COVID-19 member update

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.

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.

You will also find information about the postponement of the scheduled premium increase and our COVID-19 Member Support Package that we have put in place to support you through this challenging period.

In order to support your health and wellbeing, you can now claim for telehealth consultations for some services until 30 September 2020. 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.

For more information about your cover, you can login to Online Member Services or the GU Health App. If you prefer to speak to someone, please call 1800 249 966.

You can also call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080.

You may find these trusted resources useful during this time. Click on these links:


AUSTRALIAN RESIDENT MEMBER FAQs

Will my premium still change on April 1?
We've postponed our premium increase for at least six months. We want to make sure you can access essential health services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, without more financial pressure.

You don't need to contact us to have the change in your premium postponed - it will be done automatically. Detailed information has been rolled out about our Member support options and how this affects you.

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 at no additional cost. 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 requiring 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.

Can I suspend my cover if I’m financially impacted by COVID-19?
We’ve made some temporary changes to our suspension policy to help our members through this difficult time. We've extended our financial hardship suspension period to six months to help eligible members impacted by COVID-19. All members with Hospital cover who suspend during this time will still be able to access cover for COVID-19 related treatment.

Please contact your Member Relations Team on 1800 249 966, so we can discuss the best options for you based on your individual circumstances and corporate plan.

Does my health insurance cover doctors’ appointments?
Health insurers in Australia are unable to cover out-patient services covered by Medicare, such as visits to your GP. This means GU Health does not cover doctors’ appointments for Australian residents, including appointments via video.

Am I covered for pathology tests for COVID-19?
Health insurers are unable to pay for pathology tests in an out-patient 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; temporarily and for some services. 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.

Access to these services will be in place until 30 September 2020, but we’ll be reviewing the pandemic situation to determine if this date should be extended.

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.

Will my health insurance cover a vaccine if/when one is developed?
If your Extras cover includes Pharmaceutical Prescriptions, we’ll pay benefits towards the cost of medicines prescribed by a licensed medical practitioner and dispensed by either a doctor, pharmacy or licensed chemist that is registered with us.

We’ll pay a Pharmaceutical Prescription benefit when the medicine is:

  • listed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG);
  • listed within the Poisons Standard; and as 4 or 8
  • not subsidised or claimable through the Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits.

If the vaccine meets these criteria, then GU Health will cover the vaccine when available under Extras cover that includes the Pharmaceutical Prescriptions benefit.

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 product, as long as you have served your waiting periods. 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.

I have a procedure coming up, what should I do?
As result of Australia’s success in flattening the curve, recently the Australian Government has revised the suspension of non-elective surgery to allow category 2 and some important category 3 procedures to recommence across the public and private hospital sectors. This includes procedures for joint replacements, cataract procedures, endoscopy and colonoscopy procedures.

We recommend that you contact the hospital where you'll be having your surgery, your medical practitioner, specialist or surgeon for any questions relating to COVID-19 and upcoming procedures, including any questions about changing the date or cancellations.

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.

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.

Will my premium still change on April 1?
We've postponed our premium increase for at least six months. We want to make sure you can access essential health services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, without more financial pressure.

You don't need to contact us to have the change in your premium postponed - it will be done automatically. Detailed information has been rolled out about our Member support options and how this affects you.

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 at 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.

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.

Access to Allied health services will be in place until 30 September 2020, but we’ll be reviewing the pandemic situation to determine if this date should be extended.

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.

I have a planned procedure coming up, what should I do?
As result of Australia’s success in flattening the curve, recently the Australian Government has revised the suspension of non-elective surgery to allow category 2 and some important category 3 procedures to recommence across the public and private hospital sectors. This includes procedures for joint replacements, cataract procedures, endoscopy and colonoscopy procedures.

We recommend that you contact the hospital where you’ll be having your surgery, your medical practitioner, specialist or surgeon for any questions relating to COVID-19 and upcoming procedures, including any questions about changing the date or cancellations.

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.

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.

Can I suspend my cover if I’m financially impacted by COVID-19?
We’ve made some temporary changes to our suspension policy to help our members through this difficult time. We've extended our financial hardship suspension period to six months to help eligible members impacted by COVID-19. All members with Hospital cover who suspend during this time will still be able to access cover for COVID-19 related treatment.

Please contact your Member Relations Team on 1800 249 966, so we can discuss the best options for you based on your individual circumstances and corporate plan. Remaining covered is an important part of meeting the Department of Home Affairs requirements for some visa holders.

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 9 June, 2020.