COVID-19 FAQs

COVID-19 FAQs

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Have a question?

Here are the answers to questions our members have been asking during these uncertain times.

Teachers Health

What are you doing to support members during this time?

At the start of the pandemic we implemented a member support package, which included:

  • Postponing 1 April premium increases for 6 months (until 1 October 2020)
  • Cover for COVID-19 admissions for all members with Hospital cover
  • Cover for a range of additional telehealth services through Extras cover
  • Financial hardship support measures
  • Increased support for new and expectant parents.

This package was initially scheduled to run until 30 September 2020, but many of the special measures have now been extended to 31 January 2021.

Learn more about our member support package


How can you support me if I’m experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19?
 

Members experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 can apply to suspend their cover for up to 12 months. This now includes members who are getting JobKeeper payments. 

How will you keep me updated during COVID-19? 

We recommend setting your contact preference to Via Member Services, and choosing either SMS or email (rather than Standard Mail). You can do this via Online Member Services or our member app:

Online Member Services

If you haven’t already registered, you can do so at Online Member Services. You’ll need your member number, which you’ll find on your membership card.

Otherwise, log into Online Member Services, select My membership > Contact details, scroll down to Contact preferences then click Edit.

Member app

If you’ve already registered for Online Member Services, you can access our member app. Once you’ve done this, open the app, tap on the menu icon (bottom right-hand-corner), select Membership > My contact details > Edit.


Is the Teachers Health contact centre still open?

Absolutely. We’re committed to running business as usual (or unusual in this instance). This includes supporting your health fund membership needs just as you’d expect. Need to get in touch? Call 1300 727 538.

Are you still paying claims?

Yep. Our team is working as hard as ever to process your claims. To check the status of a claim you’ve submitted, go to Online Member Services > Claims & benefits > Claims history. You should be able to see your claim 1-2 business days after you submit it.

How are you protecting your staff?

We've changed the way we work to support the health and safety of our people, including moving many of our Head Office staff to working from home arrangements. Those who are based at Teachers Health HQ, or at Teachers Health Centres, are following every guideline in the book, and a few extra precautions that aren’t! 

 

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Premiums & benefits

Did premiums increase as planned on 1 April? 

No. All 1 April premium increases were postponed for 6 months (until 1 October 2020). This means that all Teachers Health members who were due an increase in April have paid a lower rate for their cover for half of the (health insurance) year.
 

Did you implement the planned benefit improvements?

Yes, we introduced more than 10 new Hospital and Extras benefits for members on 1 April 2020! These improvements were made with our members’ best interests in mind, and we remain committed to that. 

Learn more about the April 2020 benefit improvements for Hospital cover and Extras cover.
  

Haven’t health funds saved lots of money during lockdown periods? Can these savings be passed on to members? 

It’s too early to tell whether these savings will actually happen. From March, Teachers Health has given back over $14 million to members. And it’s expected that the majority of elective surgery claims that didn’t happen during COVID shutdown periods will be deferred (costing us more down the track).

However, if any savings do materialise, we’ll absolutely pass them on to you. That’s the benefit of being with a not-for-profit health fund like Teachers Health. We address this media hot potato fully in The cost of health cover 

 

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Mental health support

What type of mental health support is available for Teachers Health members?

Telepsychology 

During COVID-19, our members have been using their Extras cover to claim for telepsychology – psychology consults via phone or Skype.

In fact, from April – July 2020 1 in 4 telehealth claims have been for telepsychology (on average). 

Mental Wellness Program

This phone-based program is available to eligible members through Teachers Healthcare Services.

There’s been a significant rise in the number of members accessing the program during COVID-19. In the last financial year, over 50% of Mental Wellness Program referrals were made between March – June 2020.  

Learn more about the Mental Wellness Program

Resilience eBook

This Resilience eBook has never been more relevant. It’s full of thought- provoking wisdom and practical strategies to help you navigate these troubled times. 

 

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Teachers Healthcare Services

What support can I access via Teachers Healthcare Services?

Care Coordination Program

Eligible members can access the Teachers Healthcare Services Care Coordination Program (phone-based health support service, staffed by registered nurses and dietitian) and discuss how to stay safe, access appropriate care, achieve or maintain health goals, access credible information and feel supported. 

Mental Wellness Program

Through Teachers Healthcare Services, eligible members can access telehealth consultations with mental health service providers (see above).

New Family Program 

Eligible members can access the New Family Program as an accredited alternative to in-hospital classes. The program includes online resources and telephone support, as well as mental health support if required.

At the start of the pandemic, we made this program available to more members until 30 September 2020. We’ve now extended this until 31 January 2021.

Hospital Substitute Treatment

Hospital Substitute Treatment is home-based clinical care. More on this below. 
 

How can I access these programs? 

Just fill in the Teachers Healthcare Services contact form and the team will be in touch.

Who's eligible for the programs?

Eligibility for support services varies, but at a minimum you need to have Teachers Health Hospital cover and have served any relevant waiting periods. The Teachers Healthcare Services team can talk to you about any other eligibility criteria attached to a given service.

 

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Hospital Substitute Treatment

What’s Hospital Substitute Treatment?

Hospital Substitute Treatment (HST) is home-based clinical care you’d otherwise have to be in hospital for. It can reduce the length of a hospital stay, or even help you avoid in-hospital (inpatient) treatment altogether.

Teachers Healthcare Services provides access to two services: Hospital at home and Rehab at home. You can learn more about them via our Before hospital and Leaving hospital pages. 
 

Which conditions can be treated through HST?

Evidence shows the conditions that can be safely treated at home include: 

  • cellulitis
  • pneumonia
  • deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • urinary tract infections (UTIs).
     

What are the benefits of home-based care?

Provided it’s safe for you, the benefits include: 

  • being in the comfort of own home
  • flexibility: you can eat, watch TV and sleep when you want!
  • reduced risk of infection (compared to hospital).

How can I access HST?

All levels of Teachers Health Hospital cover provide access to HST. The decisions rests with the doctor who’s treating you, as your safety is paramount. It also needs to be for treatment that's included in your Hospital cover (just as if you were in hospital).

 

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Teachers Health Centres

Are Teachers Health Centres open?

Yes! See our Health Centres page for the latest on the services that are available at our centres.  

 

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Travel insurance

What happens to the TravelCard travel insurance I bought now I can't travel due to COVID-19?

If you’ve already bought a TravelCard policy and have postponed travel plans as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, please contact the TravelCard team on 1300 123 112 to change the travel dates on your policy.

For more information, please see our TravelCard COVID-19 update

 

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