COVID Insurance Information

Income Replacement During Illness From COVID-19:

For Physicians: 

  • For those physicians enrolled in the government funded Physicians Disability Insurance (PDI) plan regular disability certificate provisions apply, however please see below special handling for PDI income replacement during quarantine.

  • For those enrolled in the Doctors of BC Disability Income Insurance or IncomeProtect™ plan, coverage will pay out at the amount purchased, after completion of the Member’s elimination period between 28 to 120 days of illness depending on the option selected at time of purchase. For Members who are ill with a positive test for COVID-19 or a presumptive positive diagnosis of COVID-19,  the elimination period will be calculated from the first day of self-isolation. To claim, please contact Doctors of BC and follow the modified claims process to submit a claim.

  • Some physicians may also carry Professional Expense Insurance, which pays out a reimbursement of your business expenses for disability after completion of the Member’s elimination period of between 14 – 90 days of illness, depending on the option selected at time of purchase. For Members who are ill with a positive test for COVID-19 or a presumptive positive diagnosis of COVID-19, this elimination period will be calculated from the first day of self-isolation. Please contact Doctors of BC and follow the modified claims process to submit a claim.

    Disability and business overhead expense coverage does not provide benefits related to COVID-19 such as unemployment, workplace disruption, or loss of business because of preventative measures recommended or required by federal, provincial or local governments.

  • There may be WorkSafeBC coverage (depending on the physician’s policy) during illness. Contact WorkSafeBC for specific details. Payment under WorkSafeBC will reduce any concurrent PDI claim payment.

For Medical Office Assistants (MOAs):

  • MOAs may have some modest disability insurance coverage if enrolled in the Doctors of BC Health Benefits Trust Fund Plan, which would pay out after 17 weeks of continuous illness at $1000 - $2500 per month, depending on which option was purchased. 

  • MOAs may also qualify for Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits for up to 15 weeks at 55% of earnings up to a maximum of $573 a week. A medical certificate may be required. Contact your local EI office for more details. 

  • There may be WorkSafeBC income replacement for MOAs under a physician’s policy. WorkSafeBC will assess each scenario on a case-by-case basis. Contact WorkSafeBC for more info.  

Income Replacement During Quarantine: 

For Physicians Quarantined Due to COVID-19 Exposure in their Occupation: 

  • PDI - For physicians enrolled in the government funded Physicians’ Disability Insurance (PDI) plan, with coverage of up to $6,100 per month, this plan will pay out a maximum of 14-days for an eligible disability benefit related to COVID-19. The benefit will pay out from the first day of self-isolation  for a Member who is following direction to self-isolate for illness from the Public Health Agency of Canada and/or British Columbia Center for Disease Control (BCCDC). Please contact Doctors of BC and follow the modified claims process to submit a claim. This payment will be reduced if claimed in conjunction with other insurance. Details will be confirmed by the insurer on a case-by-case basis at the point of claim. After the 14-days benefit payment, the disability due to illness will be reassessed under the regular contract provisions for PDI plan and further medical evidence will be requested.

  • QIR - Physicians who are not enrolled in the PDI plan, qualify for the negotiated Quarantine Income Replacement (QIR) benefit. This benefit is administered by Doctors of BC’s insurance department, and will pay out for a maximum of two weeks in the amount of $3,050 (taxable). This benefit is available multiple times if the physician faces new exposure and re-quarantine. To qualify, the physician must be an active practicing member of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, and quarantine must be directed in writing by the Provincial Health Officer, a Medical Health Officer, a Health Authority or a Department Head. A claim form must be completed along with a copy of the written direction to quarantine.

  • Business Continuity Coverage – income replacement payments may be available under a physicians’ medical office insurance package. Under Doctors of BC’s medical office insurance package sold through Westland Insurance, income replacement payments would only be available if a Civil Authority mandated closure/quarantine of the geographical region where the office was located, and would pay for a maximum of 30 days. The insurer is presently reviewing office closure claims on a case-by-case basis. Physicians experiencing potential business interruption loss may wish to report it to their insurer, to determine claim coverage based on the details of their situation. Contact your medical office insurer for details. 

