COVID-19 member update

To help you with questions you may have about your health cover, we’ve put together these frequently asked questions.

Below you’ll find:

  • Australian Resident Member FAQs and
  • Non-resident Member FAQs.

To help our members impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic we introduced a support package that included postponing the annual health insurance increase for six months and offering financial support initiatives.

We are pleased to confirm that we have extended access until 31 December 2021 to expanded cover for COVID-19 related hospital treatment across all levels of cover at no additional cost where these treatments are excluded.

We are also pleased to announce that access to selected services via telehealth will be available permanently in line with your level of Extras cover so that members can continue to keep on top of their health from the comfort and safety of their home.

For more information on telehealth and how to organise a telehealth appointment with your health care professional, go to our Telehealth Fact Sheet. You can also view a telehealth Q&A video with Dr Mellissa Naidoo along with an animated video that covers more information about telehealth appointments.

Recently nib announced a one-off COVID credit for its Australian resident health insurance members. We'll provide information about any further support for GU Health members in the coming months.

You may find these trusted resources useful:


AUSTRALIAN RESIDENT MEMBER FAQs

What has GU Health done to help members impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?

To help our members maintain their health cover and more broadly, stay safe and healthy during the pandemic, as part of the nib Group, GU Health and nib worked quickly to develop a $60 million member and community support package to assist members during these difficult times.

This included $38.5 million to postpone our contribution changes for members for six months and $1.5 million on financial assistance for members impacted by COVID-19 in the form of temporary contribution waivers. In addition, GU Health and nib donated $1.5 million to community and clinical health initiatives to support the health and wellbeing of communities throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Will the COVID-19 support package be extended?

We are pleased to confirm that we have extended access until 31 December 2021 to expanded cover for COVID-19 related hospital treatment across all levels of cover at no additional cost where these treatments are excluded.

We are also pleased to announce that access to selected services via telehealth will be available permanently in line with your level of Extras cover so that members can continue to keep on top of their health from the comfort and safety of their home.

Does my health insurance cover COVID-19?

To support our members, we've temporarily expanded coverage for chest, lung, kidney or other treatment related to COVID-19 across those levels of Hospital cover that would otherwise exclude this treatment at no additional cost until 31 December 2021. This means we've expanded your coverage under Silver or lower levels of hospital cover (where treatments are currently excluded), until the crisis passes. You'll just need to have served an initial two-month waiting period before receiving treatment.

Along with other health insurers across Australia, any treatment for COVID-19 as an outpatient that is covered by Medicare will not be covered by GU Health. Login to Online Member Services to review your level of cover or contact your Member Relations Team on 1800 249 966.

Does my health insurance cover doctors’ appointments?

Health insurers in Australia are unable to cover outpatient services covered by Medicare, such as visits to your GP. This means GU Health does not cover doctors’ appointments for Australian residents, including telehealth appointments.

Am I covered for pathology tests for COVID-19?

Health insurers are unable to pay for pathology tests in an outpatient setting as these are covered by Medicare. It’s best to check with Medicare to determine which pathology tests are covered and if you may experience an out-of-pocket cost.

If you have Hospital cover that provides cover for your treatment, have served your waiting periods (including waiting periods for any Pre-existing conditions) and are admitted to hospital as an inpatient, your pathology tests undertaken during the admission will be covered.

Can I claim on telehealth consultations?

Yes; for some services in line with your level of Extras cover. The services currently available are physiotherapy, dietetics, psychology, speech therapy, occupational therapy, exercise physiology and podiatry. We’ll be considering additional services where appropriate guidelines are available to make sure you can access health services while still adhering to social distancing guidelines. As long as you’re already covered for the service, you’ll be able to claim on a telehealth consultation in the same way you would a face-to-face visit. You can check which services you’re covered for by logging in online or via the app.

A service will only be provided by telehealth where it is safe and clinically appropriate so it will not be made available by all providers. Please check with your provider if this is something they’re able to do.

For more information and tips on how to organise a telehealth appointment with your health care professional, go to the Telehealth Fact Sheet. You can also view a telehealth Q&A video with Dr Mellissa Naidoo along with an animated video that covers more information about telehealth appointments.

Does my health insurance cover the COVID-19 vaccine?

The Australian Department of Health announced the COVID-19 vaccine will be provided at no cost to all Medicare-eligible Australians, permanent residents and temporary visa holders who are aged 16 years and older. You will not need to use your private health insurance to cover the cost of the vaccine.

For more information relating to the COVID-19 vaccine, including the Australian Government’s roll-out strategy and eligibility criteria, visit health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/covid-19-vaccines.

Will COVID-19 be considered a pre-existing condition?

A pre-existing condition is an ailment, illness, or condition where, in the view of nib Group’s appointed Medical Practitioner, signs or symptoms relating to that condition existed during the six months prior to joining private Hospital cover, or upgrading to a higher level of private Hospital cover. Any future claims for complications arising from COVID-19 will be assessed in line with our pre-existing illness policy. nib Group’s appointed Medical Practitioner will need to make a final determination at the time of enquiry.

If my planned public hospital procedure needs to be moved to a private hospital, will I be covered?

You are entitled to receive benefits for services covered on your Hospital product, as long as you have served your waiting periods and subject to any other applicable terms and conditions on your product. You should always check what you're covered for before you go to hospital and contact us so we can help you keep any extra expenses to a minimum.

