Published 11 Sep 2020
GMHBA Ltd has announced it will be providing a 30% premium discount for three months from 1 October to members who are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 and are receiving JobSeeker or JobKeeper support.
CEO Mark Valena said that this decision is significant for GMHBA and aims to take financial pressure off members who are most in need.
“We know it’s been tough for many members so in recognition of this, we are going to provide a 30% premium discount to those in hardship. The last thing someone needs to worry about who has lost their job or had their wages cut during this time, is being able to afford their health insurance cover when they really need it,” said Mr Valena.
The 30% discount will be available for members until 31 December 2020 and can be used once per membership. It will apply to members who are currently receiving JobKeeper and JobSeeker support. For members experiencing financial hardship but not receiving Government support, other financial support is available including the option of membership suspension, with the ability to reactivate at any time.
For all other members, the deferred April premium increase will be applied from 1 October. This will cover rising healthcare costs so GMHBA can continue to provide the best possible products and services to its members.
The Victorian based health fund had previously waived the scheduled 1 April premium increases for all Frank and GMHBA members for six months, which cost the fund over $10 million. This was part of a range of support measures to alleviate pressure on members during COVID-19.
“We understand that is it an uncertain time for everybody which is why we have also decided to extend our COVID-19 member support package until 31 March 2021,” said Mr Valena.
GMHBA’s member support package includes the following assistance measures:
- All members with hospital cover are covered for COVID-19 related hospitalisations, regardless of their level of cover or which hospital they’re admitted to.
- Ancillary benefits are available for a wide range of telehealth extras services for active members with extras cover.
- GMHBA have partnered with Kieser to bring physiotherapy and strength training direct to our active members, with no out of pocket costs.
- All GMHBA members have free access to the Kieser Konnect app, to participate in specialised strength and conditioning programs at home.
“During the pandemic GMHBA has continued to stay focused on improving our members’ health and ensuring they get value from their cover. As a result, we have seen only an 8% reduction in hospital claims and a 13.5% reduction in extras claims in 2019/20 compared to the previous year. We expect that there will be a catch up on these claims over the next few months.”
“I firmly believe that in the time of a pandemic, health insurance is more important than ever – it ensures members will have access to quality hospital care when and where they need it, providing much needed peace of mind for members and their families. Importantly, members with health insurance will avoid lengthy public waiting lists once restrictions are lifted,” said Mr Valena.
Find out more about accessing GMHBA’s COVID-19 support.