PSHCP COVID-19 update

On March 24, 2020, the Government of Canada implemented temporary changes to the Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP) in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The temporary changes to the PSHCP affect the following provisions:

  • Emergency Benefit While Travelling
  • Drug Benefit
  • Medical Practitioners Benefit

For more information on these changes, please visit the Government of Canada website.

Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP) members who experience a medical emergency while travelling will continue to be covered for up to C$500,000 per participant for eligible emergency medical expenses in excess of the amount payable by a province or territory to treat an injury or disease that occurs within 40 days from the date of departure. This includes coverage for any member that contracts COVID-19 at their destination unless the Government of Canada issued a travel advisory related to COVID-19 before the member’s departure date that advised against non-essential travel or all travel for the destination. The Government of Canada instituted an all-countries advisory effective March 14, 2020. Visit the  Government of Canada travel advisories page for the latest updates. In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Government of Canada also made temporary changes to the Emergency Benefit while Travelling clause of the PSHCP. Visit the government’s Pension and Benefits page for more information.

While the plan contains an Emergency Benefit while Travelling clause, it does not contain a travel insurance component. Therefore, travel expenses that result from trip cancellations or changes will not be reimbursed. Additionally, expenses incurred as a result of a quarantine are also ineligible for reimbursement if the plan participant is later found not to have contracted a disease, including a disease such as COVID-19. Federal Retirees members who have MEDOC travel insurance with our Preferred Partner Johnson should visit its COVID-19 website for the latest information on changes in coverage.

Since PSHCP  benefits become payable for eligible products and services after government medical assistance, such as provincial and territorial health care benefits, are exhausted, should a plan member find themselves in a location where the Government of Canada arranges transportation back to Canada for all Canadians quarantined in that locality, the Emergency Travel Assistance Services provision under the PSHCP will not be made available to those members.

Allianz Global Assistance (AGA) has indicated that as a result of COVID-19, they are experiencing high call volumes, which may result in long wait times. High call volumes are also causing intermittent technical issues that can lead to a busy signal or a call being dropped. AGA is working to resolve these issues as quickly as possible and is placing a priority on ensuring that customers experiencing a medical emergency can reach them.

If your trip has been impacted due to COVID-19 and you need to contact AGA regarding your coverage, please call them using the number included on your confirmation of coverage or wallet card. If you do not have your confirmation of coverage or wallet card with you, please contact them at 1-866-520-8823 if within North America. If you are outside North America, please call them collect at (519) 742-9013.

If you are unable to reach AGA by phone and are experiencing a medical emergency, you can email them at CaseManagementCA@allianz-assistance.ca with “URGENT” included in the subject line. Note that this inbox is dedicated to support for active medical emergencies and any other inquiries to this inbox will not receive a response.

 

Last updated: March 26, 2020