COVID-19 FAQs

COVID-19 FAQs

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Have a question?

Here are the answers to questions our members have been asking during these uncertain times.

Nurses & Midwives Health

What are you doing to support members during this time?

We’ve implemented several measures to support you, including:

  • Postponing the 1 April premium increase for six months
  • Cover for COVID-19 for all members with hospital cover
  • Cover for a range of telehealth services
  • Financial hardship support
  • Access to Teachers Healthcare Services

Learn more about these measures.


How can you support me if I’m experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19?
 

Members experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 can apply to suspend their cover for up to 12 months. 

If you’ve lost your income due to COVID-19’s impact to business, all we need is a letter from your employer to confirm your change in circumstances and we can suspend your membership up to six months.

 

How will you keep me updated during COVID-19? 

We recommend setting your contact preference to Via Member Services, and choosing either SMS or email (rather than Standard Mail). To do this, log into Online Member Services, select My membership > Contact details, scroll down to Contact preferences then click Edit.

How do I register for Online Member Services? 

Visit Online Member Services to register. You’ll need your member number, which you’ll find on your membership card.

Is the Nurses & Midwives Health contact centre still open?

Absolutely. We’re committed to running business as usual (or unusual in this instance). This includes supporting your health fund membership needs just as you’d expect. Need to get in touch? Call 1300 344 000

Are you still paying claims?

Yep. Our team is working as hard as ever to process your claims. To check the status of a claim you’ve submitted, go to Online Member Services > Claims & benefits > Claims history. You should be able to see your claim 1-2 business days after you submit it.

How are you protecting your staff?

We've changed the way we work to support the health and safety of staff, including moving people to working from home arrangements.

 

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Premiums & benefits

Did premiums increase as planned on 1 April? 

No. The 1 April premium increase was postponed for six months (until 1 October 2020).

Did you implement the planned benefit improvements?

Yes, we did. These improvements were made with our members’ best interests in mind, and we remain committed to that. 

Learn more about benefit improvements for Hospital cover and Extras cover.
 

Health insurers weren't paying for many elective surgeries for a while. Can these savings be passed on to members? 

We address this one fully in The cost of health cover

 

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Elective surgery

Are elective surgeries happening now?

On 25 March, the Prime Minister announced that all non-urgent elective surgeries in Australia’s public and private hospitals would be suspended. Private hospitals were given a week to implement this. 

On 21 April, the restrictions were lifted for certain elective surgeries, including:

  • IVF
  • Screening programs (cancer and other diseases)
  • Post cancer reconstruction procedures (such as breast reconstruction)
  • Procedures for children under 18 years of age
  • Joint replacements (incl knees, hips, shoulders)
  • Cataracts and eye procedures
  • Endoscopy and colonoscopy procedures.

In practice, the situation may vary in different locations as COVID-19 continues to play out. It's best to ask your specialist when they can treat you, as they work with hospitals to schedule elective procedures.  


What about emergency surgery?

Emergency surgeries aren't impacted.  

 

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Mental health support

What type of mental health support is available for Nurses & Midwives Health members?

Telepsychology 

We’ve always paid benefits for telepsychology services – psychology consults via phone or Skype. It's available to members with Extras cover. 

Mental Wellness Program

This phone-based program is available to eligible members through Teachers Healthcare Services. It has two components: 

  1. Mental wellness: phone services with a mental health professional, tailored to you. Common themes include strategies to build resilience, managing anxiety and/or depression and supporting emotional wellbeing.
  2. Nutrition: phone consults with a Teachers Healthcare Services Accredited Practising Dietitian. This element of the program recognises the importance of nutrition and gut health for mental health.

 Learn more about the Mental Wellness Program.

 

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Teachers Healthcare Services

What support can I access via Teachers Healthcare Services?

Care Coordination Program

Eligible members can access the Teachers Healthcare Services Care Coordination Program (phone-based health support service, staffed by registered nurses and dietitian) and discuss how to stay safe, access appropriate care, achieve or maintain health goals, access credible information and feel supported. 

Mental Wellness Program

Through Teachers Healthcare Services, eligible members can be provided with access to mental health service providers via telehealth consultations (see above).

New Family Program 

With prenatal classes at hospitals cancelled, eligible members can access the New Family Program as an accredited alternative to in-hospital classes. The program includes online resources and telephone support, as well as mental health support if required. We've made this program available to more members during COVID-19.

Hospital Substitute Treatment

Hospital Substitute Treatment is home-based clinical care. More on this below.
 

How can I access these programs? 

Just fill in the Teachers Healthcare Services contact form and the team will be in touch.

Who's eligible for the programs?

Eligibility for support services varies, but at a minimum you need to have Nurses & Midwives Health Hospital cover and have served any relevant waiting periods. The Teachers Healthcare Services team can talk to you about any other eligibility criteria attached to a given service.

 

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Hospital Substitute Treatment

What’s Hospital Substitute Treatment?

Hospital Substitute Treatment (HST) is home-based clinical care you’d otherwise have to be in hospital for. It can reduce the length of a hospital stay, or even help you avoid in-hospital (inpatient) treatment altogether.

Teachers Healthcare Services provides access to two services: Hospital at home and Rehab at home. You can learn more about them via our Before hospital and Leaving hospital pages.
 

Are HST providers still operating during COVID-19?

Yes. They’re considered essential services. And as hospitals are likely to be focusing on COVID-19 and emergency admissions they’ve never been more relevant.
 

Which conditions can be treated through HST?

Evidence shows the conditions that can be safely treated at home include: 

  • cellulitis
  • pneumonia
  • deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • urinary tract infections (UTIs).
     

What are the benefits of home-based care?

Provided it’s safe for you, the benefits include: 

  • being in the comfort of own home
  • flexibility: you can eat, watch TV and sleep when you want!
  • reduced risk of infection (compared to hospital).

How can I access HST?

All levels of Nurses & Midwives Health Hospital cover provide access to HST. The decisions rests with the doctor who’s treating you, as your safety is paramount. It also needs to be for treatment that's included in your Hospital cover (just as if you were in hospital).

 

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Health Centres

Are your Health Centres open?

Yes. We’re providing services at our Health Centres by appointment only. 

 

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Travel insurance

What happens to the TravelCard travel insurance I bought now I can't travel due to COVID-19?

If you’ve already bought a TravelCard policy and have postponed travel plans as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, please contact the TravelCard team on 1300 123 112 to change the travel dates on your policy.

For more information, please see our TravelCard COVID-19 update

 

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