COVID-19 Frequently asked questions

Let us help you find some answers to your questions about COVID-19. Search below to filter FAQ about travel insurance, health insurance, group plan coverage, and more.


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The following answer is for informational purposes only. Contact a licensed advisor for advice about your specific situation.


Don’t panic – acting in fear is rarely a good decision. Moving all your assets out of panic may hurt you in the long run. Stay focused on your long-term plan so that you do not waver under uncertain circumstances.

Don’t try to “predict the market” – it can be a gamble to move all your assets to safer investments because it is hard to time perfectly. You will most likely end up selling at a lower price and buying at a higher price later when you re-invest.

Strive to continue contributions – instead of selling assets, continuing contributions during down markets means you are purchasing more units at a lower cost.

Consider evaluating your portfolio – market fluctuations may have caused your portfolio to shift from how you originally invested. See more tips here.

Many government programs and supports will be delivered through Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). If you are applying for support, CRA encourages you to sign up for direct deposit to avoid delays in receiving payments.

If you need to set up your direct deposit with CRA, you’ll notice that Manulife Bank isn’t currently in the list of financial institutions on their website. Don’t worry, it’s easy to add it.

First, head to My Account and sign in. Then follow the instructions on the screen. When the page asks for your banking information, enter the following:

  • Branch/Transit number: 05012
  • F.I. Name: Manulife Bank of Canada
  • F.I. Number: 540
  • Account Number: Enter your 7-digit account number

You can also call the CRA at 1-800-959-8281 and follow the prompts.

September 30, 2020 was the deadline to apply for financial relief, including payment deferral, on your Manulife Bank mortgage or credit card due to COVID-19. If you applied for financial relief on or before September 30, we’ll review your application to confirm your eligibility and contact you to understand your specific situation.

As always, we’re here to help. If you have questions about your mortgage or credit card, you can contact us at the numbers below:

For mortgage inquiries: Call us at 1-877-765-2265 Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For credit card inquiries: Call us at 1-844-323-7053 7 days a week, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. EST 

The short-term disability (STD) benefit is there to support you when you have an injury or an illness that prevents you from doing your job.

If you become ill, have symptoms and/or test positive for COVID-19, and you are unable to work from home, you may be eligible to receive STD benefits in accordance with your coverage. Neither self-quarantine, social distancing nor self-isolation are considered completely disabling if you’re not ill.

If you have COVID-19 and plan to make an STD claim, complete the insurance industry standard Plan Member Confirmation of Illness Statement and email the form to us at group_disability_claims@manulife.ca.

It really depends on how you’re investing. A licensed financial advisor can review your entire financial situation and provide guidance. 

Your employer may offer advice services through your group retirement plan or your Employee Assistance Plan. 

Alternatively, you can contact one of our licensed advisors

You can use the Find an Advisor tool on our website: https://www.manulife.ca/personal/support/find-an-advisor.html

The following information for customers who pay us their insurance premiums directly:
Before you submit your claim for benefits under trip cancellation insurance, contact your travel supplier to notify them of your cancellation. Most travel suppliers process cancellations and refunds; they may also offer you credits or vouchers for future travel. Please ensure you keep the credits or vouchers provided.

The following information for customers who pay us their insurance premiums directly:
Most Manulife policies will not provide coverage where the travel supplier is offering credits or a voucher that transfers the full value or more of the trip to another date. Trip cancellation insurance provides coverage for cancelled trips that are non-refundable and non-transferable to another travel date. If you have been offered a full voucher or credit with flexible rebooking periods, please carefully review the terms of your insurance coverage before filing a claim for trip cancellation benefits.

The following information for customers who pay us their insurance premiums directly:
Yes – If a travel supplier has offered you a 100% or more credit or voucher instead of a refund, your Manulife Travel Insurance coverage can be applied to the new trip purchased using the credit or voucher within 24 months. Change the dates in your policy to match your future trip by contacting your travel supplier. If you had originally purchased trip cancellation coverage and you are unable to use the credit or voucher due to failure of the service provider, then you may eligible to submit a claim.

