Close

Travel Questions

January 3, 2022,

Sisters and Brothers,

As we begin the year and members and retired members are looking to make travel arrangements, please keep up to date with Green Shield and the Green Shield website to know what you are covered with in the event of any incident while out of the province.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is GSC_greensheild.png

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) FAQ, INCLUDING LATEST TRAVEL UPDATES 

Last Updated: December 15, 2021 

 
Please note:?

Latest travel updates include the Government of Canada announcing a global travel advisory specific to COVID-19 and what it means for coverage and travel plans.

Information may change at any time – we encourage you to check back regularly

TRAVEL 


Please note – ?All travel coverage responses apply to GSC’s standard travel benefit. (For example, they do not apply to the SureAway travel plan which is a stand-alone, single-trip travel product that is purchased separately and is not part of a health benefits plan.)

If you are unsure whether you have a standard GSC travel plan, you can: 

 

Where can I access the latest travel updates specific to COVID-19? 

First and foremost, we strongly encourage you to review?the?official Government of Canada travel advisories. There, you will see that, on December 15, 2021, the Government of Canada reinstated the advisory to “avoid non-essential travel outside Canada” due to continuing concerns with COVID-19 variants.

The advisory remains in place to avoid all cruise ship travel outside of Canada, and you should also be aware that country-specific or region-specific restrictions may be implemented at any time, resulting in difficulties for travellers trying to return home from abroad. However, if you do decide to travel, it’s important to understand your travel coverage and what’s expected of you. 

Review the information published by the Travel Health Insurance Association (THiA) of Canada, including the Golden Rules of Travel Health Insurance and other resources in their:

In terms of GSC-specific travel information, you are in the right place! The Support Centre continues to be the best source of our most up-to-date information. 
 

What are the newest travel requirements announced by the Government of Canada?

Several announcements have been made this year, including reinstatement of the global travel advisory effective December 15, 2021. The rules can change quickly so it is important to review the Government of Canada information when planning to travel, prior to departure, during your trip, and before returning home.

You can find information on the latest rules, with details as they are provided, by visiting the Government of Canada’s COVID-19: Travel, testing, quarantine, and borders information. This includes the requirements upon your return to Canada, such as using the?ArriveCAN mobile app to reduce wait times and limit contact at the border. 

What if I choose to travel (or cruise) outside of Canada while a travel advisory is in place due to COVID-19? Am I still covered? 

While we continue to view the Government advisory as the primary guideline, we understand that plan members will make their own choices around travelling. In these situations, we firmly believe that providing peace of mind is the right thing to do.

GSC has previously announced coverage under our standard travel plans* that would be available on a temporary basis for COVID-19 related medical emergencies, even if a travel advisory is in place. That coverage remains available to travellers. Here are the key coverage details:

Emergency medical expenses related to COVID-19

Standard GSC travel plans* include coverage for emergency medical expenses related to COVID-19 for the period of August 15, 2020 through December 31, 2021, up to the existing maximums and limitations within each plan.

From January 1, 2022 to June 30, 2022, emergency expenses related to COVID-19 will be included in standard GSC travel plans* for Fully Vaccinated Travellers only (see definition, below)

Fully Vaccinated Traveller – The Definition

For the purposes of the COVID-19 emergency medical expenses and quarantine benefit, a Fully Vaccinated Traveller is someone who is eligible for and has completed the recommended vaccine treatment considered by the Canadian government (typically two doses) at least two weeks prior to departure.

You can visit travel.gc.ca to determine if you are considered fully vaccinated by the Government of Canada. Travellers who are not able to receive a vaccine in Canada based on age or medical condition will be considered a Fully Vaccinated Traveller for the purpose of this quarantine coverage, including all children under the age of 12 through June 30, 2022.

