COVID-19 (Coronavirus) FAQs

Thanks for your patience.

We're experiencing a high volume of calls, emails and claims as we help our customers impacted by COVID-19. We appreciate your patience as we work to serve you during this time. We’ve compiled these Frequently Asked Questions to help answer common questions many people have. These can save you a call or email.

If you’re currently away and experiencing a medical emergency, please call GMS Travel Assistance at 1-800-459-6604 (within Canada & US) and collect 905-762-5196 (from all other locations).

General

For Trip Cancellation Insurance please complete a claim form and include all supporting documentation. Email the form and documentation to travelinquiry@gms.ca within 12 months after the cancellation or interruption occurred.  
 
For Emergency Medical Coverage please complete a claim form and include all supporting documentation. Email the form and documentation to submit@allianz-assistance.ca.   

For Drug, Dental, Vision and Health Claims:

  • Online is your best and quickest option. Sign up for a My GMS account (hit Login/Register at the top of this page) and you’ll be able to submit claims online and sign-up for direct deposit to have your claim payments automatically deposited into your bank account. No need to worry about waiting for cheques in the mail. 

  • You can also submit claims online without a My GMS account. Just hit the big green button at the top of this page.

  • To avoid submitting a claim altogether, show your GMS ID card at your pharmacy or healthcare provider and ask if they’ll bill us directly. 

If you’re currently away and need to extend or top-up your coverage please give us a call at 1.800.667.3699 (within Canada & US) or collect at 1.306.352.7638 (from all other locations). If you’d like to cancel coverage for a future trip, please email us at info@gms.ca. 

To prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, we have closed our Head Office in Regina to the general public and many of our employees are now working remotely. However, we are still open, and you can continue to conduct regular business with us by phone, email and online.

We offer several payment methods to keep your premiums paid including:  

If you wish to set up one of these payment methods:

Groups can contact group@gms.ca and Individual clients can contact info@gms.ca.

Here’s how your Short-Term Disability benefit works when it comes to employees needing to miss work due to COVID-19:

  1. If someone has tested positive for COVID-19.
    They can apply for Short-Term Disability benefits. The waiting period and need for an Attending Physician's Statement for their claim will be waived to make sure they receive benefits as soon as possible. This will support them during their immediate self-quarantine.

  2. If someone has been tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting test results.
    They can apply for Short-Term Disability benefits. Their claim will be evaluated after a waiting period to allow time to first receive their test results. If someone is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and have not yet been tested, we require them to get tested before applying for Short-Term Disability benefits.

  3. If someone has no symptoms but has been told to self-quarantine by a government or healthcare professional.
    If working from home is not possible, Employment Insurance benefits should be utilized, not Short-Term Disability benefits.

To apply for Short Term Disability due to COVID-19, please:

Trip Cancellation Insurance (incl. interruption and delay)

No. Due to the Global Travel Advisory issued by the Canadian government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re unable to provide coverage for claims outside of Canada. As a result, we’ve decided to suspend sales of our TravelStar product which offers trip cancellation and interruption coverge until further notice.  

The first thing you’ll need to do is contact your travel supplier for any credit or refund. Please note, you’re required to take advantage of these credits or refunds being made available to you by your airline or travel provider before submitting your claim to us. 

Once that’s done you’ll need to complete a claim form and submit your supporting documents to travelinquiry@gms.ca. There’s no need to call in order to start the claim process.

Yes. Please submit a claim form along with supporting documentation by email to travelinquiry@gms.ca. A call isn’t necessary to start the claim process. 

You’d be eligible for a premium refund if your travel supplier (ex. airline, tour operator, cruise ship, etc): 

  • cancelled the trip and gave you a full refund with all penalties waived;
  • or changed the travel dates and gave you a full refund with all penalties waived because you’re unable to travel on the new dates.   

There’s no need to extend your policy if you’re delayed returning home. You can submit a claim for your interrupted trip once you get back home.   

Yes, you can change the dates of your coverage as long as you haven’t left on your trip and your new departure date is within 18 months from the date you purchased your plan.   

Yes, you have coverage as long as there was no travel advisory to “avoid non-essential” or “avoid all travel” before you purchased your plan. For Multi-trip plans, you have coverage if there was no travel advisory in place before your purchase date or booking date.

 

You have coverage as long as there were travel advisories in place for your destination when you purchased your plan. 

Your plan will cover the cost to change your ticket or book one-way transportation home, whichever’s less. You’ll also have coverage for unused, non-refundable tickets, accommodations, car rentals, etc. 

Emergency Medical

No. Due to the Global Travel Advisory issued by the Canadian government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re unable to provide coverage for claims outside of Canada. As a result, we’ve decided to suspended sales of our TravelStar products until further notice. 

