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Important information about COVID-19

Including information on travel restrictions, virtual care and prescription drugs.

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Travel information

Updated: April 23, 2020

Aligning with direction from the federal and provincial governments advising against non-essential travel during the COVID-19 situation, and as international borders have now been closed to most travel, effective immediately, Alberta Blue Cross has temporarily paused sales of all travel coverage plans (including emergency medical, trip cancellation and interruption and coverage extensions) until this situation is resolved.

Your safety and well-being and health and wellness of our community are our top priority during these uncertain times and we want to do our part to ensure we help prevent the spread of COVID-19. We believe that in such circumstances, limiting travel and encouraging our community to follow the recommendations of public health authorities is greatly aligned our mission to be your partner in health and wellness.

We will continue to keep you, our valued customer, informed as this situation changes and look forward to serving your travel coverage needs once it's safe to travel again.

Questions?

If you have questions about this update, please call 1-800-394-1965 and select option 4.

We won’t leave you stranded while you’re making every effort to get home—regardless of your type of travel plan. If you are experiencing difficulties returning to Canada please contact us for information on extending your emergency medical coverage. If you’re travelling and have voluntarily chosen to remain at your destination, your coverage will not be extended.

It is imperative that anyone currently outside the country make every effort to return immediately to Canada, as Alberta Blue Cross may be unable to assist them due to the scale of the crisis and the limited availability of medical resources abroad.

As of March 13, 2020, the Government of Canada has issued an official notice to avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada. Alberta Blue Cross will ensure all plan members who are required to cross the border for their job and are deemed to be essential by the government, such as truck drivers and pilots who are transporting essential goods and services, will continue to receive emergency medical travel coverage including any claims related to COVID-19. This is subject to all other terms and conditions of their benefits plan.

As this situation is quickly changing we will continue to keep you informed if there are any changes.

Due to questions regarding COVID-19, our travel service team is currently experiencing extremely high call volumes. We’re all in this together. Help us ensure the most time-sensitive inquiries are handled by only calling if you are outside Canada and in need of emergency medical or travel assistance or if your scheduled travel date is before March 31, 2020.

As of March 13, 2020, the Government of Canada has issued an official notice to avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada. In accordance with this notice, Alberta Blue Cross emergency medical travel coverage will not provide coverage for any claims related to COVID-19 incurred outside Canada for departures commencing March 14, 2020 or after.

We recommend you check the Canadian travel advisories frequently. But, it’s critical to check before you book your trip and right before you leave.

Travel advisories are issued by the Government of Canada and are the official source of destination-specific travel information. They give you important information to help protect you from security threats around the world: are there any climate or weather concerns, is the political situation stable, are there any major health outbreaks you should watch for?

When there is an elevated security concern, advisories will caution you against all or non-essential travel to that specific city, region or country.

In accordance with your travel coverage, benefits will not be covered for a medical emergency that is directly or indirectly related to a published formal travel advisory that is issued prior to your departure date. As of March 13, 2020, The Government of Canada has issued an official notice to avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada. In accordance with this notice, Alberta Blue Cross emergency medical travel coverage will not provide coverage for any claims related to COVID-19 incurred outside Canada for departures commencing March 14, 2020 or after.

Coverage is subject to the level of risk associated with a travel advisory issued prior to a departure date. Benefits are not eligible for expenses incurred for a medical emergency related to a travel advisory risk level of Avoid Non-Essential Travel or Avoid All Travel. For more information on risk levels and travel advisories visit https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/health-safety/travel-health-notices#risklevelsalth-notices#risklevels.

As of March 13, 2020, The Government of Canada has issued an official notice to avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada. In accordance with this notice, Alberta Blue Cross emergency medical travel coverage will not provide coverage for any claims related to COVID-19 incurred outside Canada for departures commencing March 14, 2020 or after.

If you experience a medical emergency or you’re quarantined while travelling, please contact travel assistance.

If you’re currently in a country with a COVID-19-related travel advisory and your coverage is ending soon but you are unable to return to Canada, please contact travel assistance immediately. Coverage will be based on the specific terms of your policy. In most situations, you will be considered eligible for coverage until you are stable or released from quarantine and able to travel safely.

Travel emergency contact info can be found on the back of your Alberta Blue Cross ID card and at abcrosstravel.ca. For more information on what to do if you experience a medical emergency while travelling visit the CanAssistance website.

Effective March 12, 2020, COVID-19 is no longer being considered an unknown risk. COVID-19 is now considered a “known issue”. If you purchase trip cancellation, interruption and baggage insurance on or after March 12, 2020, you will not have coverage for claims related to COVID-19—regardless of whether there was a travel ban or advisory published prior to travel.

As of March 9, 2020, the Government of Canada advised Canadians to avoid all cruise travel due to coronavirus (COVID-19). As a result, Alberta Blue Cross now considers all cruise ships to be regions or areas with COVID-19 related travel advisories. If you take a cruise after this date, and there is an avoid “all” or “non-essential” travel advisory in place for cruise ships before you leave, emergency medical coverage will not be provided if your illness or injury is directly or indirectly related to COVID-19.

If you would like to submit a refund request for an upcoming trip, fill out and submit the Travel Refund Request form or call us at 1-800-394-1965. We offer full refunds for trips not taken.

It is imperative that anyone currently outside the country make every effort to return immediately to Canada, as Alberta Blue Cross may be unable to assist them due to the scale of the crisis and the limited availability of medical resources abroad. At this time, we will not be selling plan extensions.