Returning COVID-19 claims savings

GMHBA set aside funds to pay for claims that had to be postponed during 2020-2022, but not all claims planned for were made. This resulted in us generating additional savings, which we’ve returned to our members through various methods.

Throughout the pandemic, GMHBA have returned more than $59 million to members through a range of support initiatives.

Frequently Asked Questions

GMHBA provided members who held active cover during the COVID-19 lockdown period with a one-off payment, as the ability to fully use their cover was impacted during this time.

COVID-19 claims savings were returned to eligible active memberships in December 2022 as a one-month contribution, and returned to eligible suspended and former memberships in May-June 2023 as a one-off payment.

To have been eligible for a payment, members must have held an active resident policy for a minimum of 3 months between 1 April 2020 and 30 November 2022.

The amount received by those with suspended or former memberships was based on product holding and tenure during the eligibility period. This payment was made to the policy holder on behalf of all members covered on the policy.

GMHBA covered the normal member payment for one months’ health insurance for eligible active resident policies.

The contribution was made on 10 December 2022 for eligible active members. On this date, the paid to date on most active resident private health insurance policies was moved forward one month. If a member had pre-paid a policy 12 months in advance, a one month refund was processed.

Members with suspended resident policies that weren't classified as active on 30 November 2022 didn't qualify for the one-month contribution. Suspended members received a one-off payment in May-June 2023.

Please refer to your communication for your specific payment method, or reach out if you need more information.

You can view the Return of Surplus one month contribution received in the Premium payment history page in your member area.

If you are an eligible suspended or former member and haven’t received your payment – either via direct credit or cheque – after 31 July 2023, there may have been an issue with the account details we had on file for you. If you have had any issues receiving your payment, please get in touch.

The funds we returned through the return of COVID-19 claims savings were specifically in relation to savings made throughout the period that the COVID-19 pandemic impacted access to healthcare treatments for members.

The reason why health insurance premiums are reviewed is because health care costs increase year-on-year. Health care costs are driven by a number of factors outside of the industry’s control, including:

  • increased cost of health service delivery with things like new medical technologies and treatments
  • an ageing population and people living longer
  • growing rates of chronic conditions

As a health fund, we have a responsibility to address and react to these rising costs and prepare for the future, to ensure our members continue to get access to the care they require. While we do need to make changes to premiums, as a member-based health fund we continually try to put value back into our products for the benefit of all members.

Throughout the pandemic, GMHBA returned value to members through freezing premiums and other COVID-19 support initiatives, including:   

  • freezing premium increases for six months in 2020, 2022 and 2023
  • the return of claims savings to active resident memberships in December 2022
  • the return of claims savings to suspended and former members in May-June 2023
  • providing telehealth benefits for a wide range of extras services to support continuity of care at home 
  • partnering with Kieser to bring physiotherapy and related strength training direct to our eligible extras members with no out of pocket expenses (until 31 March 2021)
  • providing a deferred elective surgery support program for physiotherapy and psychology consultations available to affected members (until 30 September 2022)
  • waiving the minimum suspension period, so members who were eligible for a policy suspension could reactivate their cover at any time.  

Get more information on COVID-19 member support.