What can Members do to help?
We ask that you help us fight the spread of COVID-19 by encouraging social and physical distancing. Please remember to go digital and get claims paid directly to your bank account:
- If you already have a Member Profile, sign-in and update your banking information through the Account section
- Don’t have a Member Profile yet? Register today.
- For individually purchased plans to ensure continuous coverage ask us to switch your payments to a credit card
Your health & wellbeing with Pacific Blue Cross
We realize that with all the changes in the world, it can be a difficult time for you and your family. We want you to comfort knowing your group benefits or personally purchased health plan is here for you. These benefits vary from plan to plan and the details can be found anytime on our website or mobile app.
Digital, Virtual & Telehealth Care
As the impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus) continues to evolve, and we fight the spread of the virus through physical distancing – it has changed the way we access health care. Here is a list to help you look after the health and wellbeing of you and your family. Coverage varies from plan to plan so be sure to check your coverage on your Member Profile.
- Registered counselling
- Psychological services
- Naturopathic services
- Speech therapy services
- Physiotherapy - Subsequent treatments
- Chiropractic services - Subsequent treatments
As of April 27, 2020, Pacific Blue Cross will allow the following:
- Occupational therapy services
- Dietitian services
- Hearing services
- Physiotherapy – Initial treatments
- Chiropractic Services – Initial treatments
Home Delivery of Prescription Medication
Mental Health Support
Health Risk Assessment
Disability Case Management
COVID-19 Information & Self-Assessment
Access a Virtual Clinic
Providers are working closely with the Ministry of Health to offer you safe, in-person services. Learn more about what your experience will look like below.
Dentists and certified dental specialists have received guidelines from the Provincial Health Officer, the College of Dental Surgeons of BC and WorkSafeBC to ensure safe, in-person services.
Pharmacies continue to provide in-person services. Contact your local pharmacy for more information on what to expect for your next visit. Find a pharmacy near you through our Preferred Pharmacy Network.
Pacific Blue Cross Services
Our walk-in centre is temporarily closed until further notice.
Managing health and wellbeing during COVID-19
Frequently Asked Questions
As BC’s health benefits society, the health and wellbeing of our members and their families is of paramount importance. Pacific Blue Cross has developed an online resource to help address benefit-related questions we are receiving about the COVID-19 pandemic and your benefits.
If you have group benefits (extended health) plan
What am I covered for under my Extended Health Plan in regards to COVID-19?
Group benefits vary from plan to plan. For details visit your Pacific Blue Cross Member Profile
What am I covered for under the travel insurance provider by my employer through our group extended health plan?
If you have travel insurance provided by your employer through your group extended health plan, be sure to check your benefits and coverage limitations, as well as the government travel advisories for your destination(s) before you travel. Your plan includes a pre-travel service through Medi-Assist which can help provide information on Government Advisories and recommended vaccinations for your destinations. Call 1-888-699-9333 (toll-free within Canada or the US) to learn more.
If you have prescription medication coverage
Can I get early refills on my prescription or buy larger quantities to see me through this crisis?
If you have questions about your prescription(s) please reach out to your pharmacist.
Stocking up on larger quantities of medicines can create challenges for others. Your pharmacist will work with you to determine your best options for early refills and prescription quantities. They will use their best judgment to ensure that everyone gets the medicines they need to support overall health and wellness.
Pacific Blue Cross supports the recommendations put forth by the British Columbia College of Pharmacists determining best practices for Early Refills and Emergency Supplies.
The BC Pharmacy Association has created an information sheet for patients to help you understand the regulations around prescription renewals and emergency refills.
Are you looking for a pharmacy in your area?
Pacific Blue Cross has a robust Preferred Pharmacy Network to support affordable access for your medications.
Do I still need a trial of warfarin in order to be eligible for prior approval of certain anticoagulants?
For Blue RX members, Pacific Blue Cross will align with PharmaCare to modify the criteria for initial coverage of the following anticoagulants so that a prior trial of warfarin therapy and subsequent lab tests will no longer be required. Affected drugs include:
- Rivaroxaban (Xarelto®)
- Apixaban (Eliquis®)
- Edoxaban (Lixiana®)
- Dabigatran (Pradaxa®)
For further details, please refer to BC PharmaCare Newsletter Edition 20-006: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/health/health-drug-coverage/pharmacare/newsletters/news20-006.pdf
If you have Disability Coverage
If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, what do you need to do to get access to your disability benefits?
Claims with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis will be processed and paid based on the regular guidelines. An elimination period will be applied to all COVID-19 claims in line with policy provisions. An attending physician’s statement/positive test result will be required for COVID-19 claims. The insured and employer will be required to provide completed claim forms for COVID-19 claims.
If you have been in contact with someone else who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, can you access your disability benefits?