If your policy expires before the end of March and you need more time to make return arrangements, you can extend/top-up to change your return date. The latest your return date can be is March 31st. You’ll need to contact us before your plan ends.

You’ll have coverage up to the expiry date of your policy.  
 

If your policy expires before the end of March, you can extend/top-up your policy to March 31st at the latest.

You have coverage as long as: 

  • you left before March 13th at 2 pm CST when the Canadian government issued the Global Travel Advisory; and 
  • there was no “avoid non-essential” or “avoid all travel” advisory in place for your destination before you left. 

 
If you haven’t left, you are not covered for travel outside of Canada as long as the Global Travel Advisory is in effect.  

If there was no travel advisory in place for your destination before you arrived, you have coverage for COVID-19-related medical expenses. If there was a travel advisory in place for that area before you arrived, you do not have coverage for COVID-19-related medical expenses. 

We’ll automatically extend your policy for 72 hours after you’ve been discharged or deemed fit to travel as long as your policy was still effective when you went into isolation.

You can change or cancel your coverage for a full refund as long as it’s before the effective date. No need to call to cancel, you can simply email us at info@gms.ca.

Yes, we’ll refund you for your unused days of coverage as long as you haven’t submitted a claim for that trip. Be sure to send us a cancellation request by email no more than 30 days from the day you returned home. Once we’ve issued your refund, you’ll no longer be able to submit a claim under that plan. 

Immigrants & Visitors Coverage

Yes, as long as all applicants meet the eligibility requirements.

Yes, as long as it wasn’t a pre-existing condition.  

As long as you haven’t been diagnosed or are not showing any symptoms on the effective date, or during a waiting period, you’re eligible for coverage. 

Yes, there are some conditions though:

  • You need to contact us 48-hours before your plan expires 
  • During your time in Canada, you must not have required any medical treatment (if you’ve received medical treatment, you may still be eligible to purchase a new plan. Contact us to find out.) 
  • Your plan can’t be extended beyond one year 
  • You must not have celebrated your 80th birthday since arriving in Canada

Yes. Keep in mind though, that if you've been in Canada for 30 days or less, there’s a 48-hour waiting period. If you’ve been here for more than 30 days, a seven-day waiting period applies.  

StudentPlan

No. Due to the Global Travel Advisory issued by the Canadian government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re unable to provide coverage for claims outside of Canada. As a result, we’ve suspended sales of StudentPlan until further notice. 

Yes. You have coverage, subject to the terms of your policy, until the expiry date of your plan. Please note because we’re not selling StudentPlans at the moment, we’re unable to extend your coverage beyond your expiry date.

Yes. As long as you’re returning to your province of residence and haven’t made any claims under your plan. No refunds are issued for partial months. To receive your early return refund please email proof of your return (i.e. plane ticket, gas receipt, passport stamp) to us at info@gms.ca.

Group

At GMS we believe it is our responsibility to do our best to provide support in situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic. We are committed to providing solutions to our business partners and will update this information frequently to keep you up to date. We want to outline our current practice and exceptions to our regular business process that we will adopt effective March 27th for business relief measures and Group Benefits during this event. 

The majority of GMS Group Life, Short-Term & Long-Term Disability plans are underwritten by Assumption Life and it is to these plans that these FAQs are relevant. Those Group contract holders currently underwritten by Wawanesa Life Insurance Co., will be contacted by GMS directly

Plan administrators   
Sign up for the plan administrator portal by completing The Online Administrator Agreement and emailing it to group@gms.ca. Once you’re registered, it’s easy to perform a variety of tasks online such as: 

  • Updating employee information  
  • Adding or removing members/dependants  
  • Updating personal information

Plan members  
Sign up for a My GMS account by visiting www.gms.ca and clicking Login/Register.
A My GMS account lets you:

  • Submit claims online
  • Review claim payments
  • Update personal information (security and banking information)

 

In collaboration with the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association, GMS fully supports the continuation of cross-border trade with the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, we will guarantee Emergency Out-of-Country Medical coverage for truck drivers hauling essential goods over the US/Canada border. 

We have a variety of options to support your business through COVID-19. Each situation will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. If your group qualifies, extended grace periods, deferrals of payments and suspension of coverage and premiums may be available. Send us an email with your group name and number to group@gms.ca  and we will contact you as soon as possible to discuss how we can help you and your business during this difficult time. 

As each groups’ needs may vary, we encourage you to reach out to us at group@gms.ca. We can discuss potential solutions and next steps for your company. If you would like to keep employees on your benefits plan after a layoff, you may do so. However, you will need to notify us and their premiums will need to continue to be paid. If keeping them on your benefits in not an option, encourage them to look into our Personal or Replacement Health products.

