Where is your office located?
We are located at 599 Empress Street, Winnipeg MB. Our office hours are Tuesday through Friday 10:00 a.m. - 4 p.m., closed Mondays. For additional contact information please visit our Contact Us page.
What is your mailing address?
Our mailing address is:
- Manitoba Blue Cross
- PO Box 1046 Stn Main
- Winnipeg, MB R3C 2X7
Is Manitoba Blue Cross hiring?
Visit our Careers page for current openings or to submit your resume for future consideration.
My group coverage is ending. Can I continue coverage on my own?
Yes. We have a selection of personal plans available to meet your needs.
If you are transitioning from another plan with comparable coverage, avoid the three-month dental waiting period by applying within 60 days of loss of coverage. Coverage will be continuous as long as you pay premiums for the first month of coverage loss.
Which plan is best for me?
Do I need to be a Manitoba resident to apply for a plan?
Yes. You must be a Manitoba resident, registered with and entitled to benefits from Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living.
I have a family. Do I have to list everyone on the application?
With a family plan, all members must be listed on the application in order to receive coverage.
When will my benefits become effective?
If you have benefits through an employer or group: Contact your plan administrator to determine the effective date of your plan.
If you have purchased benefits through Manitoba Blue Cross or an agent: Your benefits will become effective on the first of the month following the effective date. There is a three-month paid waiting period* for dental.
* If you are transitioning from another plan with comparable coverage, we will waive the waiting period provided you apply within 60 days of loss of coverage.
*If you are transitioning from another plan with comparable coverage, we will waive the dental waiting period provided you apply within 60 days of loss of coverage.
How do I cancel my coverage?
If you have benefits through an employer or group: Contact your plan administrator to determine cancellation eligibility based on the rules of your plan.
If you have purchased benefits through Manitoba Blue Cross or an agent: You may request cancellation at any time; however, re-enrollment would have to be authorized by Manitoba Blue Cross (unless you have cancelled as a result of obtaining comparable coverage through an employer, group or spouse).
To cancel your coverage, notify Manitoba Blue Cross in writing (by email or letter). Upon receipt of notification, your coverage will be cancelled on the last day of the following month.
If I cancel my coverage, can I reapply when I want to?
If you have benefits through an employer or group: Contact your plan administrator to determine re-enrollment eligibility based on the rules of your plan.
If you have purchased benefits through Manitoba Blue Cross or an agent: You may be eligible to re-apply. Contact Manitoba Blue Cross or your insurance broker/agent.
Who is eligible to apply for the retiree plan?
You are eligible to apply if you are between the ages of 55 and 70 and are coming off of an employer/group sponsored benefit plan. This application age is based solely on the age of the applicant. There are no age restrictions for a spouse or any dependents provided that the applicant is eligible for the plan. You must apply within 60 days of termination from your group benefit plan and have a provincial health insurance plan.
If you are leaving a non-Manitoba Blue Cross group plan, you must retire within Manitoba to be eligible for the plan.
What is the definition of an employer/group sponsored benefit plan?
An employer/group sponsored benefit plan is one in which the premiums are typically shared between the employer and employee or the employer pays the total premiums.
How long do I have to apply after leaving my group plan?
You have 60 days to apply for the retiree plan after leaving your group plan.
What happens if I miss this 60-day window?
If you apply for coverage from 61 to 182 days after leaving your group plan, medical information for each participant is required to determine acceptance. After 182 days of leaving your group plan you will not be eligible to enroll on the retiree plan.
I waived my health and dental benefit on my group plan. Am I eligible for the retiree plan?
Yes, if you are enrolled in another line of benefit (a Health Spending Account, for example) you are eligible for the retiree plan. If you did not participate in any other benefit lines, you are not eligible for the retiree plan.
Does this plan include couple or family rates?
A couple or family rate does not apply for this plan, as all rates are per plan participant. If your plan includes a spouse or dependents, rates for each additional plan participant are determined using the rates specified within their age bracket at the coverage level you've chosen. The monthly premium is calculated as the sum of all rates for each of the plan participants included on the plan. These rates will change as each plan participant reaches a new age bracket or upon changes to the overall rate by Manitoba Blue Cross.
When will my retiree plan be effective?
The effective date of your retiree plan will be backdated to the first of the following month following the termination date of your employer/group sponsored plan. There can be no gap in coverage.
