COVID-19 Updates

Latest Updates

Here are some helpful links to find out more about Government restrictions and how they may impact your travels:

Below is the latest information relating to COVID-19 and how it's impacting GMS travel coverage.

March 7, 2022

The Government of Canada has removed the travel advisory to “avoid all travel” on a cruise ship. 
 
This means if you have a GMS plan with travel, you once again have emergency medical coverage while on a cruise. Coverage is in place if there’s an “avoid all non-essential travel” advisory for COVID-19 only. If there’s an advisory to “avoid all travel” or “avoid non-essential travel” for any other reason, you will not have coverage for any part of your trip.  
 
Immigrants & Visitors to Canada plans also have emergency medical coverage if a cruise is part of a short trip outside of Canada. Coverage will not be provided if there’s an advisory for destinations with an "Avoid all travel" or Avoid non-essential travel" for any reason. 
 
Refer to your policy wording for full details. 
 
If you're planning to travel, be sure to review the government advisory website. If you plan on travelling on a cruise ship, the Government COVID-19 cruise ship website is a great resource for travel health advice related to taking a cruise.   

February 28, 2022

The Government of Canada is easing their border measures as the latest wave of COVID-19 has passed its peak in Canada. 

  • There's no longer a global travel advisory to "avoid non-essential travel." This means our Immigrants & Visitors to Canada plans can once again cover short trips outside of Canada. However, coverage will not be provided for destinations with an "avoid all travel" or "avoid non-essential" travel advisory. 
  • Fully vaccinated travellers returning to Canada as of February 28th will have the option of using a COVID-19 rapid test instead of a PCR test. This change does not affect GMS plans. Any costs related to COVID-19 testing, including the tests themselves, are not covered by GMS. 

Please note: The Government of Canada is still advising against cruise ship travel as it still has an "avoid all travel" advisory. This advisory means GMS plans that include an emergency medical travel benefit do not cover a trip that involves a trip.  

December 17, 2021

On December 15, 2021, the Government of Canada once again issued a global COVID-19 “avoid non-essential travel” advisory for international travel.

The Immigrants & Visitors to Canada policy excludes travel to countries with any type of travel advisory. This means, short trips outside of Canada won't be covered while this advisory is in place.

Please note, the global advisory doesn’t affect the COVID-19 coverage for TravelStar Emergency Medical Plans, or Personal Health, Replacement Health, Group Advantage or Custom/Association Group Plans with an annual travel benefit. These plans will cover medical expenses related to a positive diagnosis of COVID-19 up to $500,000 of their emergency medical maximum. As long as the only travel advisory in place for a destination is for COVID-19.

November 1, 2021

On October 22, 2021, the Government of Canada lifted the global COVID-19 "avoid non-essential travel" advisory and announced they'll soon be updating advice and advisories by country. If you're planning to travel, be sure to review the government advisory website before booking or leaving on your trip. Travel advisories can impact your coverage.

With the global COVID-19 advisory lifted our Immigrants & Visitors to Canada Insurance Plan (VTC) will once again cover short trips outside of Canada to destinations without an "avoid all travel" and "avoid non-essential" travel advisory.

Please note, there's been no change to COVID-19 coverage for TravelStar Emergency Medical Plans, or Personal Health, Replacement Health, Group Advantage or Custom/Association Group Plans with an annual travel benefit. Customers with any of these plans have coverage for medical expenses related to a positive diagnosis of COVID-19 up to $500,000 of their emergency medical maximum

July 7, 2021

We've opened sales of TravelStar Single-Trip and Multi-Trip Annual Emergency Medical Plans.

New plans sold on or after July 7, 2021 will provide emergency medical coverage in countries where there is only an "Avoid Non-Essential Travel" travel advisory due to COVID-19.

Plans will also include up to $500,000 in coverage for COVID-19 emergency medical expenses.

General FAQ

How do I make a claim?

