2020

February 05, 2020

Update on the current Coronavirus outbreak

News of the Coronavirus (CoV) is dominating the headlines. Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases.

At Sun Life, we are monitoring the situation very closely and taking precautionary measures with our own employees. We are reviewing our processes and procedures in conjunction with the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA), and will adjust as necessary.

Extended Health Care (EHC) and Out of Country Coverage (OOC)

When it comes to EHC and OOC, we will be treating illness due to the Coronavirus as any other medical emergency. This means there is no exclusion to treating someone because this is an epidemic vs. another type of medical emergency.

We will be applying the following administrative exceptions to claims incurred on or after February 1, 2020 related to the Coronavirus.

  1. Plan members who are placed under quarantine by a medical doctor or public health official are considered eligible under our OOC and Emergency travel assistance benefit from the start of the quarantine period. We will waive the medical orders requirement for this illness only, if the plan member is travelling in an area that has been identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a high risk for Coronavirus. We will cover expenses for accommodations and meals, and replacement of a lost return ticket back to their home province caused by the delay, subject to any limitations in the contract.
  1. For plan members travelling in an area that is identified by WHO as high risk, who are not permitted to return home to Canada because public health officials have placed the area in quarantine due to Coronavirus, we will cover expenses for accommodations and meals, and replacement of a lost return ticket back to their home province caused by the delay, subject to any limitations in the contract.

Short-term Disability (STD)

At this time, there are no changes to our current Short-Term Disability (STD) process for flu-related illnesses. However, on an administrative basis, for plan members who are placed under quarantine by a medical doctor or public health official, who are symptom free and not able to work from home, we will consider paying STD benefits from the start of the quarantine period. The quarantine needs to be medically directed, in order for us to consider paying under the STD plan. 

You can find updates from the Government of Canada here.

We will continue to keep you updated as the situation evolves.

Questions?

Please contact your Sun Life Group Retirement Services representative.