Public servants, retirees travelling and working overseas wait months for reimbursement

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Sonia Hooykaas and her daughter Eilidh have lived in London while Hooykaas has been posted there since November 2020. She says it's been a full-time job having to keep track of the claims she's submitted to MSH, the money she's borrowed from Global Affairs Canada and any reimbursements for claims she's received months later.

Some federal government employees posted or travelling overseas say they've had to wait months to be reimbursed for medical insurance claims that, once repaid, have been short hundreds or thousands of dollars with little explanation.Sonia Hooykaas and her daughter Eilidh live in London where Hooykaas has been posted since November 2020. She says keeping track of the claims she's submitted to MSH is like having another job.

Hooykaas is covered under the comprehensive portion of the plan, which acts as a substitute for provincial health insurance. "At least with Allianz you actually got somebody on the phone. There was a dedicated telephone number. I never waited for longer than five to 10 minutes on hold to talk to somebody," she told CBC.Roseline Roy has been retired from the federal public service for nearly a decade.

The agent also approved a business class ticket home so Roy could follow her doctor's orders to keep her leg elevated. MSH was to have the hospital bill the insurance company directly. Roy said the bulk of her $30,000 claim was reimbursed in early February, but there's $3,000 outstanding for the flight.

After CBC contacted MSH about her case in January, Hooykaas was assigned a case worker who she said sent her just one email and hasn't communicated since.MSH International's office in downtown Toronto. The company did not respond to specific questions from CBC, but said it would reach out to two clients featured in this story. on Feb. 9 and had to temporarily pause claims processing, creating a backlog.

 

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