The cost of health cover
We – like all Australian health funds – have been careful to maintain the cash reserves to pay claims that may be delayed due to COVID-19.
This wasn’t purely caution on the part of health funds – it was, and still is, a requirement under government legislation.
As we’ve seen over recent months in Victoria, and now in NSW, the COVID-19 situation is far from stable. And it seems this uncertainty could continue for some time.
As a not-for-profit fund, our focus is on giving back to our members. And being prudent with our members’ money is as important now as it’s ever been.
If we don’t end up using the funds we’ve set aside to cover delayed claims, future premium increases will be lower than they would have otherwise been.
We feel this remains the most responsible approach to taking care of our members in such challenging 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’s over there’s likely to be a significant surgery backlog in the public system, making wait times even longer than usual. Which is unlikely to be the case in the private system.
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 up until 31 December 2021.
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 enroll 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.
*These programs are 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 a 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.
What telehealth services can I access through my Extras cover?
At the start of the pandemic, we expanded our coverage of telehealth services (previously limited to psychology). This has since been extended to 31 December 2021.
Depending on your level of cover (and remaining limits) you could now claim for: