Don't cancel your health insurance

Anyone reading this won’t need an update on what is happening around the world. Almost every country (Sweden and Belarus being two odd outliers) has encouraged and even enforced isolation on their citizens, in order to stop the coronavirus from spreading. For us Australians, it’s been home time for a while now (Yes Netflix, we’re still watching).

Results have varied worldwide but the signs are encouraging in Australia. The country has seemingly come together to blunt the steady rise of new cases by staying indoors, only leaving their house for essentials and practising social distancing. This can/has been hard when Coles and Woolies are choc full of people desperate for a packet of linguine.

With the world stopping and the closure of most businesses (aside from the aforementioned, pharmacies, doctors surgeries etc), it’s been difficult in the last 6 weeks to visit your favourite dentist, physio, podiatrist or gym (maybe the lack of pasta is a good thing), which in turn has temporarily changed the landscape of the health insurance industry. This makes it practically impossible for customers to use the features of their cover (Your chiropractor’s probably watching Tiger King right now, which isn’t helping anyone).

We understand. It’s not good. It sucks. You’re still paying for your health insurance, but the people who crack your back or fix your teeth aren’t around, so it’s seemingly useless.

That said, we do NOT want you going anywhere. Why? To protect us, but most importantly, to protect you and your health. February to April is traditionally the busiest time of the year for people switching health insurers. The industry was full of people moving around prior to the COVID – 19 outbreak, which meant we were already focused on ensuring you guys stayed with us. Now, instead of this, we (and all other health insurers in the country) find ourselves in a situation where the threat is twofold. On the one hand, people are getting rid of their health insurance (especially young people) as unemployment rises, and on the other hand, the usefulness of health insurance just isn’t apparent. It’s difficult for all parties.  

The unemployment stuff is hard. There were people going along as per the norm, and now they don’t have a job. It’s heartbreaking. We all know at least one person who has lost their income due to the virus. Turfing your health insurance is certainly an effective way to cut costs, but it will leave you without cover down the line, and will force you to re-serve your waiting periods, no matter who you decide to sign back up with (and then you’re REALLY paying for health insurance you can’t use). So, we have put some measures in place to help everyone out, even the people who have been going online and betting on which colour tie Scott Morrison will wear at his next conference, even though we shouldn’t.

To combat people having to cancel, we will allow anyone to suspend their account for up to 12 months due to pandemic reasons (job loss etc). This means your account is completely frozen, and when you decide to fire it back up again, everything will be the way you left it, so you won’t need to res-serve your already finished waiting periods. This will allow you to hang on to your cover whilst you navigate these tough financial times. You’re also able to switch it back on again whenever you like, in case the need arises. For example, a bunch of industries are doing tele-consultations over Skype, which is amazing, and also means you can visit the pharmacist in your undies (always been a dream of ours). A lot of these are claimable, and worth looking into.

As mentioned before, we know it is really hard to use your extras right now. We’ve all been trying to find ways to work out at home, but for the love of God, PLEASE leave home dental or DIY knee replacements to the professionals, if you can. But on a serious note, we’re allowing you to suspend the extras component of your policy whilst leaving your hospital cover active, for up to 12 months. Firstly, this brings the price of your cover down and means your hospital cover is there if you need it. Secondly, it means you’re not paying for the extras cover you can’t use. This also has no minimum period of suspension, meaning once isolation is over and the everything is operational again, you can resume whitening your teeth/putting pins in your legs/having a PT shout at you for not bringing a towel again.

Also, for those who can afford hospital cover during this time, we’ve made sure all of our products will cover you for COVID – 19 related admissions. We’ve sent out an email communication about this, so if you haven’t already done so, check your email for further info. Be assured though, whether you’re on Entry, Base, Heart, Core or High, we’ve got your back during the COVID outbreak. If we didn’t, that would be stupid. Health is our game, and right now it’s front and centre.

The bottom line is, DON’T rush to cancel your insurance. We’ve got plenty of solutions available to help you cope with the current happenings, and once this all blows over, not having any cover for the fillings you’ll need due to isolation treats, or the surgery that has now been dated the 12th of never is not a good future look. Also, if you’re one of those people who (now this has come to light) have no idea what they’re even covered for, hit us up on our chat function below, because we can definitely let you know!

Lastly, stay at home, only leave when you have to, and don’t inject disinfectant to stop coronavirus – Donald Trump is NOT onto a winner with that one – and we don’t want you to have to pay your excess to go into hospital for that.