Can I change the plan I selected after I've enrolled on the plan?
A member can transfer from a Retiree Standard plan to a Retiree Basic plan at any time. When enrolled on a Retiree Basic plan, a member cannot transfer to a Retiree Standard plan unless the request is made within 182 days of their termination from an employer/group sponsored benefit plan. Medical information may be required.
At what age does my retiree plan terminate?
The plan does not have a termination age. However, travel coverage outside of Canada, which is included as part of the Retiree Standard plan, terminates at age 75, based on the age of the individual plan participant. For example, when you turn 75, your outside-of-Canada travel coverage will terminate, but your spouse's will remain active until he or she turns 75. Travel coverage within Canada, but outside Manitoba, does not have an age restriction.
I often vacation for extended periods outside Manitoba during the winter (a snowbird, for example). Am I eligible to keep my retiree plan?
Yes, as long as you maintain your status according to the requirements of your Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living plan, you can remain on the retiree plan. Note that Manitoba has rules for individuals maintaining their health care card, and you should review the rules. Please refer to the Province of Manitoba website.
What if I retire in Manitoba but then move to another province?
Our retiree plan provides service for our customers outside of Manitoba for a period of up to three months. However, all Blue Cross plans across Canada have reciprocal agreements with each other for individual plan transfers.
I left a Manitoba Blue Cross group plan that had a travel benefit. Is the travel coverage included in the retiree plan the same as my previous plan?
No; there are differences between the travel coverage you had with your group benefit plan and your individual retiree plan. The most important difference is the stability clause that applies to the retiree plan. This states that a claim will not be paid for services related to a medical condition that was not deemed stable 90 days prior to your trip departure date.
What is considered a pre-existing condition for the retiree plan?
Manitoba Blue Cross defines that a pre-existing condition is a sickness, injury or medical condition, whether or not diagnosed by a physician:
- for which you exhibited signs or symptoms; or
- for which you required or received medical consultation, treatment or hospitalization; or
- for which you were prescribed a new medication or given a change in prescribed medication; and
- which existed prior to the departure date of your coverage.
What does stable mean?
Manitoba Blue Cross defines that stable means the medical condition is not worsening and there has been no change in prescribed medication for the condition, nor any other treatment prescribed or recommended or received.
What does change of medication mean?
Not all changes to medication will be affected by the stability clause. A change in prescribed medication means any increase or decrease in dose, strength or frequency of a prescribed medication, as well as the addition or discontinuation of any medication. The following are not considered changes in prescribed medication:
- The daily sliding scale or glucometer adjustments for insulin injections.
- A change from a brand name medication to the generic form of the same medication provided the dosage is the same.
- The routine adjustment of Coumadin, Warfarin, or other anticoagulant medication except where newly prescribed or stopped.
When does the 90-day stability clause apply?
The 90-day stability clause applies at claim time and is calculated back from your trip departure date. Manitoba Blue Cross will determine if the claim relates to a medical condition, symptom or illness that you experienced 90 days prior to your trip departure date.
What if my doctor says that I am stable enough to travel? Does the 90-day stability clause still apply at claim time?
Yes, being deemed medically stable to travel in a doctor's opinion is not the same thing as meeting our definition of stable as it relates to coverage of a medical condition. Your medical condition may be considered stable from a medical point of view; however, due to the timing of the most recent change in symptoms, medications, treatment, requisition or recommendation for a test or procedure, that does not necessarily mean you'll be covered in the event of an emergency relating to that condition. If a pre-existing medical condition was directly or indirectly related to the need for emergency medical care during your trip, we will access your medical records to confirm whether the medical condition in question met our definition of the 90-day stability period.
In addition to the stability clause, are there other exclusions that I should be aware of?
Yes, every travel plan you purchase or have through a group benefit plan includes specific limitations and exclusions. It is important and your responsibility to carefully read and understand your travel plan benefit, eligibility, exclusions and limitations.
Your travel benefit contain limitations and exclusions that could affect your coverage. Some exclusions include the following:
- medical conditions that are not stable;
- participation in high-risk activities or extreme sports;
- seeking treatment, medical consultation or a second medical opinion while travelling;
- travelling against medical advice; or
- travelling after your receipt of a terminal prognosis.
