at 1-800-667-6853 or 306-244-1192.

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General Travel Insurance Information
  • Does Saskatchewan Blue Cross travel insurance cover COVID-19 related illnesses?

    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?

    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?

    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. 

  • Does Saskatchewan Blue Cross travel insurance cover COVID-19 and all other health emergencies?

    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.

  • Will Saskatchewan Blue Cross travel insurance cover COVID-19 screening tests for governmental entry/exit requirements?

    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. 

  • 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?

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

  • 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?

    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. Exceptions may apply if you are travelling as an essential worker or if you were travelling before the Government of Canada implemented the mandatory testing requirements for air travelers returning to Canada effective January 7, 2021 – 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 the cost of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine while on a trip?

    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 any side effects of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine while on a trip?

    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.

    

Annual & Individual Travel Plans
  • 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?

    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 and you are an essential worker travelling as part of your duties or have purchased your Individual or Annual contract before January 7, 2021*, 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)

    *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?

    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)
  • I need to extend my trip because I tested positive for COVID-19. Will my contract be extended automatically

    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. 

    However, if you are denied boarding your flight and you are an essential worker travelling as part of your duties or have purchased your Individual or Annual contract before January 7, 2021*, your contract will be automatically extended for up to 72 hours following the end of your quarantine or until you return to your province of residence.

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

  • What happens if I don’t get tested for COVID-19 before my return date?

    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?

    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?

    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?

    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. 

  • Does the Emergency Medical Care benefit cover the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine while on a trip?

    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.

  • Am I covered if I decide to travel outside of my province of residence even though a warning to avoid non-essential travel is in place?

    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?

    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?

    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?

    Yes, we 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. 
    Make sure to contact our customer service department before the expiry date of your individual travel insurance contract to extend your coverage. You can reach us at:

    • 1-833-729-0186 if you are in Canada or USA 
    • 1-306-518-0145 (collect) from any other country
  • Can you send me a letter proving that you cover expenses related to COVID-19?

    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?

    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.

    

VIP Travel Plans & Group/Employer Plans
  • I’m going to be travelling outside Canada. Will I have emergency medical coverage?

    VIP Travel Plans

    As of October 1, 2020*, the VIP Travel Optional Benefits under our Blue Choice and Conversion 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 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. While our coverage will protect you against medical expenses for COVID-19 while travelling internationally, we recommend adhering to advice of the Government of Canada by avoiding non-essential travel outside of Canada in order to protect the health of travellers and the Canadian public.

    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. 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. 

    *Prior to October 1, 2020, the VIP Travel Benefits offered coverage for travel within Canada only.

    Group/Employer Plans:

    While our standard Outside Province of Residence Travel Benefits under our Group Plans do not include an exclusion in relation to travel advisories, and will protect you against medical expenses for COVID-19 while travelling within Canada and internationally, we recommend adhering to advice of the Government of Canada by avoiding non-essential travel outside of Canada in order to protect the health of travellers and the Canadian public.

    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 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.

  • What should I do if I become ill while travelling?

    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?

    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.

  • What happens if I am quarantined at my travel destination?

    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.

  • I have VIP Travel Benefits as part of my Blue Choice or Conversion personal health plan. Can I switch to an Annual Travel Plan?

    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. 

  • Am I covered by trip cancellation insurance?

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

  • I'm a truck driver. Do I still have emergency medical coverage while working across the border?

    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.