Equitable Life Coronavirus Update – March 13, 2020

Equitable Life Coronavirus Update – March 13, 2020

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread, it’s important that you, your clients and their plan members have the most up-to-date information. We are providing timely updates on any developments that impact your clients and their plan members or their benefits coverage.

Please share this information with your clients. You can direct them to EquitableHealth.ca, where we have posted a version of these updates.

Coronavirus travel coverage*

For groups with Travel Assist coverage

The Public Health Agency of Canada has issued several Travel Health Notices advising Canadians to avoid travel to countries and regions where there have been outbreaks of coronavirus (COVID-19).

A good resource to help your clients and their plan members understand how the spread of the coronavirus may impact their travel plans is the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Coronavirus Travel Advice site. The levels of risk by country and region are regularly updated.

If your clients’ plan members cannot avoid travelling, Public Health recommends they take steps to prevent illness and seek medical attention if they become sick.

Where to find the latest information

The list and level of travel advisories can change at any time. Please check the Government of Canada’s Travel Advisor and Advisory page for the most current information.

If your clients’ plan members have coronavirus symptoms while travelling, please advise them to contact Travel Assist at the numbers listed below for assistance.

Advise plan members to call before they travel

If a plan member is travelling anywhere outside of the province or country and their benefits plan includes Travel Assist, plan administrators should advise them to make sure they’re prepared for a medical emergency by following these steps.

  1. Check the Government of Canada’s Travel Advisor and Advisory page. Note that it is important to click on the country to check whether any specific regions of that country have travel advisories.
  2. If they have questions, they should call Travel Assist before they travel for assistance and benefit information.
  3. Pack their Equitable Life benefits card and provincial health card.
  4. In a medical emergency, call the Travel Assist 24-Hour Hotline:

Allianz Global Assistance administers Equitable Life’s Travel Assist benefits. Allianz has an international network of medical facilities, transportation providers, medical correspondents and multilingual administrative agents who aid with medical, legal and most travel-related emergencies 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

Early prescription refills and drug shortages*

In response to concerns about COVID-19 TELUS Health, our pharmacy benefits manager, has announced it is maintaining its standard rules for refills of medication. Plan members can refill their medications when at least two-thirds of the last dispensed supply has been used.

If plan members need more than the maximum supply allowed on their plan, they must pay out-of-pocket for the excess amount. They can then submit a claim to ask for an exception request.

TELUS is taking this position to help maintain access to medication for all patients. They continue to monitor the situation. We will provide an update if it changes.

Drug shortages

TELUS Health monitors for drug shortages and updates their system for any unavailable drugs. This helps to ensure accurate claims payment. If a referenced lowest-cost generic drug is unavailable, claims for drugs in the class will be paid at the next lowest-cost generic alternative available.

*Indicates content that will be shared with your clients