What happens when I have reached the age of 75 and my outside-of-Canada travel coverage has terminated on my Retiree Standard plan?
Even though outside-of-Canada travel benefits are no longer available for you on the Retiree Standard plan upon turning age 75, you are still eligible for a retiree plan travel discount of 10 per cent when you purchase travel coverage from Manitoba Blue Cross. You will continue to have travel coverage within Canada and outside of Manitoba.
Do I need to return to Manitoba for a certain number of days for the travel-day limits to restart?
Yes, you need to return to Manitoba for your travel-day limit to restart. Each trip length begins when you leave Manitoba and ends when you return to Manitoba (you can leave on a new trip immediately upon return). Manitoba Health states that you need to be physically present in Manitoba for at least 212 days in a 12-month period to remain eligible for your Manitoba Health, Active Living and Seniors coverage.
The Retiree Standard plan out-of-Canada travel benefit limits each trip to 60 days. In the event of a claim, you will be required to provide proof of departure and return dates.
How much travel coverage do I have?
All plans cover emergency medical claims to a maximum of $5 million per trip. See your retiree plan agreement for complete coverage details.
Why do I need travel health coverage?
Unfortunately accidents and illnesses do happen while you are away.
The health expenses resulting from those accidents or unexpected illnesses are not fully covered by Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living. The difference between what Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living will pay and the actual cost may be substantial.
Do I need travel health coverage if I travel in Canada?
Based on the reciprocal billing agreement, Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living will pay the standard rate if you see a doctor or are admitted to an approved hospital in Canada; however, not all expenses are covered.
In the event of a unexpected, sudden or unforeseen travel health emergency, a travel health plan will provide coverage for benefits such as ambulance/air ambulance; emergency evacuation from a mountain, body of water, or other remote location; prescription drugs; physiotherapist, chiropractic, or podiatrist services for acute care; emergency dental; vehicle return, return of family, meals and accommodation allowance, transportation of a family member to your bedside, and/or return of deceased.
Do I need to be a Manitoba resident to apply for travel health coverage from Manitoba Blue Cross?
Yes. You must be a Manitoba resident, registered with and entitled to benefits from Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living to apply for travel health coverage.
When should I buy travel health coverage?
Travel health coverage must be purchased prior to departure. Plans that include cancellation coverage (Air, Holiday or Tour Package) must be purchased at time of deposit (within 72 hours) or prior to any cancellation or penalty period.
If I have coverage through another company, can I top up or extend my coverage through Manitoba Blue Cross?
No, coverage must be purchased for the entire duration of the trip.
What is the maximum amount of time that I can purchase travel health coverage for?
Coverage maximums vary by plan.
- For our Deluxe Travel Health plan, the maximum allowable duration is:
- 183 days (under Age 55 OR Age 55 to 74 with no pre-existing conditions)
- 62 days (age 55 to 74 with pre-existing conditions OR Age 75 & Over)
- For our Annual Travel Health plan, the maximum allowable duration is 32 days. However, if you are under the age of 55 you may purchase additional days, up to an additional 30 days (total trip duration cannot exceed 62 days).
- For our Tour Package plan, the maximum allowable duration is 32 days.
- For our Holiday Cancellation and Airfare Cancellation plans, the maximum allowable duration is 183 days.
Can I buy travel health coverage if I have an existing medical condition?
Yes, however there are many factors that may affect what is covered on a travel health plan.
It is important to disclose all medical conditions at the time of purchase so that you can be aware of any exclusions to your plan when travelling. Always discuss any concerns with your travel agent or contact us for further clarification.
When purchasing travel health coverage, am I required to complete a medical questionnaire?
You are not obligated to complete this questionnaire; however doing so may give you a definite advantage.
For individuals aged 55 to 74 on date of departure, answering the medical questionnaire determines eligibility for our Gold Deluxe Travel Health Plan. Our Gold Plan allows for trips of longer duration and offers preferred pricing.
Can I buy cancellation insurance for a flight purchased with points?
We are unable to insure points of any kind. We are only able to insure out-of-pocket costs (when a ticket is purchased with points, this is usually the taxes).
If I am away and need to stay longer, what do I do?
You may extend the duration of your original policy if:
- Medical attention has not been received during the initial term.
- A claim has not been incurred during the initial term.
- You request the extension prior to the expiry date of your policy.
- The extension is for all benefits purchased on the original policy.