Given the impact of COVID-19, the typical timeframe to receive treatment within a private hospital may be impacted. This is something that you may need to discuss with your GP or specialist closer to the planned date of your admission.

Is it safe to go to the dentist or the physio?

If you have any upcoming appointments with the dentist, physio or any other health provider we recommend contacting your provider for any COVID-19 related questions. For more information about managing your risk of infection, visit the WHO website.

For more information on the Australian management of the outbreak, travel restrictions and advice, contact the National Coronavirus Health Line on 1800 020 080 or click here.


NON-RESIDENT MEMBER FAQs

We’ll be refreshing this page frequently to provide you with the most up-to-date information. This means we may add more frequently asked questions and update answers as the situation evolves.

What has GU Health done to help members impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?

To help our members maintain their health cover and more broadly, stay safe and healthy during the pandemic, as part of the nib Group, GU Health and nib worked quickly to develop a $60 million member and community support package to assist members during these difficult times.

This included $38.5 million to postpone our contribution changes for members for six months and $1.5 million on financial assistance for members impacted by COVID-19 in the form of temporary contribution waivers. In addition, GU Health and nib donated $1.5 million to community and clinical health initiatives to support the health and wellbeing of communities throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Will the COVID-19 support package be extended?

We are pleased to confirm that we have extended access until 31 December 2021 to expanded cover for COVID-19 related hospital treatment across all levels of cover at no additional cost where these treatments are excluded.

We are also pleased to announce that access to selected services via telehealth will be available permanently in line with your level of Extras cover so that members can continue to keep on top of their health from the comfort and safety of their home.

Can I claim on telehealth consultations?

Yes, for some medical and Extras services subject to your chosen plan. In line with changes introduced by the Australian Government, Medicare-recognised telehealth services are funded by GU Health across a broad range of services, including GP and psychology consultations, as well as Extras services such as physiotherapy, dietetics, psychology, speech therapy, occupational therapy, exercise physiology and podiatry. We’ll be considering additional services where appropriate guidelines are available, this will ensure that you can access health services while still adhering to social distancing guidelines. As long as you’re already covered for the service, you’ll be able to claim on a telehealth consultation in the same way you would a face-to-face visit. You can check which services you’re covered for by logging in online or via the app.

A service will only be provided by telehealth where it is safe and clinically appropriate so it will not be made available by all providers. Please check with your provider if this is something they’re able to do.

For more information and tips on how to organise a telehealth appointment with your health care professional, go to the Telehealth Fact Sheet. You can also view a telehealth Q&A video with Dr Mellissa Naidoo along with an animated video that covers more information about telehealth appointments.

Does my health insurance cover COVID-19?

To support our members, we've temporarily expanded coverage for chest, lung, kidney or other treatment related to COVID-19 across all levels of Hospital cover where these treatments are currently excludedat no additional cost. For members with Public Hospital cover only this means benefits will be increased to cover COVID-19 admissions in a private hospital, until the crisis passes. Members who do not have Medicare entitlements may be covered for GP and other outpatient medical services as per their selected level of cover. Please login to Online Member Services to review your level of cover or contact your Member Relations Team on 1800 249 966.

Who should I contact if I have COVID-19 symptoms?

Official government advice is that anyone with symptoms should initially contact and consult their local General Practitioner (GP) doctor. For details on the Australian Government’s National Health Plan concerning COVID-19, please see the Australian Government’s website.

Where do I get tested/treated for COVID-19?

If a GP deems testing for COVID-19 is necessary, they will direct you to the appropriate hospitals or testing centres.

Does my health insurance cover doctors’ appointments?

Members who don’t have Medicare entitlements may be covered for GP and other outpatient medical services as per their selected level of cover. Please login to Online Member Services or contact your Member Relations Team to check your level of cover on 1800 249 966.

Am I covered for pathology tests for COVID-19?

Members who don’t have Medicare entitlements may be covered for GP and other outpatient medical services as per their selected level of cover. To check your level of cover, please login to Online Member Services or contact your Member Relations Team on 1800 249 966.

What if I need to change my policy start date?

If you are still coming to Australia to work but need to change your policy start date, please supply a copy of your new Visa Grant Notice or alternatively a copy of your record of movement from the Australian Department of Home Affairs to confirm that you haven’t arrived in the country. Please email this to [email protected].

What if I need to cancel my policy as I’m no longer coming to Australia to work?

If you’re no longer coming to Australia or you have decided not to return to work, please send a visa cancellation notice by email to [email protected]. We will cancel your policy on the date you notified us.

Will COVID-19 be considered a pre-existing condition?

A pre-existing condition is an ailment, illness, or condition where, in the view of nib Group’s appointed Medical Practitioner, signs or symptoms relating to that condition existed during the six months prior to joining private Hospital cover, or upgrading to a higher level of private Hospital cover. Any future claims for complications arising from COVID-19 will be assessed in line with our pre-existing illness policy. nib Group’s appointed Medical Practitioner will need to make a final determination at the time of enquiry.

If I have other pre-existing conditions, will I be covered for COVID-19 in the first 12 months of my policy?

Members who have a pre-existing condition (unrelated to COVID-19) will be covered for COVID-19 if, in the view of nib’s appointed Medical Practitioner, signs or symptoms relating of COVID-19 did not exist during the six months prior to arriving in Australia, joining private Hospital cover, or upgrading to a higher level of private Hospital cover.

Information correct as of 23 August, 2021.