For Trip Cancellation Insurance, please visit the Trip Cancellation & Interruption Insurance Claim page, or complete a claim form and include all supporting documentation. Then, email the form and documentation to travelinquiry@gms.ca within 12 months after the cancellation or interruption occurred.

For Emergency Medical Coverage, please visit the Emergency Medical Coverage Claim page, or complete a claim form and include all supporting documentation. Then, 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.
  • 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.

How have GMS’ operations been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?

We’ve moved the majority of our office-based staff to working remotely to help minimize any potential spread of COVID-19. However, as of September 9, 2021, we’ve reopened the front counter at our Regina office for in-person service. We also continue to conduct regular business by phone, email and online.

With your staff working from home, how can I pay my plan premiums?

As of September 9, 2021, we’ve reopened the front counter at our Regina office for in-person service. We ask that customers using our front counter service follow the safety-first precautions we’ve put in place. These can be found in the “Maintaining Service” tab on the left-hand side of this page.

We also offer these methods for paying your premium:

If you would like to set up one of these payment methods:
Group benefit plan customers please contact group@gms.ca
Individual health customers please contact info@gms.ca.

If COVID-19 prevents me from working, do I qualify for short-term disability?

Here's how your short-term disability benefit works when it comes to employees needing to miss work due to COVID-19:

  • If someone has tested positive or is waiting for test results for COVID-19.
    They can apply for short-term disability benefits. The waiting period and need for an Attending Physician's Statement to process their claim will be waived to make sure they receive benefits as soon as possible. This will support them during their immediate self-quarantine. If they have not been tested, their claim will be evaluated after a waiting period to allow time to first receive their test results.
    To apply:
  • If someone is experiencing symptoms but has not been tested for COVID-19.
    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 completing their short-term disability claim.
    To apply:
  • 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 used, not short-term disability benefits.

Travel Emergency Medical FAQ

These are questions about the travel emergency medical coverage for our Personal Health, Replacement Health, and Group benefit plans, along with our TravelStar Emergency Medical Plans.

I have a plan that includes out-of-country emergency medical coverage. If I travel abroad, do I have medical coverage for emergencies? 

You have coverage as long as:

  • You’re travelling while your policy is effective;
  • Your trip is within the number of days you have coverage for, from your departure date;
  • There is no “Avoid All Travel” advisory for your destination; and
  • There is no “Avoid Non-Essential Travel” advisory for your destination for anything other than COVID-19.

I have a plan that includes emergency medical coverage. Do I have coverage for COVID-19 if I travel outside of Canada?

You have coverage up to $500,000 for medical expenses related to a positive diagnosis for COVID-19. This $500,000 is part of the emergency medical coverage maximum identified within your plan – not in addition to. 

You’re covered for emergency medical expenses related to testing positive for COVID-19 when:

  • Your destination has a travel warning to “Avoid Non-Essential” travel exclusively for COVID-19.
  • You haven’t had a positive diagnosis of COVID-19 during your stability period.
  • You didn’t have any symptoms of COVID-19 before your departure.
  • You’re within your allowable days of travel or effective dates of your plan.

You’re not covered for any emergency medical expenses when the Government of Canada has issued the following travel warnings for your destination:

  • “Avoid All Travel” warning
  • “Avoid Non-Essential Travel” for something other than COVID-19.

Examples would be (but not limited to) terrorism, high crime, violence, civil unrest, other health notices, etc.

How do I get proof of my travel insurance for a trip?

  • If you have a GMS plan that includes travel coverage, please give us a call at 1.800.667.3699. You can also send an email to info@gms.ca. Be sure to include your name, date of birth and your GMS ID or policy number. We'll be able to send you a letter confirming your coverage with us. 
  • If you have a TravelStar Emergency Plan or an Immigrants to Visitors to Canada Plan, you can use the confirmation document as proof. The confirmation document was included in the email we sent when you purchased your coverage. 

Is part of my trip covered if I'm travelling to multiple destinations and one of the destinations has an "avoid all travel" or "avoid non-essential travel" advisory for a reason other than COVID-19?