If you are hospitalized due to a medical emergency, your benefits will remain in force throughout the period of hospitalization, plus 72 hours following your discharge from hospital at no extra cost.
I've lost my annual travel ID card. How can I get a replacement?
A copy of your travel ID card is located on the second page of your receipt. Log in to My Policy to reprint your receipt at any time.
Can I get a refund on my travel health coverage?
Our Annual Travel, Tour Package, Airfare Cancellation, and Holiday Cancellation plans are non-refundable.
For our Deluxe Travel Health plan:
- A complete refund is available if the entire trip is cancelled and Manitoba Blue Cross or an authorized agent receives notification prior to date of departure.
- A partial refund is calculated based on the date Manitoba Blue Cross or an authorized agent receives notification.
- Refunds are based on categories of time as per rate chart.
- No refund is available if a claim was incurred during the term of coverage or if your policy has been extended.
What is a Health Spending Account?
A Health Spending Account (HSA) is a tax-free allocation of credits that an employer may offer to employees to provide reimbursement on a wide range of out-of-pocket health expenses. In general, expenses are considered eligible if they qualify as a medical expense tax credit under the Income Tax Act of Canada and have not been 100 per cent reimbursed by another benefit plan. Deductible amounts and co-insurance also qualify.
An HSA is administered in accordance with Canada Revenue Agency guidelines , and is always last payer (after government, employer, individual, student, and spousal plans).
What can I claim under a Health Spending Account?
You may request reimbursement for any CRA-approved medical expense or service by an approved practitioner that has not already been 100 per cent reimbursed by another plan. Deductible and co-insurance amounts also qualify.
Does each member of my family have a separate Health Spending Account?
A plan has one Health Spending Account. All dependents listed under a plan may submit expenses to this account.
How do I request reimbursement from my Health Spending Account?
If you have an automatic claim payment plan, you do not need to request reimbursement. Manitoba Blue Cross will automatically pay balances remaining from previously submitted health or dental claims with payment of a health or dental claim or when you reach the minimum payment threshold. If you have unpaid balances with another carrier, submit an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) from that carrier so we may add these outstanding expenses to your account. Or, if you have unclaimed expenses, be sure to submit your receipts so we may add these expenses to your account.
If you have an on request claim payment plan, you will need to request reimbursement for unpaid balances:
- The easiest time to do this is during initial claim submission to your health or dental plan. When completing your online or paper claim, check Yes where it says "Pay remainder from Health Spending Account."
- To request reimbursement after a claim has been submitted to your health or dental plan, use the HSA Online Request feature within mybluecross®. This web-based application allows you to quickly request reimbursement for outstanding balances previously submitted to your health or dental plan. Alternatively, you may submit a paper HSA claim form.
- If you have unpaid balances with another carrier, please submit an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) from that carrier so we may add these outstanding expenses to your account. Or, if you have unclaimed expenses, be sure to submit your receipts so we may add these to your account.
What is considered an acceptable medical receipt?
In accordance with Canada Revenue Agency guidelines, proper receipts must support all amounts claimed as qualifying medical expenses. A receipt should indicate the purpose of the payment, the date of the payment, the patient for whom the payment was made and, if applicable, the medical practitioner, dentist, pharmacist, nurse, or optometrist who prescribed the purchase or gave the service. A cancelled cheque will not be accepted as a substitute for a receipt.
What is a minimum payment amount?
Minimum payment refers to the lowest dollar amount that can be reimbursed at a time. This threshold is set by the employer.
- If the amount requested is less than the minimum payment, payment will be held and expenses will continue to accumulate until this threshold is met.
- If the threshold is never met, Manitoba Blue Cross will pay all pending expenses at the end of the group's claim limitation period following your benefit year.
Visit My Coverage in mybluecross® to view your Health Spending Account (HSA) plan information including minimum payment amount, claim limitation period, and benefit year.
*The minimum payment threshold applies to any outstanding HSA claim that has not been paid. If an HSA balance is requested at time of your initial health or dental claim under the same certificate and claim is payable to you, the minimum payment threshold will be bypassed and the HSA payment will be included with this payment. In addition to this, all pending HSA payments accumulating in the account will attach to this request and be included with the HSA payment.
*Your Health Spending Account (HSA) is considered last payer (after government, spousal, and student plans, etc.). If you have coverage with another carrier, you must submit an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) from that carrier before outstanding expenses can be processed through your HSA.
