Donna Carbell
Head of Group Benefits, Manulife Canada

Last weekend, I found myself in a busy, crowded airport with thousands of other travellers who were trying to get home. In the days leading up to my departure, the advisories and headlines were increasingly worrisome. Even though I was still at home here in Canada (Vancouver), I was anxious to board my plane and get home safely.

Since then, the situation has grown worse. Additional restrictions on travel are now in place. Canadians abroad have been advised by our prime minister to “come home.” Some countries have closed their borders completely, leaving travellers with few options, and no direct routes, to get home.

I can’t imagine what these people are going through. But, with my own parents currently outside of Canada and trying to make decisions, I do appreciate what their loved ones, back here in Canada, are feeling.

Delayed, stranded, and struggling to get home

I suppose there are some who see this as a great adventure. A story to tell their future grandchildren. But I’m pretty sure most people are feeling cut off, isolated, stranded, and stressed to the max. We need to bring them home!

Among their many concerns might be their group emergency medical coverage. Group plans typically offer out-of-country coverage for a limited amount of time – often 60 days. We know there are people out there who are nearing their maximum number of days. These are people who might soon be without medical coverage in the event of an illness or injury.

We’re extending group coverage until the end of April

We don’t want any of our Group Benefits plan members to be stranded and suddenly without coverage. If you, or someone you know, is in this situation, let them know we’ve arranged a temporary extension to their group emergency medical coverage – until the end of April. This decision is consistent with steps being taken for Manulife’s Individual travel insurance customers.

Like many organizations, we’re dealing with a lot of phone calls right now, so there’s no need to call us about the extension if you are a Group Benefits plan member. This extension applies to all Manulife Group emergency out-of-Canada plans. We want to make sure you have the coverage you need until you get back home safely.

These are extraordinary times. We’re all dealing with situations that are unexpected and circumstances we could not have planned. Let’s pull together to keep everyone as safe and healthy as possible during this emergency.

If you are out-of-Canada and you have questions about your Group travel emergency medical coverage, check our frequently asked questions or send a note through the secure website for plan members.