Why should I keep my private health insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Here are some of the many benefits of keeping your cover
The last few months have been tough on all Australians. From health concerns to social isolation, travel restrictions, juggling children at home while working and even job loss; we have all in some way experienced a change in our lives.
nib is continuing to work hard to ensure we're doing everything we can to help our members during this time. We’ve provided financial relief and we're continuing to embrace new technologies as quickly and efficiently as possible. Our focus is helping you continue to access healthcare and support when you need it most.
Here are just a few of the initiatives we've put in place throughout COVID-19:
One of the first priorities was to ensure nib members could continue accessing essential health services throughout the pandemic, without adding to the financial pressures many of our members are facing. As a result, we postponed the annual 2.9% premium increase for six months until 1 October 2020, at a cost of $35 million to the business.
Many nib members faced financial uncertainty and unemployment, which is why we made temporary changes to our financial hardship policies and launched a financial hardship premium waiver, available until 30 September 2020. Visit our page, How do I suspend or resume my policy? for more information on premium waivers and financial hardship suspension options.
We’re also providing additional financial relief for members who are currently on JobSeeker or JobKeeper assistance. For eligible members who apply for the relief by 15 October 2020, we are waiving the premium increase from 1 October 2020 to 1 April 2021. This waiver will be applied as a one-off credit that covers the cost of six months’ worth of premium increases and will be applied to your first scheduled payment after your application has been processed.
To find out if you’re eligible for the extra financial relief, or for instructions on how to apply, please visit our financial support page for further information..
During COVID-19, it's essential that our members continue to look after their health – to help, we have temporarily expanded cover for coronavirus-related hospital treatment. This is across Basic and Bronze level Hospital cover, where these treatments are currently excluded, at no extra cost. You'll just need to have served the standard two-month waiting period before requiring treatment1. For more information, head to our dedicated page: Coronavirus and your cover.
Throughout this year, many Aussies began looking for ways to stay at home, but still access the healthcare they use regularly. To help members prioritise their health from the safety of their home, we expanded our cover to pay benefits towards telehealth appointments, like physiotherapy and psychology, as an alternative to in-clinic consultations. This is a temporary measure that will be in place until 31 March 20212.
With all the changes, pressures and restrictions that come with COVID-19, it's important our members continue to prioritise their mental health and wellbeing. That's why we increased cover to include benefits for psychology – regardless of what nib Extras cover you were on. This means eligible members are able to claim up to $300 of psychology benefits until 31 March 2021. More information is available at our dedicated COVID-19 mental health support page.
So far, nib together with nib foundation, have donated $1.5 million to charitable and clinical initiatives across the country and to our Kiwi neighbours. We've partnered with Lifeline, Clearhead, NSW Rural Doctors Network, Alfred Health and the Hunter Medical Research Institute to provide funding that saw a combination of immediate and urgent support, as well as ongoing assistance to help the community recover from the pandemic. On top of this, nib donated 100,000 face masks which were distributed across the Hunter New England and Central Coast Primary Health Network.
To recognise the tireless efforts and commitment of our Aussie frontline workers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, nib launched an initiative giving these workers a $250 rebate to support their health and wellbeing, available until 31 March 2021. This rebate is available to nib members working on the frontline3 of COVID-19 and can be used through nib rewards to access a range of health, wellbeing, retail or food offers to meet their everyday needs.
During the pandemic, nib launched the Nourish Baby program, allowing eligible nib members who hold Hospital cover to access to a range of free online parenting courses. The course aims to equip new parents with the skills to cope with pregnancy and parenthood, at a time when the usual support services may not have been available. For more information, or to find out if you're eligible, head to the Nourish Baby section of our Health Management Programs page.
Above all else, our priority remains to help you stay safe and healthy, and offer support to maintain your cover during this uncertain and challenging time. For more information on the ways we're supporting you, please visit our COVID-19 landing page.
1 Pre-Existing Conditions have a waiting period of 12 months
2 Subject to: availability at chosen clinic, level of Extras cover, policy exclusions, waiting periods & limits. May not be appropriate for all consultations, other T&Cs apply
3 Must be registered with AHPRA as a medical practitioner, nurse, midwife or paramedic