The following information for customers who pay us their insurance premiums directly:
Your policy can apply to your future trip and provide coverage as per its terms and conditions. You can choose to receive a full premium refund instead; however, the coverage provided with your insurance policy to protect your future credit or voucher will no longer be in effect.

The following information for customers who pay us their insurance premiums directly:
If you've cancelled your trip and received a full refund from the travel supplier or any other source, such as a credit card refund, you will also receive a refund of the premium you paid for your individual travel insurance policy. Please contact your travel agency to request a premium refund.

Having a pre-existing medical condition doesn't automatically qualify you for short-term disability (STD) benefits. Claims that are preventative in nature are not covered under STD. To qualify for STD benefits, you must be absent from work due to an illness or injury and provide medical evidence that supports your claim.

Virtual appointments are an eligible expense provided the health care practitioner is:

  • licensed and registered in the province in which they are practicing,
  • has an eligible qualification as determined by Manulife, and
  • is practicing within the guidelines of their governing body

Any practitioner offering virtual care must first be licensed by their college or governing body. The college/association or governing body and the practitioner’s scope of practice must permit virtual appointments for the service being claimed.

We continue to monitor provincial guidelines about virtual care, which are quickly evolving. Based on information known today, we consider claims for virtual appointments an eligible expense for the following practitioners, subject to the terms of your contract:

  • Audiologist
  • Chiropractor 
  • Dietitian 
  • Naturopath 
  • Occupational therapist
  • Optometrist
  • Physiotherapist
  • Clinical Counsellor
  • Marriage & Family Therapist
  • Psychoanalyst
  • Psychologist
  • Psychotherapist
  • Social worker
  • Speech therapist

Guidelines around the type of services allowed, as well as specific protocols in providing virtual therapy, vary by governing body. We recommend speaking with your healtlhcare professional to confirm the specific services they can deliver online. You should also rely on them to follow the appropriate protocols.

A Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) is an account registered with the Government of Canada that allows you to withdraw funds that you’ve saved in your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) once you retire. You must withdraw a minimum amount, which is determined by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), from your RRIF each calendar year. As part of the COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, the government has reduced the required minimum withdrawals from RRIFs by 25% for 2020 in recognition of volatile market conditions and their impact on Canadians’ retirement savings.  For example, if your original 2020 minimum withdrawal amount was $10,000, you can choose to withdraw $7,500 instead.

This option offers flexibility for those who are concerned they may be required to liquidate their RRIF assets to meet minimum withdrawal requirements.

Please note, you’re not required to take a reduced amount. If you take no action, you will continue to receive your scheduled RRIF payments. If you have already received your full amount for 2020, there are no provisions in the legislation to reduce the payments you have already received.

For advice on your personal situation, contact one of our licensed advisors.

You need to determine whether taking the reduced minimum suits your lifestyle. If you’re not sure what to do and looking for specific advice about your situation, contact one of our licensed advisors. If you decide to reduce your RRIF payment amounts, please let us know. We will not reduce or change your payment amounts without your direction.

No, at this time the government has not approved reducing RRIF payment amounts that have already been made in 2020. This includes either the minimum withdrawal amount or an amount in excess of the minimum.

If you're placed in a private room by medical staff, your in-patient care is covered by the provincial plan. You will not receive a bill for private accommodation.

We’re very sorry for your loss and are here for you during this difficult time.

Please fill out as many details as you can on this form. From there, our Life Moments team will start working on the claim and will reach back out to you as needed.

You can easily access information on your Manulife segregated fund contracts and mutual fund accounts once you sign up for online access through Manulife.ca.

