Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and your Group Benefits plan

March 3, 2022

For business owners, plan administrators, and sponsors

The pandemic has disrupted the normal patterns of life in Canada. As people work to deal with, recover from, and contain the spread of the virus, there are many ways Manulife can help support you, your plan members, and your business.

For additional resources, check the Government of Canada’s website for the latest on this developing situation.

Manulife cares about the health of Canadians, and we’re monitoring the situation closely.

As the coronavirus situation unfolds, we continue to respond accordingly. Continue to check this website and our FAQ* for updates.

In the meantime, we encourage you to share this basic information with your members so they can be better informed.*

Manulife Employee and Family Assistance program

Homewood HealthTM, our Employee and Family Assistance provider, continues to offer support if you have access to Manulife EFAP through your Group Benefits plan. They are there 24/7/365 to help you and your eligible family members, access the tools, resources and/or support you need during these uncertain times. It's confidential and free. Call 1-866-644-0326.

You can also easily access Manulife EFAP online services, such as eLearning and articles, through your group benefits secure site.

Confirmation of illness

Until further notice, if an employee becomes ill, has symptoms and/or tests positive for COVID-19, and they’re unable to work from home, your employee would be eligible to receive STD benefits in accordance with the contract.

We are making it easy for your employees to give us what we need by using an insurance industry Plan Member Confirmation of Illness statement. Plan members can fill it out and send it by e-mail to A Plan Member Statement also needs to be completed.

Plan Member and Plan Sponsor Statements are still required and should accompany the Plan Member Confirmation of Illness Statement.

What is Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Common symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

What can you do to prevent the spread of the virus?

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing
  • Maintain a one-meter distance from people who are coughing or sneezing
  • Stay home if you are feeling unwell
  • Refrain from activities which negatively impact the lungs (like smoking)
  • Engage in physical distancing by only travelling when absolutely necessary and avoiding large groups

Travelling to affected regions:

General tips for travellers to other locations abroad:

  • Call Allianz (1-800-363-1835) to confirm the best toll-free number to use from the country you’re visiting. Keep it with you while travelling.
  • Download the Allianz Global Assistance TripWise app for iPhone and Android. Features include:
    • Flight status check
    • International hospital locator
    • Medication dictionary
    • Plus, your Allianz Global Assistance toll-free contact numbers can be stored right in the app, so they’re ready when you need them
  • ake photos of important documents so there’s no need to search for the originals, e.g. passport and benefits cards.
  • Health risks, like the coronavirus, are just one event to watch out for. Be aware of any:
    • Weather warnings, e.g. hurricanes
    • Political or civil unrest, e.g. acts of terrorism
  • Ensure you have enough of your medications and carry each in its original packaging.

What if you need medical attention while travelling?

As soon as possible: if you’re able, call the 24-hour emergency phone number on the back of your Manulife benefits card. If you can’t make the call yourself before seeking treatment, have a friend or family member call Allianz Global Assistance from the hospital once you are there.

Allianz will ask some questions about your emergency and any potentially related medical history. Providing accurate information will help make sure you receive the right help and information about your coverage.

Here are a few things the Allianz Global Assistance representative will ask:

  1. Details about the incident and the type of assistance you require.
  2. Your full name, group plan number, plan member certificate number, and benefits card group number.
  3. The patient’s name and confirmation of provincial health insurance coverage.

If asked to pay up front: Call Allianz Global Assistance immediately. They will attempt to pay the medical provider directly, so you’re not out of pocket. Accepting billing information is solely at the discretion of your medical provider. That means you may need to pay up front.

Do not surrender your passport: If asked to surrender your passport due to a medical incident or emergency, refuse to do so and contact Allianz Global Assistance immediately.