No. There is no coverage for the entire trip if any part of it includes travel to a region where, prior to the departure, there is a travel advisory issued by the government to "avoid non-essential travel" for other reasons than COVID-19 or "avoid all travel" for a country, region, city or destination, including cruise ships, that are part of your destination. 

Do I need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to be eligible for travel emergency medical benefits?

No. We don't require you to be vaccinated to be eligible for emergency medical benefits.

What happens if I'm on a trip to a country that only has an "Avoid non-essential travel" for COVID-19, but during my trip the advisory changes to a "Avoid all travel"? Is my coverage still in effect?

Your coverage would be in effect until your plan expires. Extensions would not be available though.

Can I extend my GMS emergency medical coverage if I need to be away longer due to COVID-19 travel disruptions?

If you're stranded or delayed passed your scheduled return date due to the delay of a common carrier (bus, train, airplane, etc.) you would be eligible for an automatic three-day coverage extension. This is only for customers with an Individual Health or TravelStar plan. If you're a group plan member, check your policy to see if an automatic coverage extension is included with your plan.

If you're going to be stranded or delayed more than three days due to the COVID-19 disruptions you can purchase a policy extension if you:

  • Contact us prior to the expiry date of your policy; and
  • Have not had a claim or required medical treatment during your trip and have met the plan's eligibility requirements.

Please call us at 1.800.667.3699 (within Canada and the US) or collect at 1.306.352.7638 (from all other locations) if you need an automatic extension or if you need to purchase an extension. Our Call Centre is open Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CST.

I'm choosing to remain on my trip longer than my GMS annual plan allows for. Can I purchase a TravelStar Emergency Medical Plan to extend my trip?

Yes. When buying a TravelStar Emergency Medical Plan as a top-up for a GMS policy, you must:

  • Apply for coverage two business days before the expiry of your current policy
  • Not have had a claim or required medical treatment during your trip
  • Meet the plans eligibility requirements of the policy you are purchasing

Please call us at 1.800.667.3699 (within Canada and the US) or collect at 1.306.352.7638 (from all other locations) if you need to purchase a top-up. Our call centre is open Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CST.

Can I purchase a StudentPlan plan for the upcoming school year?

No. Sales of our StudentPlan are unavailable until further notice.

Can I purchase a TravelStar Trip Cancellation Plan?

No. Trip Cancellation and Interruption coverage is currently unavailable.

Am I covered if I'm required to quarantine due to COVID-19 and I won’t be able to return home until after my travel coverage expires? 

If you have a TravelStar Emergency Medical, Personal Health, or Replacement Health Plan and it was still in effect when you started your quarantine, we'll automatically extend your policy for 72 hours after you've been discharged from a hospital or you've completed your quarantine requirement. Please make sure to contact GMS Travel Assistance toll free at: 1.800.459.6604 or collect: 905.762.5196.

Am I covered if my travel companion (who doesn’t have a GMS policy) is required to quarantine due to covid-19 and I can’t get home before my emergency medical coverage ends?

If you have a TravelStar Emergency Medical, Personal Health, or Replacement Health Plan and it was still in effect when your travel companion started their quarantine, we'll automatically extend your policy for 72 hours after your travel companion is discharged from a hospital or they’ve completed the required quarantine. Please make sure to contact GMS Travel Assistance toll free at: 1.800.459.6604 or collect: 905.762.5196.

Will I have emergency medical coverage if I decide to stay outside of Canada if the Canadian Government asks all Canadians to return home?

You’ll have coverage, according to the terms and conditions of your policy, up to the expiry date of your plan.

Are trip interruption or delay expenses covered under my emergency medical plan if I'm delayed at my destination waiting for a COVID-19 test to enter Canada?

No. This is not a benefit of the policy.

If I can be vaccinated for COVID-19 while I'm travelling in another country, is that covered?

No. Vaccinations are not covered.

Am I covered if I receive a COVID-19 vaccine while travelling and have side effects?

Yes. If you have no symptoms before your departure date and if you meet the stability requirements of your plan.