Simply:

  • Visit Manulife.ca and choose ‘Sign in’ at the top right corner of the home page
  • Select Manulife Investments from the menu
  • Click on the ‘Are you new to the site? Sign up’ button
  • Fill in the required fields; you will need the following information
    • Your Manulife Investments individual or joint contract or account number
    • The last 4 digits of your Social Insurance Number (SIN) or the verification code we email you, which will expire after 15 minutes

Once you’ve completed this process, we’ll email you a confirmation link. You must click on the link to activate your online access within 24 hours. Otherwise, you’ll need to start the online registration process over again.

Once you’ve registered for online access, you’ll be able to see the following details about your accounts:

  • Market values, holdings, and transactions, including historical information
  • All individual, joint and non-individual contracts/accounts for authorized individuals
  • Mid-year and year-end statements

It depends on the type of plan and the plan rules set up by your employer. If you’re not sure what type of plan you have, look at your statement. Check your plan member booklet(s) for details on the rules that apply to your plan. In general:

  • Registered Pension Plan (RPP) – you can’t take out any of your required contributions and any contributions made by your employer until your employment is terminated. Depending on the plan rules, you may be allowed to take out voluntary contributions while employed.
  • Deferred Profit Sharing Plan (DPSP) – you can take money out if the plan rules allow for withdrawals while employed.
  • Group Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) – you can usually take money out unless your plan was set up with withdrawal restrictions.
  • Group Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) – you can usually take money out unless your plan was set up with withdrawal restrictions.
  • Group Non-registered Savings Plan (NRSP) – you can usually take money out unless your plan was set up with withdrawal restrictions.
  • LIRA/Locked-in RRSP – you can’t take money out of a Locked-in Retirement Account (LIRA) or a Locked-in RRSP until you’re ready to start taking a retirement income.

The amount you received may be less than you expected for the following reasons:

  • When you take money out of a group retirement plan, there may be taxes taken from the total amount you are withdrawing, depending on the type of plan.
  • There may also be a withdrawal fee (minimum $25 and may vary according to your plan). For most plans, the fee is $25. Check your plan member booklet for details. If a fee applies, we deduct it from the amount paid to you.
  • If you take out all the money in your account, daily fluctuations in the market have an impact on the amount you receive. We calculate your account value every night based on market activity during the day. Your account value when the payment is made may be less than when you sent your request.

It can take up to 10 business days to receive your payment, including processing and mailing times. Direct deposit is a quicker option. If you have not yet set up direct deposit, you may want to consider this as a faster alternative to receiving funds.

Depending on your plan, there may be a withdrawal fee (minimum $25). Check your plan member booklet for details.

Health care professionals are taking important steps to improve safety considering COVID-19. New requirements from governments or trade groups may call for personal protective equipment (PPE). This may mean added cost for health care professionals.

Some practitioners are charging patients for these new costs or ‘COVID fees.’

The additional charges for PPE typically do not fall within extended healthcare and dental contract provisions unless a plan sponsor has chosen to amend their contract.

Maybe. This depends on the terms of your plan and what you’re covered for. Your plan sponsor may retroactively cover the new PPE fees. In that case, Manulife will identify where dental PPE claims were declined and automatically reassess them. Please check with your plan sponsor to understand the details of your plan.

Yes, you can submit additional PPE fees charged for a valid medical procedure under your HCSA.

If you develop a medical condition due to wearing mandatory PPE in the workplace, you should make a claim under your provincial Workers Compensation Benefit (WCB) plan. If WCB declines your claim, you can submit a short-term disability claim, for our consideration. Proof your WCB claim was denied is required.

There are a few ways to submit your claim information:

i. Ask your provider to send the claim directly to us, if the option is available.
ii. Use our secure site: Sign into or register your online account and select ‘Submit a claim.’
iii. Go mobile: Select ‘Submit a claim’ from your online account or the Manulife Mobile app. You may be asked to provide a receipt for your claim. Just scan or take a picture of it, attach it and you’re good to go.

When travelling, if you or a covered member of your family have a medical emergency and get sick with COVID-19 or another illness, your out-of-province/out-of-Canada coverage will pay for your emergency medical treatments, subject to the terms of your contract. There are no restrictions/exclusions on where you travel under the emergency out-of-province/out-of-Canada benefit.

