Андрей Смирнов
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Charity shops and Ebay

With lockdown restrictions easing, this week we were able to reopen the first of our charity shops, with a further 19 due to reopen on or before 6 July, another 21 on or before 13 July, and the remainder by the end of the month. Check our website for details on your nearest shop. 

At this time, we may be unable to accept donations to our charity shops if we become full, because we’re required to quarantine stock for 72 hours before it is safe to sell it. May I ask you to please bear with us as we reopen and be patient with our shop teams. We are incredibly grateful for your donations and can’t wait to welcome you back, but please don’t be offended if we ask you to hold on to your clear out clothes and goods for a little while longer until we’re in a position to be able to gratefully accept them safely.

Our Ebay store continues to remain open.

Accessing our services

While we are implementing social distancing protocols, we are agile to operate our business remotely and will continue to provide quality services to our clients and members from a distance.

Call Centre

Our call centre remains open from 8:00 a.m. — 5:30 p.m. weekdays. Note that we are experiencing higher than normal call volumes.

mybluecross

You can access plan information anytime, anywhere through your mybluecross account.

Based on your plan, you can also:

mybluecross Mobile

You can manage your plan on your phone through our mybluecross companion app.

You can:

You must register for a mybluecross account to log into the app. Life, Travel, EAP and Health Spending Account (HSA) only plans are not accessible through the app.

Mental Health Supports

Grief Counselling

We are providing up to three counselling sessions at no cost to Manitobans who have experienced a loss during COVID-19.

Sessions are provided through qualified clinicians from our Employee Assistance Program, including Clinical Psychologists, MSW Clinicians, Registered Psychiatric Nurses, Marriage and Family Therapists and Master of Divinity Clinicians.

To access this support, please call us:

Directly at 204.786.8880Toll Free 1.800.590.5553TTY 204.775.0586

Connect Now

Connect Now is our clinical, personal and immediate support line where members can call to connect instantly with a professional counsellor from our Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Learn more about Connect Now.

Support Resources

The following resources were developed by counsellors and health care professionals from our Employee Assistance Program and Disability Case Management teams to support the mental, physical and financial health of our fellow Manitobans.

Prescription Drugs

During this uncertain time, many of us are concerned about ensuring we have everything we need – including access to our prescription medications.

We want our members to rest assured that there are no known drug shortages or supply disruptions attributed to coronavirus (COVID-19).

What if I am worried about accessing my prescription medications?

There is no need to stockpile medications or request early refills. Pharmacists are looking towards the long-term needs of Canadians and ensuring that medications are dispensed responsibly during this uncertain time.

What if there is a shortage of my prescription medication?

We follow Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living’s guidelines for active drug shortages, which help ensure Manitobans can access medications they need. Should your pharmacy have any questions regarding drug shortages, they should contact our office.

What if my Exception Drug Status (EDS) approval expires in the next few months?

We recognize patients may not be able to access their physician or obtain lab tests to provide information normally required to support a drug authorization renewal. To ensure treatment continues, we are automatically extending exception drug approvals expiring during the next few months, with no action required.

What if I am still concerned about my specific needs during this time?

We strongly encourage our members to discuss their unique health and medication needs with their primary physician and pharmacist.

Eligibility of Virtual Services for Reimbursement

In just a short time, the coronavirus pandemic has dramatically shifted our lives. But while the virus has put much of our activities on hold, our health needs remain. With this in mind, some service providers have temporarily replaced their in-person services with virtual care methods.

To protect our members’ health, we support this shift and will accept virtual services as eligible for reimbursement according to the terms of a member’s plan. Please visit your mybluecross online account to confirm the benefits and practitioners covered under your plan.

The following is a list of provider types whose services are eligible for reimbursement if offered virtually:

Eligibility of Virtual Services for Reimbursement

In just a short time, the coronavirus pandemic has dramatically shifted our lives. But while the virus has put much of our activities on hold, our health needs remain. With this in mind, some service providers have temporarily replaced their in-person services with virtual care methods.

To protect our members’ health, we support this shift and will accept virtual services as eligible for reimbursement according to the terms of a member’s plan. Please visit your mybluecross online account to confirm the benefits and practitioners covered under your plan.

The following is a list of provider types whose services are eligible for reimbursement if offered virtually:

Veterinary

We have put in place temporary measures for some of our services while ensuring that we continue to provide emergency patient consultations at our veterinary hospitals in London and Grimsby. Our mobile service is also suspended. Our animal hospitals have been able to carry out 80 per cent of our consultations by phone or video call. Feedback from clients is that these are working well so we are looking at how we can continue making them a part of our ongoing service.

We do have a backlog of surgeries that have been delayed due to the Covid-19 restrictions (over 300 in London alone) as well as pets who need seeing for ongoing and less urgent conditions. It is also very important to get more pets vaccinated as soon as possible to help prevent an animal disease outbreak in the coming months ahead. Many puppies and kittens have not been able to have their first vaccinations during lockdown and boosters for adult pets have been delayed.

Our dedicated staff have worked tirelessly to make sure we stay open, often working 12-hour shifts and late into the night, and we’ve had fantastic support from our volunteers. Ensuring we help as many pets as possible during these ongoing uncertain times remains our priority. 

Check our veterinary pages for the latest information including details of the service, contact details and opening times.

Additional Resources

As the challenges surrounding the pandemic continue, the importance of health and well-being are brought closer to the forefront. We are each impacted by the pandemic in varying ways and for some that also includes the added stress of financial insecurity. The following resources were developed by counsellors and health care professionals from our Employee Assistance Program and Disability Case Management teams to support the mental, physical and financial health of our fellow Manitobans.

To support mental well-being through the COVID-19 crisis, Blue Cross has joined as a sponsor of Stronger Minds by BEACON to offer a free digital guidance program to all Canadians. For members with employee assistance coverage, this resource is a supplement to the counselling services offered under your plan.

BEACON Stronger Minds

Attending Physician Statements

In recognition of the increasing pressure on our medical clinics and hospitals due to the global health emergency, we will not, at the outset, require an Attending Physician’s Statement as part of a member’s short term disability claim submission if the absence is due to coronavirus symptoms.

This is a time limited exception as we move through the current situation.

In the absence of an Attending Physician’s Statement, we require confirmation of a member’s symptoms and any medical treatment they may have received for the condition. A member will need to complete and sign a Confirmation of Illness form and return it with an Employer’s Statement and Employee’s Statement to LDinfo@mb.bluecross.ca. Forms can be downloaded here.

Rehoming and behaviour

I am thrilled to tell you that we have found loving new families for 555 pets since we were able to begin rehoming again in April. Our rehoming centres remain closed to the public, but I’m really pleased we’ve been able to start admitting pets again. At the moment we are limiting the numbers due to the strict safety measures we’re following, but we’re delighted to be able to help more homeless pets in need again.

We continue to be able to rehome some pets and are doing so following strict social distancing measures, so please do visit our rehoming pages if you are looking for a new addition to the family.

If you need to speak with someone for advice about how to maintain the welfare of your pet during these difficult times please give us a call.

How do the coronavirus pandemic and government travel advisories impact your coverage?

NOTE: The following is general information on impacts to travel plans available through Manitoba Blue Cross. Please refer to your own policy for your complete provisions.

Annual Travel Plan | Deluxe Travel Health | Tour Package

Am I covered for claims related to coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Your policy indicates that any claims associated in any way with a published formal travel warning by the Canadian Government to «Avoid all non-essential travel» or «Avoid all travel» would be excluded (claims for any unrelated condition would be eligible). On March 13, 2020 Global Affairs issued a travel advisory to avoid all non-essential international travel and urged Canadians abroad to return to Canada. As such, any claims related to Coronavirus are not eligible. If you are required to travel for essential reasons it is recommended you confirm coverage in advance by contacting our office.

How does my departure date affect my coverage?

Any claims arising from coronavirus (COVID-19) will not be eligible for coverage if you departed after the advisory was issued on March 13, 2020.

What if my return to Canada is delayed?

If your return to Canada is delayed your coverage will automatically extend in the following situations:

Holiday Cancellation | Airfare Cancellation | Tour Package

Is my cancellation coverage eligible?

Your plan includes coverage for the non-refundable portion of your trip when travel is cancelled as a result of one of the insured risks outlined in your policy. Please refer to your specific policy provisions for full details.

How do the recent government advisories affect my cancellation coverage?

Policies sold before March 13, 2020 include:

Policies sold on or after March 13, 2020 are:

not eligible for cancellation coverage related to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Group/Employer Travel Health Benefits

Do my Group/Employer Travel Health Benefits cover claims related to coronavirus?

Your policy provides emergency medical coverage for unexpected medical conditions. The international borders are currently open only to essential travel. If you require emergency medical attention for any reason (including coronavirus), your claim will be accepted (providing all other contractual requirements are met).

What if my return to Canada is delayed?

If you have reached the maximum duration of travel as allowed under your group policy, and your return to Canada is delayed, your insurance coverage will automatically extend in the following situations:

What if I still have to cancel an upcoming trip?

If you have cancellation insurance, we are currently only accepting trip cancellation claims and calls with respect to trips scheduled to depart within 30 days.

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