Can I cancel my TravelStar emergency medical plan if I haven’t left on my trip?

You can change or cancel your coverage for a full refund as long as it’s before the effective date. Just give us a call toll free at 1.800.667.3699 or at our local number 306.352.7638, or send us an email at info@gms.ca to cancel. If you purchased your plan through a broker, you can also contact them.

I came home early from my trip, can I get a refund for the days of emergency medical coverage I didn’t use?

Single-Trip Emergency Medical plans can be refunded. We’ll refund you for your unused days of Single Trip 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 return home. Once we’ve issued your refund, you’ll no longer be able to submit a claim under that plan. If you purchased your plan through a broker, you can also contact them.

Multi-Trip Annual Emergency Medical plans are not refundable.

Immigrants & Visitors FAQ

Will I be covered if I’m diagnosed with COVID-19?

Coverage for emergency medical expenses related to COVID-19 is available. You'll have coverage as long as you haven't experienced COVID-19 symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19 during your 180-day stability period or waiting period.

You're not covered for COVID-19 emergency medical expenses when:

  • You've tested positive or had symptoms of COVID-19 during your 180-day stability period.
  • You experienced COVID-19 symptoms and/or tested positive for COVID-19 during the waiting period.

Please note, a waiting period only applies if you were without insurance and purchased overage after arriving in Canada. Information on waiting periods can be found on your policy confirmation.

Can I go on a trip outside of Canada?

It depends. You'll have coverage as long as:

  • Your trip is for 30 days or less;
  • There is no “avoid all travel” advisory for your destination and there is no “avoid non-essential travel” advisory for your destination.
  • Your trip originates and terminates in Canada;
  • Your total days outside of Canada are not greater than 50% of your total period of coverage;
  • You are not travelling to your country of origin.

You can check the Government of Canada travel advisories page to see if your destination has any advisories.

What is my plan's maximum for COVID-19 expenses?

You are covered up to the amount of insurance you purchased. Applicable benefit maximums and policy terms and conditions will apply. Please review your confirmation email to locate your policy's maximum amount.

Is the cost of a mandatory COVID-19 test to enter a country covered?

No. The costs for tests or documentation to enter or re-enter a country are not covered.

Is the cost of the COVID-19 vaccine covered?

No. Vaccinations are not covered.

If I want to stay in Canada longer, can I extend my plan?

Yes, there are some conditions and things to know.

  • You need to contact us 48-hours before your plan expires.
  • During your time in Canada, you must not have needed any medical treatment. In some cases, if you received medical treatment, you might be able to purchase a plan. Contact us to find out.
  • Your plan can't be extended beyond one year from your effective date.
  • You must not have turned 80 years old since arriving in Canada.

Can I purchase a plan after arriving in Canada?

Yes. There are a few things you should know.

There is a waiting period for medical conditions not related to an injury when:

  • You applied within 30 days of arriving in Canada and were without insurance; the earliest your coverage can go into effect is 2 days after your effective date.
  • It has been more than 30 days since you've arrived in Canada and you were without insurance; the earliest your coverage can go into effect is 7 days after your effective date.

Your coverage for injuries that result in emergency care start on your effective date.

Trip Cancellation FAQ

Can I purchase Trip Cancellation and Interruption coverage?

No. Trip Cancellation and Interruption coverage is currently unavailable.

I cancelled my trip because of the Canadian government’s Global Travel Advisory – what do I do?

A travel advisory must be in effect on your scheduled travel dates. Please click here for further information on how and when to submit your claim.

My travel supplier is only offering a voucher/credit for the full value of my cancelled trip, but I'd like a cash refund instead. Can I make a claim?

Our Trip Cancellation Plans offer coverage for costs that can’t be recovered when a trip is cancelled - for example a non-refundable deposit. If your supplier has offered a voucher/credit for the total value of your cancelled trip, it’s considered a full refund under your Trip Cancellation Plan. With a full refund available in voucher/credit form, there is no cost to be recovered, and a claim cannot be made.

