Out-of-country coverage

Out-of-country coverage

Updated: January 25, 2021

Some plan members may be thinking about travelling this winter. It’s important that you and your plan members understand their Out-of-Country coverage. This includes how it applies to COVID-19. 

  • Travel advisories: We strongly encourage you to check the Government of Canada Travel Advisory website before deciding to leave Canada. The Government is advising Canadians to avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada. Some borders could close as the COVID-19 situation changes. In such a case, you could have your coverage end while you are still abroad. This is why it’s important you know your trip time limit.
  • COVID-19 tests: Travellers over 5 years old must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test before boarding a flight to Canada. Travellers must take the test within 72 hours of boarding a flight to Canada. 
    Sun Life won’t cover the cost of COVID-19 tests under travel insurance benefits. This is because we don’t consider it treatment for a medical emergency. 
  • Trip time limit: The standard trip time limit in your contract applies. You need to check your contract to make sure your trip falls within these limits. We won't extend your trip time limit, even if you experience restrictions when travelling home.
  • COVID-19 coverage in place: We’ll treat medical emergencies caused by COVID-19 in the same way we treat others that occur outside Canada. If any employee misses a flight because they can’t get a test for COVID-19 before departure, we won't:
    • cover the cost of the missed flight or other related expenses

Please share this updated plan member communication with your employees. It outlines what they need to know if they plan to travel abroad during this pandemic.

Updated: July 23, 2020

Plan members may have a dependent who is, or will be, studying abroad. Based on travel advisories from the Government of Canada, here’s how we’re handling medical emergency coverage for students.

  • Students with an approved extension. If we’ve approved a request for an extension of medical emergency coverage, we’ll continue to honour their extension. We outlined the coverage period in their approval letter from us. 
  • Students without an approved extension. These students have coverage for the trip duration limit outlined in the contract. For now, we’re not extending coverage beyond the trip duration limit. This is due to various travel advisories from the Government of Canada.

When the Government lifts the travel advisories, you can submit an extension request using our Continuation of coverage smart form. You can find the latest version of the smart form:

  • on our Plan Sponsor Site, or
  • by sending an email to your Group Benefits Representative

For all students, coverage ends on the date they reach the dependent student age limit. Your contract outlines this age limit.

It’s essential plan members know their coverage details before their dependent studies abroad. This plan member communication, How we’re handling medical emergency coverage for studentsoutlines important information about leaving Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. At this time, we’ll continue to treat a COVID-19 medical emergency the same way as any other medical emergency outside of Canada. We encourage you to share this communication with plan members.

We’ve updated the Out Of Country FAQ to help answer your questions.