Yes. Please let us know, within 31 days, which of your employees have been temporarily laid off. We will update our records and set a follow-up date to return them to employed status.

As disability benefits are income-related benefits, they generally are not available and do not continue during layoffs. However, if premiums are paid, during this time we can offer 90 days of disability coverage during a layoff without an amendment to your policy. 

Yes. Please notify us within 31 days of the date of layoff. If premiums continue to be paid, you can extend benefits for up to 12 months (one year) for Life benefits and 90 days for Short-Term Disability/Long-Term Disability benefits. 

Health & Dental Benefits:  
We’re currently making an exception for employees who are working reduced hours due to COVID-19.  As long as we are notified, we will no longer apply our standard minimum number of hours worked requirement to remain eligible for benefits. To remove coverage for a plan member, a plan administrator must submit an employee termination or contact group@gms.ca.  
  
Life & Disability Coverage:  
Should a plan member fall below the minimum number of hours noted in the policy, we must be notified of the date within 31 days. If the premiums continue to be paid, your employee(s) can maintain Life coverage for up to 12 months and Disability coverage for up to 90 days.

We offer an Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) as an optional Group benefit. If your Group opted for this benefit, please visit the Homewood Health Website which provides a variety of resources and services available to help you through the COVID-19 pandemic or call the Homewood Health helpline at 1-800-663-1142.  
  
If you are interested in adding this benefit to your employee benefits, please contact us at group@gms.ca or talk to your broker.

Individual Health

We believe it’s our responsibility to be there for our customers in situations like the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re committed to providing support and solutions to individuals and families covered under our Personal and Replacement Health Plans. Starting March 27th, we’re implementing a number of exceptions to our regular business practices for the duration of the provincial states of emergency. These will serve as relief measures to our existing customers during this unprecedented time.

Our health plans are intended to help you live well and afford the care you need in unexpected situations. During these uncertain times, emergency medical coverage is more important than ever.  

We’re  here to ensure you’re able to keep your health benefits throughout this difficult time. We’ve made several options available to help ease the financial stress you might be experiencing and accommodate your coverage needs. Please call us at 1.800.667.3699 and we’ll work with you to find your best option. 

You bet. We know paying for the whole year up front isn’t always doable, so you also have the option to pay monthly. You can even set up convenient automatic monthly withdrawals from your bank account. Give us a call at 1.800.667.3699 and one of our Customer Care Representatives will set you up on the payment plan that suits your needs.

To help with the financial strain and uncertainty you may be facing right now, we’ve extended our 30-day deferral period. We’ll allow you to access your benefits without paying your premium for up to 90 days. Claims incurred during those 90 days will be reimbursed when we receive payment. Please call us to at 1.800.667.3699 to learn more.

Yes. We recognize the impacts of COVID-19 on your finances and ability to access care. If you’re unable to use and/or afford your add-ons right now, you may be able to cancel those benefits and add them down the road without penalty, waiting periods or medical questions. Please call us at 1.800.667.3699 to talk through your options. 

Absolutely. We've got a number of plans available to suit your budget. While your province is under a state of emergency, we'll happily downgrade you to a more comfortable plan without penalty. Once the state of emergency has been lifted, we’ll put you back in your current plan with no waiting periods or medical questions. Please give us a call at 1.800.667.3699 to adjust your coverage.

Yes. If you’re on a monthly payment plan, we’ll let you put your plan on hold with no penalty while your province is under a state of emergency. You won’t be able to access your benefits during this time, but we’ll guarantee your current coverage with no waiting periods or medical questions once the state of emergency is over. To discuss this option, please call us at 1.800.667.3699.

It’s during uncertain times like these, that our coverage for emergency medical care is so valuable. We recommend keeping your health coverage and are committed to supporting you in order to do so.  If you feel you need to cancel your plan despite the flexible options available to you, please call us at 1.800.667.3699. 

If your student child was listed as a dependent on your policy before March 13th,  yes  they still  have coverage. We know times like these can’t be predicted so we’re not requiring any proof of continued enrollment for over-age dependents at this time.  

Yes. In collaboration with the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association, we support the continuation of cross-border trade with the United States. During the COVID-19 pandemic we are waiving our Work and Travel Advisory exclusions in our Individual Health policies, and guaranteeing Emergency Medical coverage for truck drivers with an Individual Health plan.

Thanks for keeping things moving!  

These FAQs are intended to help you understand your coverage as it relates to COVID-19. All claims are adjudicated according to policy.   

Government of Canada COVID-19 Information

Stay up-to-date on current COVID-19 data and information