With that said, you may be eligible for a premium refund. Please call us at
1-800-667-3699 for more information.

Any disputes over refunds and vouchers/credits should be directed to your travel provider, transportation carrier, or the Canadian Transportation Agency.

My travel supplier has cancelled my trip due to the Canadian government’s Global Travel Advisory – can I submit a claim for it now?

Yes. Click here to get started. A call isn’t necessary to start the claim process.

My trip was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic – can I get a premium refund for my plan?

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.

Can I extend my Trip Cancellation Insurance if I’ve been delayed returning to Canada?

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.

My vacation’s been rescheduled by my travel supplier - can I change the dates of my Trip Cancellation Insurance?

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.

Does my Trip Cancellation Insurance cover changes and cancellations due to COVID-19?

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.

If I have to cancel my trip before I’m scheduled to leave because I’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19 or am in self-quarantine because I’ve been exposed to COVID-19, will my Trip Cancellation Insurance cover expenses?

Yes, you’d have coverage under your Trip Cancellation plan.

I’m returning to Canada early because the Canadian government advised all Canadians to return home. What will my trip cancellation insurance cover?

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.

StudentPlan FAQ

Can I purchase a StudentPlan?

No. StudentPlan is currently unavailable.

Maintaining Service

Serving you safely is our priority.

Call Centre:  Our hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. CST, Monday – Friday

Can’t find the answer you need? Find it in our product-specific FAQs, or feel free to give us a call toll-free at 1.800.667.3699.

Front Counter: Effective September 9, 2021, we’ve re-opened the front counter at our Regina office for in-person service. We’ve implemented a number of protocols to protect the safety and well-being of our customers and staff, and appreciate your cooperation as we keep each other safe.  Staff at our front counter are happy to assist you with purchases, payment inquiries and plan and benefit inquiries. Here’s what you need to know if you’re planning to stop by:

Front counter hours: Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Safety first precautions:

  • To help keep everyone safe, please don’t visit us if: you have any of the following symptoms: fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, or shortness of breath; you've travelled outside of Canada within the past 14 days; you've been in close contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 14 days; and/or you’ve tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 14 days;
  • Please use the hand sanitizer provided at our front entrance;
  • Please maintain six feet of physical distance from others;
  • Claims drop-off available: You’re welcome to drop off your claims in the box provided in our lobby, but please note we’re not handling claims at the front counter at this time. Thanks for your patience.

And remember, we’re always available to serve you online and in the following ways:

  • Questions? If you can't find the answer you need, email us at info@gms.ca, or call us at 306.352.7638 or 1.800.667.3699.
  • Submitting claims? Online is your best and quickest option. Sign up for a My GMS account, and you’ll be able to submit claims online and sign-up for direct deposit to have your claim payments automatically put into your account. No need to worry about cheques being delayed in the mail. 
  • Skip the paperwork! To avoid submitting a claim altogether, show your GMS ID card at your pharmacy, dentist or healthcare provider and ask if they’ll bill us directly. 
  • Payments? Call us at 306.352.7638 or 1.800.667.3699, and we’ll take your payment for a Personal or Replacement Health plan by credit card. You can also call us to set up convenient monthly payments that are automatically debited from your bank account.

Doing Business Digitally

Have questions? This site is a great source of information. To make things easier, we've created a number of product-specific FAQs that can be viewed by selecting the tab on the left-hand side of this page. Can’t find the answer you need? Give us a call toll-free at 1.800.667.3699.

To submit claims please visit the following pages on our website:
Immigrants & Visitors
Trip Cancellation & Interruption
Travel Emergency Medical
Baggage

To make payment: We have several methods, Pre-Authorized Debit, Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), Cheque (mailed to our office), and credit card (for clients with a Personal or Replacement Health Plan only). To set up one of these payment methods, email info@gms.ca if you have Personal Health or Replacement Health Plan, or group@gms.ca if you have a Group Benefits Plan.

To request tax receipts: Please email your request to info@gms.ca. Be sure to include your full name, date of birth, and GMS ID number.