For Physicians Quarantined Due to COVID-19 Exposure outside of their Occupation: 

  • Physicians enrolled in the PDI plan may claim for their time in quarantine or self-isolation, under the same parameters as noted above. 

  • The QIR benefit is not available for non-occupational exposure. 

For MOAs Quarantined Due to COVID-19 Exposure:

  • There is no Doctors of BC insurance or benefit coverage for MOA quarantine. 

  • MOAs may qualify for EI sickness benefits during quarantine, provided the medical certificate documents exposure. Contact your local EI office for more details. 

Travel Insurance

Johnson has made the decision as of March 13, 2020 to pause the selling of new MEDOC & Prestige Travel Insurance and Trip Cancellation/Interruption products, while they continue to evaluate the impact of Coronavirus on their travel insurance coverage.

Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption Insurance Coverage Already in Place

Travel insurance policies, including MEDOC, typically exclude coverage where the insured is aware, on the date they book travel, of any event that may prevent the insured from travelling as planned. As the Coronavirus outbreak has now been declared by the World Health Organization as a global pandemic, Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption coverage: 

  • Does not extend to any travel booking made on or after a formal travel advisory is issued;

  • For members who departed on a trip before a formal advisory is issued, trip interruption coverage is limited to a period of 10 days from the date of the travel advisory or formal notice was issued, or to a period that is reasonably necessary for your to safely evacuate the country, region and area.

  • Trips booked after a destination or cruise receives a formal travel advisory are not covered for trip cancellation or interruption. 

  • Trip cancellation due to concerns around travelling during a pandemic do not fall within any of the insured risks in the Johnson Inc. policies

Out of Country Emergency Medical Insurance Coverage Already in Place

It is important to note that for Out of Country Emergency Medical Insurance, a travel advisory to “Avoid all travel” or “Avoid non-essential travel” will also impact coverage if the advisory is issued before the insured’s departure. Also there are the following MEDOC restrictions: 

  • Out of country emergency medical coverage is not available if a formal travel advisory is issued before your departure.

  • Members who book future travel to a location which is currently under a relevant travel advisory (including cruises) will not have medical coverage in these locations if the advisory is still in effect at the time of travel. 

  • If a travel advisory is issued after departure, medical coverage for that location is limited to a period of 10 days from the date of the travel advisory or formal notice was issued, or to a period that is reasonably necessary for you to safely evacuate the country, region or area.

  • Because of the advisory to “Avoid all cruise ship travel,” beginning March 9, 2020 customers who depart on a cruise will not have medical coverage. 

Please visit https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories for the most up-to-date information.

Getting Insurance Before You Get Sick: 

Unfortunately, physicians cannot be provided with blanket life and/or disability insurance during this COVID-19 outbreak. Insurers are unwilling to take on additional risk in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak and continue to require that physicians apply individually for coverage, and demonstrate good health in order to qualify without exclusions. 

Applying for coverage has become more challenging during the current pandemic, as social distancing requirements preclude collection of blood and urine samples often required for the application process. Insurers are seeking alternate solutions to allow applications to continue to be processed. Physicians are encouraged to work with a Doctors of BC Insurance Advisor to assist with the application process. Please note that the application process can take 2 months or more before insurance is put in place. 

  • Quick-issue Life insurance - if a physician requires urgent life insurance coverage to be placed, Doctors of BC may be able to help. There is a quick-issue life insurance option on the market, however it is not administered by Doctors of BC and is only available to those in relatively good health under the age of 50, and offers coverage up to a maximum of $500k, with premium costs at 20% - 30% higher than standard. Our Insurance Team can help interested members enroll.

More Information: 

To find out more about Doctors of BC insurance, the QIR benefit or how to make a claim, email insurance@doctorsofbc.ca or contact an Insurance Administrator at 604 638 2904 or toll free at 1 800 665 2262 ext. 2904. 

For assistance enrolling in Doctors of BC insurance, in-person, phone and web appointments are available with our licensed, non-commissioned Insurance Advisors. Book an appointment by emailing insurance@doctorsofbc.ca or calling 604 638 7914 (Toll Free: 1 800 665 2262 Ext. 7914).