As COVID-19 Continues To Evolve,
We Are Here To Help.
The continued spread of COVID-19 has forced communities, businesses and governments to adjust to an ever-changing reality. From cancelled conferences to the closing of businesses, COVID-19 has brought a period of uncertainty to the entire Canadian business community. We want to ensure that we are providing you with the latest information, guidance, and resources as the COVID-19 situation evolves.
Our Service Teams
We have taken measures to ensure that all our employees are available to provide continued service during this period of uncertainty. We are confident that these measures will allow us to carry on our normal business operations during our regular office hours of 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Central Standard Time, Monday to Friday.
Frequently Asked Questions
In anticipation of a temporary reduction in claims activity, we are pleased to announce a premium reduction for dental and health coverage for TotalGuard members. Faced with the question of whether to provide reductions now or through renewal next year, we determined that an immediate cost relief would be the most impactful approach.
We are implementing the following premium reductions effective April 1:
- A 50% reduction in dental premium
- A 10% reduction in health premium, including vision and drugs
Premium credits will be applied automatically to your June invoice and will include a credit for April premium. The rate reductions are intended to be a temporary measure and we will continue to review the premium relief on a monthly basis as we monitor the impact of COVID-19.
Postponement of June 1 Renewal
As an additional measure of our support, we are postponing the upcoming June 2020 renewal until further notice. Your premium will not change on June 1 and you will continue to be invoiced at your existing rates. We realize that this situation is evolving daily and your insurance advisor is available to discuss any concerns you may have.
Many of our clients have inquired whether their policy would cover them in the event of a business interruption related to COVID-19. The short answer is that there is generally no coverage under most insurance policies for losses from the COVID-19 pandemic. Each case may be different so please reach out to your Insurance Advisor for more details about your specific circumstance.
The Government of Canada has announced a variety of supports for Canadian businesses that have been impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more about these support initiatives available please visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html. In addition, each province has outlined support for businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
We strongly encourage clients to document any changes made to their current business operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Supporting documentation will almost certainly help expedite any future applications for government support. Documentation should include any additional costs of using a substitute supplier or a cost of changing operations to continue in business, including modifications in process or materials used or change in business plan.
Past emergency government support initiatives, such as for the 2013 flooding event in Calgary, have included provisions requiring businesses to have documentation showcasing that they were unable to secure compensation from their insurance provider. While the Government of Canada has not yet released the requirements for their proposed support initiatives, we are operating under the assumption that this standard will be continued. Should filling a claim become necessary our Insurance Advisors will work with you to guide you through the process.
If an employee is diagnosed (positive COVID-19 test), is symptomatic and disabled, we will waive the waiting period, regardless of contract wording on hospitalization. The same would apply to an individual who has a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis and required to be medically quarantined for 14 days.
If an employee is symptomatic but has not been tested for COVID-19, the employee can apply for STD benefits and the contractual waiting period would apply. If the employee is not able to work at home and if found to be disabled (symptoms would need to restrict the employee from their job duties), STD would be eligible.
If an employee has no symptoms but is told to quarantine by a government or a healthcare professional, they would be asked to work from home if possible. If work from home is not possible, STD does not cover this type of absence and this employee would be directed to Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits.
If your plan includes Extended Health Care there are some important features that may be eligible for COVID-19 related illness including, prescription drugs, medical items & supplies and hospitalization. For specific details on your policy please contact your Insurance Advisor.
Currently, people who take maintenance drugs can get up to 90 days of supply. There is no industry recommendation to change this policy to protect the drug supply and ensure all Canadians have access to prescriptions when they need them. Pharmacies are also providing delivery service in the event an employee is unable to pick up their medication.
Government of Canada Resources
Canada Emergency Response Benefit
The Federal Government has introduced the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) to aid those impacted by COVID-19. The CERB benefit will ensure that employees who may not have met the requirements of EI still receive an income while on temporary leave. To simplify the application, the CERB has been incorporated into the original Employment Insurance (EI) application.
COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool
The Canadian government has launched an online self-assessment tool to help Canadians who may be experiencing symtoms of COVID-19. The tool will walk you through a series of questions. Depending on what symptoms you report, you will be advised to either visit an emergency room, call telehealth or self-isolate at home.
Stronger Minds by BEACON is a free digital program for all Canadians – to support your mental well-being through the COVID-19 crisis. With Stronger Minds, participants get day-to-day guidance from the extensive BEACON team of clinical psychologists. Videos, quick reads and resilience-building activities help you learn how to protect your mental well-being through these times.