When will I receive payment for my Health Spending Account claim?
Automatic and requested Health Spending Account (HSA) payments may be released with payment of a health or dental claim or when the minimum payment threshold is met:
- When an HSA balance is requested with a health or dental claim that is payable to the member, HSA payment is included with claim payment (minimum payment threshold is bypassed).
- When an HSA balance is requested on its own, payment is released once the minimum payment threshold is met. The minimum payment threshold is set by your employer. If the amount requested is less than the minimum payment, payment is held and expenses will continue to accumulate until this threshold is met. If the threshold is never met, Manitoba Blue Cross will pay all pending expenses at the end of your group's claim limitation period following your benefit year.
* When a member requests HSA reimbursement alongside a health or dental claim, all pending HSA payments will be released, including pending HSA balances accumulating in the account.
Can I re-direct my Health Spending Account payment to my provider (e.g. a dentist or optician)?
No, Health Spending Account credits cannot be assigned to pay a provider. According to Canada Revenue Agency guidelines, credits can only be used to reimburse expenses which have been paid.
What happens to unused credits?
In accordance with The Income Tax Act, unused credits are forfeited. To maximize credit use, members should request reimbursement during the benefit year, ideally at time of expense.
What is the deadline for submitting my Health Spending Account claim?
To maximize credit use, it is recommended that members submit Health Spending Account (HSA) claims within the same benefit year, ideally at time of expense. Each HSA plan has a grace period following the benefit year which is referred to as the claim limitation period. This grace period varies by group.
Visit My Coverage in mybluecross® to view your Health Spending Account (HSA) plan information including claim limitation period and benefit year.
* Based on coordination of benefits' guidelines, a member's HSA plan will always pay first, followed by the plan where s/he is covered as a spouse. To maximize credit use, it is important that members request reimbursement within the same benefit year, prior to allocation of their next year's credits.
I dropped off a Health Spending Account claim before the end of the claim limitation period. Why was it not included in the HSA payout?
Paper claims may take up to 15 business days to process. This does not include the time needed by Canada Post to deliver your claim to us, or the time required to process your claim through your health or dental plan if needed.
Provided the Health Spending Account (HSA) claim was received within your group's claim limitation period, it is still considered eligible and will be included in the next payment run. Cheques are mailed every Wednesday and direct deposit payments are transmitted every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
To avoid delay, sign up for direct deposit in mybluecross® and gain access to HSA Online Request. This service allows you to request reimbursement for outstanding balances previously submitted to your health or dental plan. If you have receipts or unpaid balances with another carrier, be sure to submit an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) from that carrier so we may add these outstanding expenses to your account.
I didn't use all of my Health Spending Account credits. Will I receive a cheque back for the balance?
No, unused credits will not be reimbursed to you. In accordance with The Income Tax Act:
- Health Spending Account credits may only be used to reimburse medical expenses within a specified time period.
- In order to receive reimbursement, you must claim an expense.
- Credits not used within the specified time period are forfeited.
I am going on maternity leave this month. Can I continue to submit expenses since I have already been allocated credits for this year?
If your employer terminates your coverage when you start maternity leave, you may submit Health Spending Account (HSA) expenses incurred during the time you were covered, provided they are submitted within the claim limitation period or termination grace period (whichever occurs first).
Visit My Coverage in mybluecross® to view your HSA plan information including claim limitation period and benefit year.
I ended my employment mid-year. Can I continue to submit expenses since I have already been allocated credits for this year?
If your employment ends mid-year, you may submit Health Spending Account (HSA) expenses incurred during the time you were covered, provided they are submitted within the claim limitation period or termination grace period (whichever occurs first).
Visit My Coverage in mybluecross® to view your Health Spending Account (HSA) plan information including claim limitation period and benefit year.
Can the Health Spending Account reimbursement be sent to me through direct deposit?
Yes. Visit My Account in mybluecross® to set up direct deposit using your account number, transit number, and bank number (located on your personal cheque). Banking information will be updated within one business day.
Why does my Health Spending Account have to be used as the last source of payment?
Your Health Spending Account (HSA) is administered in accordance with Canada Revenue Agency guidelines which state that an HSA must be the last payer (after government, spousal, and student plans, etc.).