COVID-19 information for members

GMHBA is committed to supporting the health and wellbeing of our members and community at this time. We will continue to update this page with new information as the situation evolves.

COVID-19 Update September 2021

In line with current COVID-19 Government restrictions, GMHBA has temporarily closed Health Insurance branches in Geelong, and eye care and dental care in these areas are providing emergency and urgent care only.

GMHBA Branches

GMHBA Geelong, Waurn Ponds and Leopold Branches are currently closed. During this period, please reach out to our customer service team on 1300 446 422. GMHBA Ballarat, Warrnambool, Portland and Bendigo Branches remain open in line with a density limit of 1 person per 4 square metres.

GMHBA Eye Care & Dental Care

GMHBA Eye Care in Geelong and GMHBA Dental Geelong are currently providing emergency and urgent care only. Unfortunately we are required to postpone any non-essential appointments and we will be in contact with patients with current appointments to reschedule. GMHBA Eye Care Ballarat has returned to providing essential care, while GMHBA Dental Portland has returned to providing routine care in line with the Australian Dental Association (ADA) Guidelines.

Member support package continues
We continue to look after the health of our members during the pandemic with the following additional support measures:

  • All members with hospital cover will be covered for COVID-19 related hospitalisations, regardless of your level of cover.
  • Telehealth ancillary benefits are available for a wide range of extras services to support continuity of care at home.
  • All GMHBA members have access to Kieser Konnect, an app which features strength and conditioning programs compiled by Kieser’s physiotherapists.

We understand this is an uncertain time for all and GMHBA is doing everything possible to support our members during the pandemic. As a not for profit health fund, we always put members first and we will continue to provide assistance in a range of ways as part of our COVID-19 member support package.

If you're experiencing financial hardship, we encourage you to reach out to our customer service team on 1300 446 422 to discuss how we can best support you.

Check out our frequently asked questions below for more information. 

Financial hardship assistance

If you’re still experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19, you may be eligible to suspend your membership, with the ability to reactivate your cover at any time you need.

Our customer service team can help to discuss suitable options for you and your situation.

COVID-19 member support package

All members with hospital cover will be covered for COVID-19 related hospitalisations, regardless of your level of cover.

Telehealth

Telehealth ancillary benefits are available for a wide range of extras services to support continuity of care at home.

Physio

All GMHBA members have access to Kieser Konnect, which features video strength and conditioning programs compiled by Kieser’s physiotherapists.

COVID-19 and your health cover – frequently asked questions

  • GMHBA has introduced new support measures, which mean existing members with hospital cover will be covered for all COVID-19 related hospital treatments as a private patient, as long as you have served your initial two-month waiting periods.
  • This COVID-19 coverage will be provided until 31 March 2022.
  • We have added wording to hospital eligibility checks to confirm coverage for all of our members with hospital cover so the hospitals are aware that you will be covered. 
  • Coronavirus does not have its own clinical category or MBS item number.
  • If you are admitted into hospital to determine the root cause of the presenting illness, this is covered the same way as it would for any other medical admission, eg. flu/pneumonia.
  • If you are admitted to hospital as a result of a condition developed following contracting coronavirus, the condition will come under the applicable clinical category, eg. Lung and Chest.

 

  • We don't cover outpatient appointments such as GP appointments, blood tests etc.
  • These rules will continue to apply as normal, including for coronavirus.

 

 

  • If you buy health insurance now to be covered for coronavirus, the standard two-month hospital waiting periods will apply before you are able to claim benefits.
  • The rules in relation to pre-existing conditions for hospital cover will not apply.

Yes. You may be able to suspend your cover due to financial hardship if you've had an active GMHBA health insurance policy for at least six months. 

During a suspension period, you won't need to pay your premium, but you also won't be able to claim on services for this period of time.

Additional suspension measures we have put in place for members who may be experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic include:

  • Suspension for up to 12 months.
  • Waiving the minimum suspension period so you can reactivate at any time you need.  

Find out more or talk to one of our customer service representatives about your situation and they can guide you through the things to consider, ensure you have the right level of affordable cover and answer any questions.

As with any other type of suspension, you are not able to claim benefits while your cover is suspended.

  • On 21 April, the Federal Government announced that elective surgery will resume from 27 April.
  • The reintroduction of elective surgeries will be staged, determined by clinicians and include:
    • procedures representing low risk, high value care as determined by specialist societies
    • selection of patients who are at low risk of post-operative deterioration
    • children whose procedures have exceeded clinical wait times
    • assisted reproduction; endoscopic procedures; screening programs; and critical dental procedures.
  • If you have a pre-booked hospital admission or ongoing hospital treatment, we encourage you to regularly check in with your doctor and hospital before your admission for the most up-to-date information.

Keeping informed about the COVID-19 vaccine rollout

There’s a lot of information out there about the COVID-19 vaccines and how they are being rolled out across Australia. To make sure you keep up to date with the latest news and information, check out the following resources:

Telehealth services 

To support our members to be healthier at home, we’ve introduced new telehealth ancillary benefits for a wide range of services.

With social distancing measures in place, it’s important that our members can continue to receive the treatment they need during this time. Telehealth consultations are safe, effective and provide our members with continuity of care from the safety of their homes.

The value of private health insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic

As Australians navigate through the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, many may be starting to ask the question “Is having private health insurance worth it right now?” GMHBA General Manager of Private Health Insurance, Tony Hall explains the value of private health insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic.