Re. Travel Medical Insurance

Good day Union Family

Since, the Asbestos Worker’s Insurance Benefit Trust Fund of Alberta (Health and Welfare Plan) has moved from being an insured plan with Manulife to a self-funded plan, with only the life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment, and travel medical covered by an insurance company, I have received a number of calls about the Travel Medical Insurance.

The Travel Medical Insurance for our Health and Welfare Plan is insured through iA Financial Group. The plan has a maximum of $1,000,000.00 of medical coverage for when a plan member or their covered dependents are traveling outside of their province of residence. The coverage starts when you leave your residence and lasts for 90 days from that date. If you are going to be away from your residence longer than 90 days you will only be covered for the first 90 days, after that you would have to purchase your own travel insurance for the remainder of your trip. Since, the travel medical coverage can be used for multiple trips in one year, you are required to return to your residence for a minimum 72 hours before the 90 days is restarted under the plan. If you do not return to your residence for the required time your coverage will only be for the number of days that are outstanding from the previous trip.

There are some exclusions from the Travel Medical coverage around pre-existing conditions:

This policy does not cover loss, fatal or non-fatal, caused by or resulting from a pre-existing or related condition whereby the Insured Person received Medical Treatment or required the use of medication during the three months preceding the date the Insured Person left their province of Residence.

Before the Insured Person’s departure from his province of Residence, the Insured Person must be stable under this plan, during the three months leading up to his departure from his province of Residence.

To be stable, the Insured person must not have:

  • been treated, tested or consulted for any new symptoms or conditions;
  • had an increase or worsening of existing symptoms;
  • changed treatments;
  • changed medications (other than normal adjustments for ongoing care);
  • been admitted to the hospital for treatment of the condition;
  • been advised of future treatments or tests planned for any existing symptoms or conditions.

This exclusion shall not apply to an Insured Person whose treatment was deemed, by the treating Physician or health care provider, as a routine follow up examination, nor shall it apply to an Insured Person whereby their use of medication is for a controlled and medically Stabilized Condition (diagnosed condition that requires consistent medical treatment), which was not medically compromised and whereby there was no change in either the medication or in frequency and usage, or dosage within the three months prior to departure.

In the end the Travel Medical Insurance is in place and covering our members to the same levels and the same way as when the plan was insured through Manulife. Unfortunately, shortly after the change from Manulife was made a member found that there was a difference in the process of coverage between Manulife and iA. This was brought to the attention of our Health and Welfare Administrator and me. Although it did take a few days the issue was corrected for that member and the adjustment was made to correct this issue going forward.

As the Health and Welfare plan has moved to a self-funded benefit it is important to me and the other trustees that proper coverage of our members and their families is maintained. If you have found any services that have not continued, please bring that information forward. Additionally, if there are services or prescriptions that are not currently covered by the plan that you see as beneficial, please put this in writing to the Trustees for future consideration.

If you have any questions about the process, please contact Health and Welfare Administrators or myself at the Edmonton union office.

In Solidarity,

Kevin Lecht                                                                          

Business Manager