Influenza A (H1N1): How does it impact your group benefits plan?LinkedIn
There, in black and white
NB Bulletin Vol. 12 N. 16, December 2009
Short-term disability insurance
Under normal circumstances, insurance companies require a doctor's note for the payment of short-term disability insurance claims. However, all of the insurers surveyed confirmed that they are prepared to show flexibility on this requirement when it comes to the reimbursement of short-term disability benefits for individuals who exhibit flu-like symptoms. This decision was made following recommendations issued by public authorities requesting that individuals exhibiting these symptoms stay home to prevent the potential inundation of medical centres. With these recommendations in mind, and in an effort to simplify claims processing, some insurers teamed up with the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association to develop a self declaration form to be completed by the employee, whereas others will manage the situation separately for each client based on the region affected and the risks inherent to the group.
Flu onset during travel
All insurers will process cases of influenza A (H1N1) that occur during a trip outside Canada in accordance with the standard terms of the contract in effect. No special processing will be applied to these claims. The costs of your plan could be impacted if your employees frequently travel outside of Canada, particularly given that health care costs are generally higher outside of the country.
No insurer would agree to pay disability insurance benefits if an insured was quarantined because of contact with an infected person or only to limit the likelihood of becoming infected by the virus, and the insured exhibited no flu-like symptoms.
Business continuity plan
All of the insurers have implemented an internal business continuity plan. All of them thus maintain that they will be able to offer the services required in the event of a pandemic or any other catastrophe. Some insurers did specify that insureds could experience a service slowdown.
Please feel free to contact us for additional information.
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