Here are the answers to questions our members have been asking during these uncertain times.
I’m concerned that the changing COVID-19 situation may stop me from using my Hospital cover when I need to. Why should I keep my cover?
Even when elective surgeries have been scaled back due to COVID-19, many non-elective surgeries (heart-related, cancer treatment, obstetrics, accidents and more) still happen and can be done in a private hospital, with your chosen specialist.
When COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, there’s likely to be a significant surgery backlog in the public system, making wait times even longer than usual. The private system will help to reduce the sustained pressure the public system is expected to experience.
Am I covered if I’m admitted to hospital because of COVID-19?
As part of our member support package, all Teachers Health members with Hospital cover are covered for COVID-19 hospital admissions, including cover for any adverse reaction or side-effect to a COVID-19 vaccine which requires admission to hospital.
This was first introduced in 2020 and has been extended in response to the ongoing COVID-19 situation.
This blanket covering for COVID-19 admissions is especially relevant for members on our Basic Plus products StarterPak, Basic Hospital and Mid Hospital (who wouldn’t have had full cover for this otherwise).
What other value can I get from my Hospital cover during COVID-19?
You may not be aware of the great work the Teachers Healthcare Services team does. They help eligible members* with Hospital cover access a range of support services, including Care Coordination and Mental Wellness programs, and Hospital Substitute Services.
They also provide access to the New Family Program, which is available to more members during COVID-19 (see below).
Can I access the New Family Program?
The New Family Program is an (online and phone) support program for expectant and new parents. Usually, the program’s a once in a lifetime benefit for eligible members* with Hospital cover (excluding StarterPak and Mid Classic). Women can enrol when they're 36 weeks pregnant, up until their baby's three months old.
As many families may need extra support right now, we’ve opened the program up to women from the 14th week of pregnancy, and those who've accessed the New Family Program before. This extension runs until 31 December 2021.
Health insurers won’t be paying for elective surgeries, can these savings be passed on to members?
As the COVID-19 situation is ever-evolving, it’s difficult to predict the long-term financial impact it will have on health insurers.
As part of our obligation to members, and our industry regulator APRA, we’re tasked with ensuring we are adequately prepared to respond to the unforeseen challenges that COVID-19 will have in both the short and long-term.
There are several factors that can put upward financial pressure on health insurers such as increased demand for inpatient mental health services and an increased demand for elective surgery due to extended wait times in the public system.
We also don’t know how many members will be accessing their health insurance for admission to treat COVID-19.
As a not-for-profit health fund, Teachers Health is committed to passing on any savings that do materialise back to members. Our focus is on being able to give back in a meaningful way that provides long-term benefit for members.
*This program is brought to members through Teachers Healthcare Services, an initiative of Teachers Health to support members’ health and wellbeing through quality, evidence-based health management programs and services. To be eligible for this program you must be a member of Teachers Health and have Hospital cover with all relevant waiting periods served. Additional eligibility criteria may apply. Eligible members are connected with a dedicated Teachers Healthcare Services care coordinator who supports them on their personal journey.