Sign into your online account or the Manulife mobile app to start a claim. A prompt will tell you how to exclude any PPE fees from a health practitioner’s bill. Some plan sponsors may amend plans to cover the PPE costs. In this case, the prompt will tell you how to include the PPE fees with your claim. Dental practitioners will use new procedure codes for PPE related expenses. Submit these with any claim. We will not reimburse the PPE fees unless your plan covers those costs.

You can make changes to your investments on our member secure site at any time. If you make too many transactions in and out of the same fund in a short period of time, we may charge a frequent trading fee. We will inform you if this is the case.

The COVID-19 Pandemic Travel Plan is available to Canadians travelling abroad, providing emergency medical insurance for COVID-19 related medical conditions, up to $1,000,000 CAD per insured, and non-COVID-19 related medical conditions, up to $5 million CAD per insured. For more information, check out our FAQ.

The following information for customers who pay us their insurance premiums directly:
Yes, 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.

The following information for customers who pay us their insurance premiums directly:
That’s your choice. But it might be better to keep your existing policy in force, if you can, for the following reasons: o 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. o If you apply for a new policy, you must submit medical proof of your good health. Depending on your health, you may not be approved for insurance, or you may be offered a lesser amount of coverage.

The following information for customers who pay us their insurance premiums directly:
We understand that sometimes it’s not possible to pay your premiums when they’re 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 are due June 1, you have until Aug. 29 to send us payment.

If we haven’t received your premiums after 90 days, we’ll terminate your policy. The termination date will be the end of the month of your last premium payment. In our example above, the policy would be terminated on May 31.

The following information for customers who pay us their insurance premiums directly:
Yes, you can – provided the expenses are eligible for payment under your policy and they were incurred while your policy premiums were paid up. Any claim expenses you incur while premium payments are owing are not eligible for payment under your policy.

Here’s what that looks like in practice. Your premiums were 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 between June 1 and Aug. 29 (i.e. 90-day grace period), the claim would not be paid for under your policy until we receive premiums to cover that time period.

The following information for customers who pay us their insurance premiums directly:
Yes, they are. We’ll cover virtual appointments provided by these healthcare practitioners:

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

The healthcare practitioner must meet these requirements:

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

To see if your healthcare practitioner’s services are covered, email us at more_info@manulife.ca.

The following information for customers who pay us their insurance premiums directly: 
Akira brings healthcare to you. You and your family can conduct secure medical consultations with clinicians on your mobile smartphone or tablet by text or video chat. With Akira, you and your insured dependants get:

  • Unlimited, unrestricted 24/7 access to healthcare 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
  • Referrals to registered mental-health therapists

Akira is available to anyone who is registered on Manulife SecureServe. You can download the app by visiting manulifehealthcareonline.ca, or through your mobile device’s app store.

No, Akira is only available as an app on your mobile smartphone or tablet.

You can use the Akira app anywhere in Canada.

The following information for customers who pay us their insurance premiums directly:
When travelling, if you have a medical emergency and get sick (with COVID-19 or another illness), your out-of-province/out-of-Canada coverage will pay for your emergency medical treatments, subject to the terms of your contract and schedule of benefits. There are no restrictions/exclusions on where you travel under the Emergency Out-of-province/Out-of-Canada benefit.

The COVID Alert app is Canada’s official COVID-19 exposure notification app. It is available for download in Ontario from the Apple and Google Play app stores. The app lets users know if they may have been exposed to the virus. To get more information, visit the Government of Canada website.

Need help?

Allianz Global Assistance
(Canada or United States)

Call 1 800-265-9977

Insurance

Call 1-888-626-8543

Manulife Investments

Call 1-888-790-4387

Group Benefits

Call 1-800-268-6195

Group Retirement

Call 1-888-727-7766

Group Retirement – VIP Room

Call 1-800-242-1704

Manulife Bank

Call 1-877-765-2265