Personal protective equipment and your benefits plan

January 4, 2022

For business owners, plan administrators, and sponsors

As provinces are reopening across Canada, industries are taking important steps to improve safety considering COVID-19. This is true for your business and for health care professionals.

Update on ‘COVID fees’

Manulife supports Canadians’ health. We believe all health and dental practitioners should follow both existing and any additional health and safety standards set by their professional associations and the government.

New requirements from governments or trade groups may call for additional or new personal protective equipment (PPE). This may mean new costs for their business, and we are seeing some practitioners charging patients for ‘COVID fees.’

Manulife continues to manage your plan’s costs in line with contractual requirements, reasonable and customary limits, established fee guides as well as your plan’s co-insurance, caps and eligibility requirements.

Your benefits contract is set up to manage your plan as expected by outlining covered appropriate services, procedures and fees. Any additional charges for PPE typically do not fall in your extended health care and dental contract provisions. However, there may be unique exceptions.

We will adhere to your contract.

Additional charges outside your contract may result in an out-of-pocket expense for your members. Members can claim these charges, as applicable, under a Health Care Spending Account.

As the plan sponsor, you can amend your plan design to cover these expenses for your members. Please reach out to your advisor and Manulife representative for details.

Personal protective equipment (PPE), workers compensation, and short-term disability

Your workplace may also have new health and safety requirements as you reopen. This may require your members to wear mandatory PPE during their work duties.

PPE could cause a medical condition for some members making them unable to work.

Any members unable to work because of medical conditions resulting from mandatory PPE should make a claim under their provincial workers compensation program.

If the workers compensation program declines their claim, your member can submit a claim for short-term disability (STD). The member will need to provide proof of their declined workers compensation claim.

Learn more and tell your members

All plans are unique. Your Advisor or Manulife representative can help with questions about your specific plan.

You and your members might have general questions. We’ve updated our member FAQ with answers to your most common questions.