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No one could’ve anticipated the impact COVID-19 would have on our communities. In response Medibank suspended premium increases for six months and created a financial hardship policy for any eligible members who need further financial support. Eligible members experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 can access a temporary premium reduction.
However, healthcare costs are continuing to rise due to a range of factors including: increased cost of health services, the growing use and cost of medical technology, Australia’s ageing population and an increase in chronic health conditions. One of the challenges we face as an industry is the gap between ‘premiums in’ and ‘claims out’. Medibank continues to be committed to delivering the services promised to our customers and to work with the government to make healthcare more affordable.
We have made a public commitment that we will not benefit financially from the pandemic and we will return any savings back to the people who matter most – our members. In order to support our members physically, mentally and financially, we created an $185m Medibank Support Package. This included the six month postponement of premium increases to 1 October 2020 along with a variety of resources and programs to support our members during this difficult time.
Looking after our health and wellbeing is more important than ever, and as restrictions ease across the majority of Australia, services are becoming increasingly available so you’re able to access these when you are ready.
Medibank is committed to supporting members through COVID-19 physically, mentally and financially. Included within the $185m Medibank Support Package was the six month postponement of premium increases to 1 October 2020 along with a variety of resources and programs to support our members during this difficult time. This support included:
- Extending eligible extras covers to include telehealth services for seven allied health services such as psychology and physiotherapy~. Find out more
- Launching COVID-19 Health Assist^, a program of personalised health and wellbeing support at home for eligible members.
- Introducing Live Better at Home to give all Australians access to a free online program of work out videos, cooking demonstrations and guided meditations, and partnering with Smiling Mind on a program to help foster positive mental health habits among Australian families.
- Donating $5 million to Beyond Blue for its new COVID-19 mental wellbeing and support service.
- Extending access to Medibank’s 24/7 Nurse and Mental Health lines*.
- We provided 400 nurses to help run the national COVID line.
~Overseas Health Covers excluded.
^Waiting periods may apply.
*Available to all members on eligible hospital cover
It may depend on whether you have the Australian Government Rebate (AGR) on private health insurance applied to your premium. If so, your new premium may be slightly lower, as the government paused the 2020 AGR decrease so it will remain the same from 1 April 2019 and until 31 March 2021.
Your premium increase may also be different if you have made any change to your cover since receiving your previous Premium Review notification.
We know how important affordable health cover is to you and have been working to provide better support and value for members. We’ve also worked hard to take costs out of our business – $40 million in the past two years and a further $50 million planned over the next three years.
We’ve worked hard to reduce costs as a deliberate strategy to provide our product at the best possible price for our customers. We’ve delivered:
- The government’s industry-wide reforms, focused on making health insurance more accessible and simple to understand.
- Our members wanted more control over where and when to get treatment, so we developedMedibank at Home, a group of trial programs that bring hospital care right into the homes of our eligible members, where available, providing them with choice and flexibility over where they receive their treatment.
We're tackling increasing healthcare costs in a number of ways:
- Working closely with the government on policy reform to reduce costs in heath cover.
- Investing in primary care programs for eligible people with chronic conditions to help them stay out of hospital.
- Partnering with the healthcare sector to support better health outcomes for members.
- Launching the Live Better rewards program to help Australians get healthy and stay healthy.
We can't charge you less for not using your cover or charge you more for using it. Private health insurance in Australia must meet the government's community rating requirements. This means everyone has access to the same insurance products at the same base price, regardless of their health or claiming behaviour.
The main reason for premium change is to keep pace with the rising cost of healthcare and the increasing need for healthcare. We're living longer, chronic conditions are on the rise and we enjoy some of the best healthcare in the world. Your specific premium change depends on several factors, such as the state you live in, the type of cover you're on, and the general claiming pattern of members.
We’ve been working hard to ensure our members can get better value from their membership. Depending on what’s included in your policy, (check your cover summary to find out more) you may be able to:
- access to Medibank’s 24/7 Nurse and Mental Health lines*.
- get 100% back on two dental check-ups a year at a Members’ Choice Advantage dentist.~
- get 100% back on optical items like frames, prescription glasses, contacts and more at recognised providers, up to your annual limits. (some lens coatings are excluded).
- at Specsavers, get two pairs of prescription designer glasses, including standard single-vision lenses, with no gap. ^
- get member discounts on Pet, Travel and Life Insurance.
And with our Live Better rewards program, we’re rewarding you for looking after your health. You can:
- access free, active and social activities across the country (such as parkrun and outdoor fitness classes) or exercise from home with a range of videos from our Live Better at Home library
- access expert health information, recipe inspiration, exercise tips and online courses to support your health
- if you are an eligible Medibank member, earn Live Better reward points and use them towards a gift card, savings of $200 on your health cover or get more on your extras like a remedial massage or physio service - simply by taking a broad range of healthy actions.
* Available to all members on eligible hospital cover
~ Two month waiting period applies. Limited to two dental check-ups on all extras annually. Maximum two bitewing x-rays per check-up, where clinically needed. Not available in all areas.
^ Waiting periods apply. If your full annual optical limit (or more than $225 remaining of your limit) is not available at time of purchase, out of pockets may apply. Both pairs must be of the same prescription. Other lens options available at an extra cost.
Your Medibank extras cover is there to help with your day-to-day health and could even prevent smaller issues from becoming bigger ones. But you do need to know what’s included under your cover to make the most of it. You can check this through the My Medibank mobile app or by logging into My Medibank.
It’s also important to make sure you’re on the right type of cover for where you’re at in life; and that’s why we’re encouraging our members to take another look at their cover. Give us a call on 132 331 and we’ll take you through a cover review.
Your new premium will apply to your next payment from 1 October 2020 and will be communicated to you and available for you to view online via My Medibank, from late August/early September. Don't forget that you can choose how often you pay your premium - fortnightly, monthly, quarterly, every six months, or every year. To change your premium payment frequency please log in to My Medibank .
No, we’ve paid dividends for many years. The difference is that instead having of one shareholder, the Australian Government, we now have many shareholders.
No, the main reasons premiums are increasing are the cost of healthcare and increases in the frequency of Australians seeking treatment. Medibank’s premiums need to keep pace with these rising costs.
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