Manulife will still meet your health and dental needs as the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic evolves

Here’s information for you about health and dental claims submissions and payments, travel coverage, available medical support, and getting your questions answered.

As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues, business has been disrupted everywhere and sometimes that can be frustrating. We want to acknowledge that our call centre and claims departments are still extremely busy helping people who were affected by unexpected or emergency expenses because of the pandemic.

We’re paying claims more slowly than usual. Right now, most claims are being paid within 8 to 20 business days from when we receive them. Wait times with our call centre are also longer than normal.

One thing you can do to get faster service is use the online tools such as online claims submission and direct deposit of your claim payments

Our Health and Dental Information Handbook has instructions for signing up for our online services. The book includes information about:

  • Signing up for the Manulife.ca/secureserve site for the first time 
  • How to submit a claim online 
  • How to get your claims payments paid directly into your bank account 
  • How to add and update your personal information such as your address or bank account information
  • Details on what information is needed for us to assess less common types of claims expenses, such as nursing care or expensive medical equipment, and
  • How and when to contact us directly for more support.

If you have any routine questions about your health and dental benefits, we recommend you email us, at more_info@manulife.ca.

Premium relief

Yes there are. You can pay your premiums annually, semi-annually or monthly. You can change the timing of when your premiums are due online at Manulife.ca/secureserve.

That is always an option. But there are 2 reasons why it might be better to keep your existing policy in force, if you can. 

  1. There is a 24-month wait time starting when your policy terminates before you can be covered under a new Affinity Health and Dental Insurance policy.   
  2. If you apply for a new policy, you will need to submit medical proof of your good health. Depending on your health, you may only be offered a reduced amount of insurance or not be approved for insurance at all.

We understand that sometimes it’s not possible to pay your premiums as soon as they are due, especially right now. You have 90 days from the date that premiums are due to pay them without your policy being terminated. For example, if your premiums were due June 1, you have until August 29 to get your premium payment to us.

After 90 days, if we still haven’t received your premiums, we will terminate your policy. The termination date will be the end of the month when you last paid premiums. In our example above, the policy would be terminated on May 31.

Yes, you can. But, only expenses that you incur while your policy premiums are all paid up are eligible for payment under your policy. Any claims expenses you incur during the time period when premium payments are owing are not eligible for payment under your policy. 

Here’s what that looks like in practice. Your premiums are due on June 1, but you haven’t paid them. If you have an eligible expense that you incurred on May 31 or earlier, that expense will be paid under your policy. But if you have an eligible expense that you incurred on June 1 to August 29, those expenses would not be paid for under your policy, until we receive premiums to cover that time period.

Coverage

These are stressful times. So, we just launched a new, free program online called Stronger Minds. The program is designed to help Canadians cope with the heightened stresses related to the Coronavirus pandemic. The program:

  • provides guidance in the form of expert Q&A, short articles, videos and resilience-building activities 
  • will be updated every day 
  • was created by a team of clinical psychologists, and 
  • will be offered indefinitely.   

You can find out more about the program and sign up for it at: https://www.mindbeacon.com/strongerminds

Appointments

Yes, they are. We’ll cover virtual appointments provided by these health care practitioners:

  • Audiologist  
  • Chiropractor  
  • Dietitian  
  • Naturopath  
  • Physiotherapist  
  • Psychologist  
  • Psychotherapist  
  • Social worker  
  • Speech therapist  

The health care practitioner must meet these requirements: 

  • Be licensed and registered in the province where they are practising 
  • Have eligible qualifications determined by Manulife  
  • Be practicing within the guidelines of their governing body, and 
  • Be allowed by their college or governing body to offer virtual care to their patients.  

If you’re not sure if your health care practitioner’s services are covered, you can check with us by emailing us at more_info@manulife.ca.

Treatment

We understand you might be worried about having an adequate supply of prescription drugs on hand. However, it’s important to protect the supply of prescription medication available to all Canadians during a crisis like COVID-19. Recently, the Canadian Pharmacists Association discouraged the stockpiling of medication, and asked Canadians to avoid early refills of prescriptions.

For most people, a 30-day supply of medication is enough to last through a COVID-19 quarantine, since the length of the quarantine is 14 days. You might be accustomed to filling your prescriptions in larger amounts, but at this difficult time we are all asked to work together. Pharmacists’ priority is the health and safety of their patients; therefore, we encourage you to discuss your unique health and medication needs with your pharmacist.

Remember, most pharmacies will deliver medications, so there’s no need to leave home for refills if you don’t want to.

Akira by Telus Health Virtual Health (Akira)

Akira brings healthcare to you. You and your family can conduct secure medical consultations with clinicians right on your phone by text or video chat.

With Akira, you and your insured dependants get:  

  • Unlimited, unrestricted 24/7 access to health care professionals 
  • Clinical screening and mental health assessments 
  • Prescriptions and prescription refills,  
  • Referrals for diagnostic services, such as lab work or MRIs etc. 
  • Text and video conversations 
  • Personalized mental wellness plan management 
  • An in-house bridge to psychiatry, and  
  • Referrals to registered mental health therapists. 

The app is available to anyone who is registered on Manulife SecureServe.

You can download the Akira Virtual Health app by visiting manulifehealthcareonline.ca or download the Akira App from the Apple or Google Play store.

Akira is only available as an app. You will need a smartphone to access the app and all the great Akira services.

You can use the Akira app anywhere in Canada.

Questions about travel benefits

You can find out more here about how your plan can cover you while you’re travelling abroad, if your trip is cut short, or if you’re delayed returning home.

If you or a covered member of your family have a medical emergency related to COVID-19 while travelling and you or your family member were not experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19 prior to your departure, your out of province/out-of-Canada coverage will pay for your emergency medical treatments, subject to the terms of your contract. 

Other

There is no cure or vaccine for the Coronavirus.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation being shared about drugs and natural cures for the virus. In the United States, authorities have issued warnings about companies selling fraudulent Coronavirus products. These products might not have been approved for use in treating Coronavirus, could pose significant risks to people, and possibly violate U.S. federal law.

Follow your public health authority’s guidance for how to best stay safe during the pandemic.