Newsletter « The Savvy Retiree »  April 3, 2020

The newsletter is an initiative by your retirees’ representatives on the Advisory Committee for Retirees (ACR)

In this first edition, we invite you to consult the ACR website on a regular basis. We are monitoring the COVID-19 situation carefully, and the homepage will be updated frequently to provide general information that we hope will be useful to you.


We remind you that it is important to take the following steps::


  • Self-isolate at home. Go out only if absolutely necessary.

  • Wash your hands frequently, using soap and warm water, for 20 seconds.

  • Cough or sneeze into a paper handkerchief or into the crook of your arm, not into your hand.

  • Monitor your health for symptoms of the virus, including coughing, fever or respiratory difficulties.

  • Stay busy!  Do the best you can in this difficult situation. There are more ways to pass the time than you may think.


Together, we can limit the number of people who become sick, and hence avoid overloading our health system. Together, we will get through this.


Hang in there!  Daniel Dubé, Retirees’ Spokesperson

Important information about the COVID-19 pandemic

In a message to all its insurance customers on March 16, 2020, SSQ Insurance wrote this:


“Whether you are currently travelling or have planned a trip, you probably have a lot of questions. We invite you to consult our Frequently Asked Questions on our website. Please visit the website regularly, because it will be updated as the situation develops.


Important! If you are currently travelling outside Canada, you must have taken the necessary measures to return before March 27, 2020. Refer to your contract as certain exceptions may apply.


If you are unable to return by March 27, 2020 (due to border closures or unavailability of flights, for example), you will continue to be covered until you are able to return. Keep all supporting documents proving that you were unable to return in time.”


With regard to the policy issued under contract Y9999-R for retired management personnel of the Québec public and parapublic sectors, your contract states that you must return to Canada when the Government of Canada issues an advisory to avoid all travel or all non-essential travel, if the advisory is issued as a result of a war or act of war. Advisories are currently in effect to avoid all cruise ship travel and to avoid non-essential travel outside Canada because of COVID-19. 


This means that if you chose not to return to Canada by March 27, 2020, you would be covered for medical care for the duration of your trip, in accordance with the provisions of your contract.


However, neither SSQ Insurance nor CanAssistance is responsible for the availability or quality of the medical and hospital care provided, or for the possibility of obtaining care. 


Given that access to medical and hospital care may be difficult or even impossible due to the COVID-19 pandemic, especially for non-residents, we encourage you to come back to Canada if you are able to do so, and to avoid travelling until the Government has lifted the “Avoid all cruise ship travel” and “Avoid non-essential travel outside Canada” advisories. 


It is important to note that the situation is evolving constantly. New measures are introduced on a daily basis by government authorities throughout the world. Please note that the information in this news release is valid as of April 1, 2020, and that the situation is changing rapidly.


Please also remember that travel insurance covers sudden, unexpected illness. Contracting COVID-19 abroad may not be considered sudden and unexpected in the case of someone who began their trip at a time when the Government of Canada had issued a recommendation to avoid all cruise ship travel and to avoid non-essential travel outside Canada.