WELL, WELL, WELL … St.LukesHealth gives back to its members

St.LukesHealth continues to buck the national trend as younger Tasmanians and families turn to the not-for-profit health insurer for peace of mind.

In the 12 months to December 2020, Australian Prudential Regulation Authority data shows that St.LukesHealth grew by 6.14 per cent, compared to the Tasmanian industry of 1.88 per cent.
St.LukesHealth CEO Paul Lupo said the increase comes after the arrival of COVID-19 to the state with many re-evaluating the value of health insurance.
“While our state did a fantastic job in curbing the impact of the pandemic on our shores, what we did find is that Tasmanians were impacted by the postponement of some elective surgeries during the peak pandemic period,” Mr Lupo said.
“No doubt the swelling of public hospital waiting times for both outpatient appointments and elective surgeries have caused an increased number of Tasmanians to re-evaluate taking out health insurance as they seek peace of mind for themselves and their families.
“We know that Tasmanians want to support Tasmanian businesses and as a result, our membership now exceeds 74,000 people, with a growth rate of 5.8 per cent for the last financial year, over 14 times the industry rate.
“Younger people and their families also continued to see value in joining St.LukesHealth, with the average age of new members being 36 years for the third year in a row.”
Mr Lupo said as a Tasmanian not-for-profit health insurer, St.LukesHealth was aware that affordability across the health system continued to be a challenge for many and that keeping the cost of health insurance low was important to members.
As a result, St.LukesHealth has taken further steps and is postponing its April 1, 2021 premium increase until July 1, 2021 saving members in excess of $1 million, the second such rate postponement delivered by the insurer in the past 12 months.
“In April 2020, we delivered our lowest average premium increase in 19 years, whilst ensuring our products were tailored to meet member needs and provide value,” Mr Lupo said.
“We realise that many members are still recovering from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic 12 months on and as a result we have taken the further step to defer the April 1, 2021 premium increase for another three months to assist our members.
“To ensure that no member is left disadvantaged, those who are on a product scheduled for
a premium reduction from April 1, 2021, will not have to wait until July 1 for this change. This will not be deferred and will be available to these members from April 1.
“And instead of waiting until July 1, we will release our new nutrition benefit to members from April 1 ensuring that they can be the healthiest version of themselves and gain advice on how best to fuel their bodies and keep it working at its best.
“This is all part of our promise to help members stay healthy, get well, live better and deliver peace of mind. We will be communicating this message with members directly over the next week.”

In the last financial year, St.LukesHealth supported members by paying out $100.4 million for Hospital admissions and $38.6 million for Extras services like dental, physiotherapy and optometry.

As a not-for-profit health insurer, St.LukesHealth continues to give back to members paying 93 cents in benefits for every dollar of contribution received from members, compared with the industry average of 88 cents.
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