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COVID-19 and your insurance carriers: what’s new?

As the COVID-19 situation is still unfolding, it can be hard to understand what your carriers now provide. Some insurance carriers have responded to the changing environment by updating or extending benefits. Here are some ways the top...

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As the COVID-19 situation is still unfolding, it can be hard to understand what your carriers now provide. Some insurance carriers have responded to the changing environment by updating or extending benefits. Here are some ways the top Canadian and US carriers are supporting you during these times.

To stay up-to-date on changes as they happen, we recommend that you chat with League Customer Care, visit the League Help Centre or visit your carrier’s website. 

What’s changing in my coverage? 


COVID-19 is an ongoing situation and we’re expecting carriers to make lots of changes to keep up. We’ve put together a summary of COVID-19-related updates for Desjardins, CanadaLife, and Manulife. 


If you’re traveling, coverage will no longer be available for travel to countries with an “avoid all travel” or “avoid all non-essential” travel advisory from the Government of Canada. We couldn’t find any exclusions for other travel areas. 

If you’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19, Desjardins will also waive the waiting period for your short-term disability coverage. 



If you’re traveling, CanadaLife is handling out-of-country claims on a case-by-case basis. Please note that expenses are ineligible if they’re submitted by people without COVID-19 symptoms. 

You will be eligible for short-term disability coverage if you’re unable to work due to COVID-19. You may also be eligible for short-term disability coverage if you’re in a voluntary or involuntary quarantine period. CanadaLife will handle these on a case-by-case basis. 

If you’ve been laid off, CanadaLife will cover up to 60 days of short-term disability and long-term disability coverage and maintain the six-month maximum for all other benefits. Please note that employees who have been laid off during their benefit waiting period are ineligible for the benefits extension.

Canada Life will recognize virtual visits from these providers:

  • Dietitian
  • Naturopath 
  • Occupational therapist 
  • Optometrist 
  • Physiotherapist 
  • Psychologist 
  • Social worker 
  • Speech therapist



If you’re traveling, your emergency out-of-country coverage stays the same. Manulife is extending out-of-country travel coverage to the end of April 2020, even if the traveler is diagnosed with COVID-19, in self-isolation, or simply experiencing unfortunate events. 

If you become ill with COVID-19, have symptoms, or are unable to work from home, you’re eligible to receive short-term disability benefits. At the moment, the quarantine period is 14 days long. If you are eligible for benefits, Manulife is waiving the waiting period and will pay the claim from day one, but you will need to show medical proof. 


United States

Many major insurance carriers are waiving the co-pay for COVID-19 visits or testing, so you won’t have to pay the usual fixed amount for the service. Carriers are also offering remote support through telehealth and support phone lines. We’ve put together a summary of plan updates from Cigna, Aetna, and UnitedHealthcare, but make sure you check with your specific plan policies for the most up to date info! 

If you have a Healthcare Flexible Spending Account (HCFSA) or Healthcare Savings Account (HSA), new expenses may be eligible because of the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act): over-the-counter (OTC) drugs without a prescription (ex. Tylenol, allergy medicine) and/or menstrual products. 



COVID-19 coverage: You’re covered for diagnosis, testing, and treatment if you or a member of your family becomes ill with COVID-19. If your doctor or hospital visit is related to screening or assessing your risk for COVID-19, your out-of-pocket costs will be waived.

Virtual support: If you’re unable to go see a doctor physically, Cigna is providing COVID related virtual medical care through May 31, 2020.

Go to Cigna COVID-19 Website



Aetna is offering members some extra benefits like care packages, no-fee prescription home delivery, and dedicated care manager support. 

COVID-19 coverage: Aetna will cover COVID-19 testing and doctor’s visits, and there is no cost-sharing for inpatient admissions at all in-network facilities for COVID-19 treatment. 

Virtual support: Aetna is offering $0 co-pay for telemedicine visits until June 4, 2020. Costs will be waived for visits through network providers who deliver virtual care, Teladoc® options through the Aetna Health app, or other virtual care apps provided as part of your plan. 

Resources: Aetna has opened a crisis response line: 1-833-327-AETNA (2386) and an Aetna nurse medical line. 

Extras: If you’re diagnosed and hospitalized with COVID-19, Aetna will send you a care package to help you recover at home and offer free delivery on CVS Pharmacy® prescriptions

Go to Aetna COVID-19 Resource Center



COVID-19 coverage: UnitedHealthcare is waiving member cost-sharing for the treatment of COVID-19 through May 31, 2020 for its fully-insured Commercial, Medicare Advantage and Medicaid plans.

Virtual support: From March 31, 2020 to June 18, 2020, UnitedHealthcare will waive cost-sharing for in-network, non-COVID-19 telehealth visits for Medicare Advantage, Medicaid and fully-insured Individual and Group market health plans.

Pharmacy: If you have UnitedHealthcare prescription drug coverage or an OptumRx pharmacy benefit and need an early prescription refill, you may request one through your pharmacy.

Go to UnitedHealthcare COVID-19 Website


What if I need to see a doctor?

Chat with our virtual care team of Health Professionals through Health Concierge. They can help you find options for self-assessments, virtual care options and provide you with the right recommendations right in your League app.

Download our app here

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