GMHBA is now a health care company as well as a health insurer, delivering eye care, dental care and general practice services, and offering members a range of health and wellness services. GMHBA General Manager of Health Services, Dr Sarah Leach explains why prevention, early intervention and individualised care is so important.
As a not-for-profit fund with over 80 years of providing for our members and the community, our efforts are focused on adding value to our health insurance products and care programs. That’s the GMHBA difference.
GMHBA CEO Mark Valena
It may sound clichéd, but every decision GMHBA makes is with our members’ best interests in mind.
As a not-for-profit fund with over 80 years of providing for our members and the community, our efforts are focused on adding value to our health insurance products and care programs. We don’t work for shareholders; any profit made goes directly back into the fund to benefit members.
Whether this be better insurance products, extra benefits, an improved out-of-pocket experience, a more seamless hospital stay, getting you home to your family as quickly as possible, or keeping you out of hospital in the first place, we know the value of your health and quality of life.
That’s why for the financial year ending June, 2017, for every dollar received in premiums, 87 cents were paid to our members in benefits.
- Refined our covers to add more benefits back to members.
- Negotiated agreements to remove out-of-pocket pathology costs for members in hospital where the pathology services are provided by either Australian Clinical Labs or The Melbourne Pathology Group.
- Announced a partnership with smile.com.au to reduce out-of-pocket costs across 1,600 approved dentists to make dental care more affordable and accessible for our members across Australia (commencing 1 May).
- Partnered with AIA Australia to offer AIA Vitality the world’s most renowned health and wellness product, which enables participants to understand their health, find ways to improve it and be rewarded for it.
- Continued to work with hospitals and providers to understand what our members need and how we can assist them to navigate the complex health system.
- Reignited our longstanding focus in regional Australia, looking for opportunities to enhance our care for regional and rural Australians.
- Been actively involved in the Federal Government private health insurance reforms and will continue to advocate for our members’ interests at the highest levels of Government, to improve the sustainability and affordability of the private health sector and to continue to reduce pressure on premiums.
And we give back.
- We believe in the power of unified health.
- We are committed to the communities in which we operate. In FY17, we contributed $515,493 to the community (inclusive of cash, time, in-kind and management costs) – primarily focused on health and wellbeing initiatives. Perhaps my favourite example of this is GMHBA’s rooftop garden, tended and managed by our staff to provide fresh vegetables to those in need.
While we have a strong focus on care for customers in regional and rural Australia, we have also branched out. We appreciate some people are at different life stages, have diverse needs and circumstances, or like to manage their health insurance in different ways, such as online. We offer a choice of brand; GMHBA, Frank or health.com.au and a range of policies to suit people’s needs. We are also working on a major revamp of the GMHBA website to offer better value and service to our members, increase their health literacy and help them navigate through their health journey.
Private health insurance and healthcare is a forever changing and complex sector, particularly given an ageing population, increasing complexity of treatments, increasing chronic disease, advances in technologies and digital health, and a growing need for early intervention and preventative health. Remaining at the forefront of these changes, while never forgetting where we began and the community values that we hold dear, will ensure that GMHBA delivers on its brand promise; that we are Healthier Together.
GMHBA CEO Mark Valena has supported calls for increased transparency on specialist fees to tackle escalating out-of-pocket costs faced by members and customers, as was highlighted in the Four Corners program on 28 May, 2018.