During the current COVID-19 pandemic, you and your employees may have questions about how to use your benefits plan and what other resources are available during this time. This document provides some of the resources that are available through your benefits carrier, as well as the provincial and federal governments. Please keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list – there are many more programs and resources available through your community and our various levels of government. Please don’t forget to log in to your insurance company’s plan member website – these are updated frequently and include many great links and information to help you during this difficult time.
SEEING A DOCTOR
Although doctor offices are closed to physical visits, your family doctor may be able to provide consultation using telephone or video. Please contact your physician’s office to see if this is an available option.
If you or your loved ones do not have a family doctor, use one of the following websites/apps to book a virtual appointment with a physician at your convenience.
- Babylon by TELUS Health (free in BC, Alberta, Ontario with a valid health card)
- Medimap (free in BC, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario with a valid health card)
- Tia Health (free in BC, Alberta, Ontario with a valid health card. Available to other provinces at your own cost)
- Lumeca (free in Saskatchewan with a valid health card)
HEALTH AND DENTAL EXPENSES
Medical and dental expenses are still covered within the terms of the contract and your insurance carrier will continue to pay eligible claims. Some health and dental care professionals have ceased to provide services or are limited to providing emergency services only, while some professionals have adapted their services to offer them virtually, when possible. Please check with your provider for details.
If your provider is accommodating services virtually, these expenses may continue to be eligible under your group plan. Please contact the insurance company (phone number at the back of your drug/ID card) or log into your online member profile for more details.
YOUR PRESCRIPTION CLAIMS
Many pharmacies now provide the option of mailing your prescription to your home, reducing the need for you to visit the pharmacy to pick up your prescription. Please check with your local pharmacy to see if this option is available to you. Note that if there are delivery charges, these would likely not be covered by your benefits plan.
Many patients on regular maintenance medications typically get a three-month supply when they go to the pharmacy. Over the last few weeks, many patients have been receiving only 30 days of their medicine. The decision by most pharmacists in B.C. and across Canada to do this is driven by the need to ensure that there is a reliable supply of medications over the next few months for as many patients as possible.
GOING ONLINE FOR YOUR HEALTH AND DENTAL CLAIMS
Please remember to go digital and submit claims online and have your reimbursement deposited directly to your bank account:
- If you haven’t done so already, register for your insurance carrier’s online website for online claims submission and sign up for direct deposit to have your claim payments deposited directly into your bank account
- Download your insurance carrier’s mobile app or visit their mobile website for easy access to online claiming
- If you’ve already registered for your insurance carrier’s online website, please sign in and ensure that your banking information is updated
MANAGING STRESS, ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION
Many provinces and territories have developed websites dedicated to providing facts, news, information and links to various services that can offer you emotional and mental support during these challenging times. Below are some links applicable to each province and territory:
Alberta – Help in Tough Times
British – Columbia Managing Your Health
Manitoba – Be Well
New Brunswick – Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19
Newfoundland – Mental Health and Wellness
Northwest Territories – Mental Health Resources for COVID-19
Nova Scotia – COVID-19: Mental Health and Well-being
Nunavut – Managing Anxiety and Stress During COVID-19
Ontario – COVID-19: Support for People
Prince Edward Island – Mental Health Programs From Your Home
Quebec – Stress, Anxiety and Depression Associated with COVID-19
Saskatchewan – Mental Health and COVID-19
Yukon – COVID-19 Counselling and Crisis Support
National – Anxiety Canada
National – Canadian Mental Health Association
National – Kids Help Phone
National – Wellness Together Canada
If your benefits plan includes an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), please reach out to your provider whether by phone, online or mobile app. Many articles are available to you, including helpful tips on self-isolation, speaking to your children about COVID-19 and more. If you’d like to speak to a clinical counsellor about your particular situation, you may also connect with your EAP program to speak to a counsellor virtually.
OTHER RESOURCES AVAILABLE THROUGH OUR COMMUNITY AND GOVERNMENT
Each province and territory’s government website offers a variety of information and resources ranging from financial support to childcare options. Please visit your government’s website for more information on the support available to you and your family.
For additional information and self-assessment, the following COVID-19 Support App is available to you in partnership with Health Canada: Health Canada Thrive App.
Each province and territory offers phone-based health services to address non-life-threatening concerns. These phone lines provide free, confidential advice from a registered nurse 24/7. The nurse will ask you questions, assess your symptoms and determine the best care for you. Some of these services are in high demand and wait times may be longer than usual. Check the website for your province or territory’s health services for more information.
In a medical emergency call 911 immediately.
Should you have any questions on the above, please don’t hesitate to reach out to a member of your ZLC service team.
Written By Judy Leung,
Account Executive & Manager, Employee Benefits
This information is designed to educate and inform you of strategies and products currently available. As each individual’s circumstances differ, it is important to review the suitability of these concepts for your particular needs with a qualified advisor.