If you have been advised to self-monitor for symptoms because you may have been exposed to someone who is infected but don’t have any symptoms yourself, you will not be eligible for disability benefits. We suggest that you contact the HR department within your organization or apply for EI benefits.
What if my organization decides to suspend operations temporarily, how will the disability benefits come into play?
If your organization decides to suspend operations temporarily and you are asymptomatic, you will not be eligible for benefits. You will need to speak to your organization to discuss payment options.
If you are traveling out of country and hospitalized for recovery and treatment of COVID-19, does the STD elimination period begin and could benefits be paid for a period you are not in Canada?
If you are already out of country when you become ill and are hospitalized for treatment that is medically necessary, the terms of the policy would be met. If the claim is allowed, an elimination period will be applied in line with policy provisions. An attending physician’s statement/positive test result will be required for COVID-19 claims. The insured and employer will be required to provide completed claim forms for COVID-19 claims.
If you are traveling out of country and are diagnosed with COVID-19 and medically directed to quarantine, does the STD elimination period begin and could benefits be paid for a period you are not in Canada?
As quarantine is the medically necessary treatment for diagnosis of COVID-19, as an industry, we have determined that we will assess self-quarantine claims and consider up to the 14-day maximum. While you are out of country, you would be following instructions of physicians; therefore, this would meet the terms of the policy. If the claim is allowed, an elimination period will be applied in line with policy provisions, but the maximal period considered would be 14 days, subject to the other provisions of the policy. In this case, the fact that the diagnosis has been made implies that the quarantine has been medically directed (vs. self-quarantine which is not medically directed). An attending physician’s statement/positive test result will be required for COVID-19 claims. The insured and employer will be required to provide completed claim forms for COVID-19 claims.
If you are traveling out of country and exposed to COVID-19 and decide to self-quarantine (no diagnosis), does the STD elimination period begin and could benefits be paid for a period you are not in Canada?
An STD claim for quarantine and mild symptoms with no positive COVID-19 test does not meet the definition of disability under the policy and does not qualify for disability benefits. The claim will be denied, and the individual will be redirected to EI.
If you are within Canada and exposed to COVID-19 and decide to self-quarantine (no diagnosis), does the STD elimination period begin and could benefits be paid?
An STD claim for a quarantine with no positive COVID-19 test does not qualify for disability benefits. The claim will be denied, and you will be redirected to EI.
If you are directed to quarantine/self-isolate by the Government or a health care professional, are you eligible for disability benefits?
An STD claim for a directed quarantine with no symptoms is not payable. You should be referred to EI for benefits.
If I have flu-like symptoms, will the waiting period be waived as it is with COVID-19?
If you file a Short Term Disability claim for flu-like symptoms but have not been tested for COVID-19, the case will be processed as a normal STD claim. The waiting period applies. We will accept the updated Plan Member Confirmation of Illness Form (coming soon).
In the event that you are not eligible for disability benefits from your insurance provider, please visit Service Canada for financial support options.
If you have Personal Health Insurance
For details on your personal health insurance plan visit your Pacific Blue Cross Member Profile
Individual Purchased Travel Insurance and COVID-19
For details on your individual travel plan and COVID-19, please visit our travel FAQ
COVID-19 is the name of a disease caused by a new coronavirus that was first reported from Wuhan, China on December 31, 2019. There are now thousands of cases in various countries and regions around the world. The Public Health Agency of Canada has assessed the public health risk associated with COVID-19 as low for Canada. Public health risk is continually reassessed as new information becomes available. There are some confirmed cases in Canada so here are some facts to help keep you and your family safe, healthy and informed.
What is a coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are typically associated with mild illness, similar to the common cold. COVID-19 is a new disease that has not been previously identified in humans. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people, and more rarely, these can then spread from person to person through close contact. For details visit the Canadian Government website on Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Frequently asked questions (FAQ).
What are the symptoms?
Those who are infected with COVID-19 may have little to no symptoms. You may not know you have symptoms of COVID-19 because they are similar to a cold or flu.
Symptoms may take from 2 to 14 days to appear after exposure to COVID-19. This is the longest known infectious period for this disease.
Symptoms have included:
- Difficulty breathing
- Pneumonia in both lungs
Most people develop only mild symptoms. But some people, usually those with other medical complications, may develop more severe symptoms, which can be fatal.
How do I prevent it?
There are currently no vaccines available to protect you against COVID-19. In general, the following advice can help reduce the risk of infection or spreading infection to others:
- stay home if you are sick
- when coughing or sneezing:
- cover your mouth and nose with your arm to reduce the spread of germs
- dispose of any tissues you have used as soon as possible and wash your hands afterwards
- wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
- avoid visiting people in hospitals or long-term care centres if you are sick
If you want to know more visit Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Prevention and risks.