Employee Benefits COVID-19 Update


Customer Service

We remain deeply committed to maintaining our high standards of service to our clients at all times. Currently, out of an abundance of caution and to encourage social distancing, Western has taken the steps necessary to enable our service team to work seamlessly from home. Please continue to contact your Insurance Advisor directly through email and phone during regular office hours.


If your policy includes Long Term Disability coverage, you have access to the Acumin Business Assistance Program.  Acumin includes a counselling referral component for employees and human resource guidance for managers.

If your policy includes the Arive EAP coverage, employees and dependents have access to additional support through a self-referral counselling process.


Short-term Disability Coverage

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.


Extended Health Coverage

 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.


Online Services Available

 As a reminder, plan administrators and employees have access to the following services:

  • Online plan administration
  • Online claims submission and direct deposit for employees
  • Pre-authorized debit or online payment for monthly premium
  • Coverage booklet


If you are not signed up for these services please contact your Insurance Advisor for more information. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us.