This additional coverage is applicable to all destinations globally – regardless of a COVID-19 travel advisory being in place or reason for travel (i.e. leisure, work, school) – and is subject to all other terms, conditions, and limitations of your benefits plan, including the day limit, the requirement that you must be symptom free, in good health, and that all pre-existing conditions must be stable for 90 days prior to departure. 

Quarantine benefits



Going a step further, effective August 1, 2021, standard GSC travel plans* which include the COVID-19 medical coverage described above also provide some quarantine benefits for Fully Vaccinated Travellers only (see definition above) who are unable to return home as planned due to a positive COVID-19 test pre-departure, resulting in the requirement to quarantine outside of their province of residence.

This coverage extension will be in effect until June 30, 2022 and applies to all travel, regardless of whether a Government of Canada travel advisory is in effect. 

*As mentioned, if you are unsure if the details above apply to your plan (i.e. whether you have a standard GSC travel plan), you can: 

Additionally, we encourage you to review?Government of Canada travel information?for the latest updates, including travel advisories for other reasons, in addition to requirements upon your return to Canada, such as using the?ArriveCAN mobile app to reduce wait times and limit contact at the border.

If you do travel and COVID-19 symptoms arise, contact GSC Travel Assistance immediately for support. You can find the phone number on the back of your ID card (and on your electronic ID on GSC’s mobile app). Remember that travel coverage is for emergency treatment that cannot be delayed until you return to your home province. 

When travelling for work, prior to seeking medical treatment outside of Canada, the expectation is that the employer be contacted to initiate a claim with Worker’s Compensation. 

If I’m not fully vaccinated, what does that mean for my coverage for emergency medical expenses related to COVID-19?

  • Prior to January 1, 2022, if you are not fully vaccinated and choose to travel to a location for which there is a?Government of Canada advisory in effect for COVID-19, standard GSC travel plans* include coverage for emergency medical expenses related to COVID-19, up to the existing maximums and limitations within each plan.
  • As of January 1, 2022, if you are not fully vaccinated and choose to travel to a location for which there is a?Government of Canada advisory in effect for COVID-19, you will not have coverage for medical expenses related to COVID-19. 


Additionally, we encourage you to review Government of Canada travel information for the latest updates, including travel advisories for other reasons, in addition to requirements upon your return to Canada.

If you do travel and COVID-19 symptoms arise, contact GSC Travel Assistance immediately for support. You can find the phone number on the back of your ID card (as well as on your electronic ID on GSC’s mobile app). It is important to remember that travel coverage is for emergency treatment that cannot be delayed until you return to your home province

When travelling for work, prior to seeking medical treatment outside of Canada, the expectation is that the employer be contacted to initiate a claim with Worker’s Compensation. 

Message from the Local Union



More people are getting vaccinated and we are seeing an increase in accessibility to travel with less restrictions. We want to ensure that our active and retired members are following all Federal and Provincial regulations at any given moment. If Federal regulations dictate that you quarantine for 14 days and you leave the country for a specified period of time, be prepared to follow the guidelines upon your return. Stay safe and stay well Brothers and Sisters and all of your families. After the Province of Ontario announcement at 11am on January 3, 2022 did not mention anything regarding changes to travel – please continue to look for information on the Green Shield website : Support Centre (greenshield.ca) where you can see all of the above. Look for a date at the top. If it is December 15, 2021 it is the same as shown here. If it is a different date, then information may have changed.

Please note that this does not cover additional costs for COVID-19 screening done to leave or return to or from Canada. It also does not cover any additional costs for vaccinations outside of the Province in which you are covered. Find out from your Provincial health coverage before making plans if considering.

Related Articles

Unifor McMaster Labour Studies Courses – Winter 2022

Sisters and Brothers,Please see the attachment regarding upcoming McMaster Labour Studies programs for winter courses of 2022. Please note that…

Membership and Retiree Membership January Meetings Cancelled

Due to the recent announcement from the Provincial Government regarding moving back in to Stage 2 of the opening Ontario…

Sign up for our Newsletter

Get the latest update.