Tasmania’s largest and local not-for-profit private health insurer St.LukesHealth will postpone its April 1, 2020 premium increase for up to six months to alleviate some of the stress and challenges caused by Coronavirus (COVID-19).
In recent weeks, St.LukesHealth has been working alongside Members Health Fund Alliance, of which it is a member, the Australian Government and industry to provide a package of support measures for members as part of its response to COVID-19.
St.LukesHealth Chief Operating Officer Darren Harris said it was important to provide peace of mind to members during this unsettling time, whether it be through easing financial pressures or by helping to maintain their access to health services.
“We have worked alongside the Department of Health to postpone our April 1 premium increase for up to six months,” Mr Harris said.
“While this year was our lowest average premium increase in 19 years, we understand that every little bit helps. St.LukesHealth will continue to monitor and reassess when to introduce the 2020 premium increase and keep our members updated on any changes that will affect them.
“For some individuals and families, we know the support mechanisms we have put in place will not be enough – especially for those who may have lost their job or are depending on government assistance.
“We urge those members to contact us by calling 1300 651 988 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss a range of options that may be available to you.”
To ensure that members can maintain their physical and emotional health during this time, St.LukesHealth has also introduced a range of support measures to help members on their health journey.
“We understand that during this period of uncertainty, members may experience a level of anxiousness and poor mental health,” Mr Harris said.
“In response, we will be offering access to telehealth services and extend our support for mental health support by introducing benefits for counselling services.
“So that our members can continue their physical rehabilitation, St.LukesHealth will also pay benefits on physiotherapy telehealth consultations.
“This will ensure that those recovering from a chronic musculoskeletal condition or those who have had hip or knee replacements can continue to receive appropriate levels of care at home and get well sooner.
“And for expectant parents, St.LukesHealth has rolled out the Nourish Baby program – an online portal with information on antenatal care, labour and post-natal care which members can access from the comfort of their own home.
“We will continue to work hard in considering other services that can be more appropriately delivered during this time and we thank our members for continuing to choose us for their health care needs.”