aerial photo of the campus in the fall season

Frequently Asked Questions About Benefits

Below are frequently asked questions the HR Benefits Team receives about employee benefits. If you cannot find the information you are looking for, please contact 

Looking for information on employee discounts? Visit Employee Perks to find out all the perks and discounts offered to VIU employees. 

Looking for Manulife answers to questions you don’t see below? Visit Group Benefits – Frequently Asked Questions for Plan Members.

If you qualify for benefits at VIU, the Benefits Coordinator will contact you. In the meantime, you may want to explore the Benefits Information and Employee Well-Being pages.

If you qualify for benefits, VIU pays 100% of the benefits premiums. If you take a leave from VIU, HR and/or Payroll will communicate with you if you need to pay for your benefits premiums.

To submit a claim, you will first need to log onto your Manulife account either via the app or online. The information to log-in is on your benefits card, the contract number is 83719.

Once logged in, locate submit a claim and follow the prompts from there. You will also need to attach a copy of the receipt for the service. You can take a picture of this receipt if you have a cell phone or scan the receipt to your desktop if you have access to a scanner and upload that way, whichever is easier.

Still unsure?  Log on to your Manulife account and click Submit a Claim. Once there, select the “watch the online claims tutorial” and view the short video on how to submit a claim.

We recommend getting direct deposit set up with Manulife for easy claim submission; you can do this under My profile once logged on your Manulife profile.

If you run into any issues, call the Manulife call centre for employees at 1.800.575.2200 and service representatives will assist you through the process.

  1. When logged into Manulife, on the far right, click on Contact Us
  2. Then select the Send a note, which shows up on the left; this will send an email directly to Manulife
  3. Choose General Inquiry
  4. Then ask for a replacement card in the text box

Your benefits cards will be sent to your mailing address on file.

If you need your card right away, you can print off a copy through the Manulife benefits secure site. Once logged in, click on My Benefits Card tab which shows up in the middle of the screen. Then click on the thumbnail of the card and print off a copy.

You may also save your Manulife card on your phone in your Wallet app (Apple and Android supported) or through the Manulife Mobile app.

Your claim statement from Manulife will have notes at the bottom with an explanation for each component of your claim. For more details, telephone Manulife directly at 1.800.575.2200. Be sure to have your Plan Contract Number (83719) and your Certificate Number available; your information is on your benefits card.

It may be that your spouse had benefits through another employer and those benefits have ended. Your Coordination of Benefits needs to be updated. Email for more information on how to update the coverage.

Children are covered up until the age of 21 for extended health and dental as long as they are unmarried and are not on their own employee benefits plan. After the age of 21 and until their 25th birthday, children will be considered Overage Dependants and covered under your benefits plan as long as they are unmarried, are not covered on their own employee benefits plan, are mainly supported by you, and attending school full-time at an accredited institution.

Vaccinations (i.e., shingles, travel vaccinations and other preventative medicine) are not covered through VIU's benefits plan.

You will need to sign paperwork with a 'wet signature' to change your beneficiary for life insurance. To do so, please contact

Your extended health benefits cover emergency travel assistance for you and your spouse and/or dependents who are covered on your extended health benefits. On the back of your benefits card is the number to call for emergency travel assistance in the case of medical emergency. A Medical Emergency is a sudden, unexpected injury or a new medical condition which occurs while a covered person (you or your dependent) is travelling outside of their province of residence, or a specific medical problem or chronic condition that was diagnosed but medically stable prior to departure.

Details of coverage can be found in your benefits booklet

You also might want to check if there is a travel advisory for the area you are traveling to. If you are traveling somewhere questionable, we recommend you call Manulife prior to departure.

BC's Fair PharmaCare plan helps BC residents with the cost of eligible prescription drugs, certain medical supplies, and pharmacy services. Each employee covered on VIU's extended health plan needs to register for Fair PharmaCare as you may qualify for a rebate on your medication through this plan. Fair PharmaCare needs to be applied to the prescription before the claim gets sent to Manulife (this happens automatically at the pharmacy when you show your Manulife card).

If you do not provide Manulife with your Fair PharmaCare number, claims may be declined by Manulife. To register, visit Register for Fair PharmaCare.

Once you have your Fair PharmaCare number, email it to and it will be sent to Manulife. If you do not provide Manulife with your Fair PharmaCare number, claims may be declined by Manulife.

If you are interested in a family doctor or nurse practitioner and live in a participating Primary Care Network community, register for the Health Connect Registry and get matched with a family doctor or nurse practitioner in your community. Find other suggestions for locating a family doctor at the BC College of Family Physicians webpage. Other options include Telus HealthCarefiniti Unlimited Care, walk-in clinics, and nurse practitioner clinics such as Nexus Primary Care Nanaimo

VIU no longer has a group MSP plan with HIBC as there are no longer monthly premiums for any BC Resident. As such, every employee was put onto an individual or family plan depending on their situation. If you received a letter from Health Insurance BC, you will need to contact them directly, as this is no longer handled through VIU.

Provincial health insurance in BC is called the Medical Services Plan (MSP). MSP covers the cost of medically necessary insured doctor services. In order to be eligible for extended health care benefits with VIU, you must have provincial coverage or replacement coverage.

If you are moving to BC from out of province, you will need to obtain a Personal Health Number (PHN). MSP becomes effective three months following your move to BC. During this time, you will still be covered for basic medical by your previous provincial health care plan and can still access VIU’s benefits. Please visit Health Insurance BC (HIBC) for more information on how to enrol in the Medical Services Plan (MSP).

If you are moving to BC from out of country you may need to purchase private health care insurance while the 3-month waiting period is in progress, prior to obtaining a BC Personal Health Number. Please visit Health Insurance BC (HIBC) for more information on how to enrol in the Medical Services Plan (MSP).

If you need more information on private insurance options through our benefits provider (Manulife), please contact