Effective October 1, 2022, the Government of Canada lifted its remaining restrictions imposed to travelers entering Canada.

For a complete list of the changes, please see the information under COVID-19: Travel, testing and borders.


The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has prompted the Government of Canada to review its advisory levels for these two destinations, as well as for neighbouring countries. 

This change in advisory level may impact our insureds with reduced accessibility to emergency medical care, limited availability of flight options, etc. In addition, the Government of Canada’s advisory levels are important to consider, as your travel insurance coverage is directly linked to them. 

Refer to the Government of Canada site for the travel advisory level in effect for your country of destination. 

For more information on travel and your coverage, please see our COVID FAQ. 



Effective March 1, 2022, the Government of Ontario made changes to the public health and workplace safety measures.


For complete details on when and what restrictions have been lifted or eased, simply click on the following link,



The Ontario Association of Optometrists plans to withdraw from the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) effective September 1, 2021.


This will affect individuals who have been eligible to receive one major eye exam every 12 months (up to 19 years of age and 65 and older), plus any minor assessments. It will also affect those of any age with certain medical conditions including glaucoma and retinal disease who receive eye exams covered under OHIP.


Those affected should be aware that these services cannot, by Ontario law, be charged to private health insurance. Ontario regulation prohibits optometrists from billing direct to patients, to workplace health insurance, or to individual private insurance for any services provided to those eligible under OHIP.


Residents of Ontario between the ages of 20 to 64 may continue to receive eye examinations under the terms of their workplace health insurance or individual private insurance plan.


Further information about OHIP can be found by clicking on What OHIP Covers.


Travel Insurance Coverage – UPDATE

As of October 1, 2020, our insurance carrier, SSQ Insurance, will be covering all emergency medical expenses, including COVID-19 related medical expenses, in a destination country for which a travel advisory notice was issued by the Government of Canada to avoid all non-essential travel (Level-3).


Although limiting your travel is the best protection, SSQ Insurance is committed to supporting you if you must travel.  To be eligible for coverage though, you must be in good and stable health before your departure.  If you are unsure of your travel fitness, please contact SSQ’s travel assistance service (see below) to be sure.


To determine if your destination is considered allowable (Level 3 – avoid all non-essential travel; Level 2 – exercise a high degree of caution;

or Level 1 – exercise normal security precautions are permitted),  please refer to the Canadian Government's travel advisory website at:


To help answer some of your questions, please refer to SSQ’s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document, which can be accessed here.  Should your question(s) remain unanswered, you can contact SSQ's travel assistance service (1-800-465-2928) for further information.


Union Benefits Update – COVID-19 FAQ

In response to a number of questions we are receiving from members and Trustees, Union Benefits has drafted a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document that we hope will help answer some of your questions and concerns.


To access this document, please click on the following link,


/userContent/documents/COVID-19 FAQ.pdf


Union Benefits’ Response to the COVID-19 Virus Crisis

The health and welfare of the Union Benefits staff and customers is of paramount importance. Therefore, effective Monday, March 16th, 2020, Union Benefits will no longer accept walk-in Members for claims payment and counter-service. Notices will be placed outside alerting Members accordingly and the doors used by Members for Claims and our upstairs main office will be locked from visitors.

Members can elect to leave their paper claims in the outside claims box at 151 Frobisher Drive which is to be checked each morning and mid-day. Of course, Members are encouraged to use the mobile app, online claims facility, eDental, or Canada Post for prompt claims processing and payment.

We will keep everyone informed on our website as the situation changes.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation!

Union Benefits Logo



Update On OHIP+ Changes


OHIP+ is Ontario’s newly introduced drug benefit program for children and youth that was introduced on January 01, 2018. Under the previous Liberal government, they had agreed to cover the full cost of eligible prescription drugs under the Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) program for people under the age of 25.


OHIP+ Will Become Second Payor


OHIP+ will now be transitioning to a second payor system. Christine Elliot, Ontario’s new Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, announced in June of 2018 that drug claims for people under the age of 25 must be paid through a private insurance plan first. The government would then pay the remaining cost of the eligible prescription. However, those who are not covered by private benefits would continue to receive their eligible prescriptions at no cost under the ODB program.


Why Are The Changes Being Implemented?

The changes to the current pharmacare program are part of the new Ontario Progressive Conservative government’s pledge to save billions each year by finding efficiencies in government spending.

OHIP+ coverage is said to now focus on Ontario residents who do not have existing prescription drug coverage, while saving taxpayers money.


How Will It Work?

The changes will require those who are covered by private plans to bill those plans first, with government covering all remaining costs of eligible prescription drugs. Additionally, private insurance plans cover thousands of drugs that the government formulary does not, making private insurance a more comprehensive solution.


When Will The Changes Start?

Private insurers had originally offered the Liberals a grace period for some medications, which expired on Canada Day. The Progressive Conservatives then asked the insurance providers to extend this term while they work out the details of the changes.

As of now, no definitive timeline has been provided by the Conservative Government as to when the new OHIP+ changes will come into effect.


For further information on the initial program implemented on January 1, 2018, click on the following link, Click here to learn all you need to know...