Peoplecare COVID-19 & Financial Relief Update

Released 30 Mar 2020, 9:22PM

Earlier in the year, Peoplecare postponed its annual premium increase for 6 months to help members through the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis, and we are proud that we have been able to help our members through $2.3 million in premium savings during this period. We will have a modest increase to our premiums from 1 October 2020.

Details

Update 17th September

Regional Victoria will resume elective surgeries from 17th September 2020, while Metro Melbourne resumes from the 28th September. Here is the schedule of elective surgery returning for Victoria:

Metro Melbourne

  • 75% capacity – 28th Sept
  • 85% capacity – 26th Oct (or earlier if 14 day avg of new cases is below 5)
  • 100% capacity – 23rd Nov

Regional VIC

  • 50% capacity – 17th Sept
  • 85% capacity – 28th Sept
  • 100% capacity – 23rd Nov (or earlier if no cases)

In all other states, elective surgeries are continuing as normal in the private system.

Update 1st September 2020:

Telehealth benefits extended!

You can claim telehealth benefits on your extras cover until 1 April 2021. We know you love using extras and we want to help you use them safely. Telehealth consultations are a way to claim one-to-one video and phone consults, based on your existing extras cover benefits.

Claimable telehealth services include:

  • physiotherapy
  • occupational therapy
  • psychology
  • speech therapy
  • dietetics

Learn more about how to use telehealth benefits here.

Health programs extended! ^

We have also extended access to our fabulous health programs for those on public, basic and bronze Hospital cover until 1 April 2021.

These include programs for:

  • Heart health
  • Mental health
  • Diabetes management
  • Joint health
  • Chronic disease management

Read about our health programs in more detail here

^ There will be no waiting periods for members who joined Hospital cover before 31 March 2020.

Waiting periods of 2 months (or 12 months for pre-existing conditions) apply for members who joined after 31 March 2020.

 

Updated 6.08.2020: 

Dental

Most dentists across the country still remain on level 1 restrictions which means that dental treatments and regular check-ups are becoming available again, subject to some pretty sensible COVID-19 triaging. Mid-July saw some parts of VIC moving back to level 2 restrictions meaning some services may be postponed (unless deemed urgent). In any case, we recommend that you call your dentist to find out more.

Elective surgeries

To ensure there are enough resources to help the most vulnerable Victorians, as at 5 August 2020, the Premier announced that all category 3 and non-urgent category 2 elective surgeries, across public and private hospitals in will be paused.

In all other states, elective surgeries are continuing as normal in the private system.

If you have any concerns about your hospital stay, please call us on 1800 808 690.

 

New Peoplecare support

Peoplecare is proud to provide additional support to our members, our staff and our communities get through these unprecedented times. We’re pleased to announce this range of measures until 1 April 2021, to help our members through this time.

  • Hospital treatment for COVID-19 is included on your hospital cover
    If you have any level of hospital cover with us, it includes COVID-19 treatment, as long as you joined before 31 March 2020. New joiners and upgrades to hospital cover will need to serve a two-month waiting period before they’re covered for COVID-19 treatment in hospital
  • New ways to use your extras
    If you have extras cover, you can now claim for video & phone consults with psychologists, physio, occupational therapy, speech therapy and dietetics (subject to the usual extras cover and limits, and that the provider is recognised by Medicare).

 

Use our existing services

  • Telephone-based health programs
    If you have a health condition you’re managing, we have a range of great health programs available on some of our hospital covers. Call us on 1800 808 690 or check out the health section of the website or mobile app about the options available to you.
  • Hospital at Home
    We continue to offer Hospital at Home services and Rehab at Home, as part of your hospital cover, as long as it’s a safe option for you and your specialist agrees.

Getting the most out of your health cover during the COVID-19

Given that isolation and social distancing are working a treat, most Aussies are doing the right thing and staying at home. It’s important to know that you can still use your health cover - whether that be online, on the phone or in-person.

Having financial difficulties?

Peoplecare is proud to help our members get through these unprecedented times. Many families have felt the impact of COVID-19 and we understand that unique times call for extra flexibility and support.

COVID-19 FAQs, tips, resources and more

We know everyone is pretty confused right now and that the news is grimmer than usual. We’re here to offer any help we can. Read our health tips to help you and your loved ones deal with the COVID-19 crisis as best as possible.

Health programs on your hospital cover

We're all in this COVID-19 crisis together and at times like these, it's super important to take good care of yourself. Remember, you have our fabulous health programs included on your hospital cover.

Telehealth – everything you need to know and how you can access it

If you’re excited about your new telehealth benefits (available until 1 April 2021) on your extras cover, you probably want to know how to use them. We’re here to help with this short explainer.

Symptom checker

As the saying goes, it's better to be safe than sorry. Is it just a sore throat? A cold? A runny nose? Why not check and stop the guesswork? Check those symptoms.

Frequently asked questions:

As you know, earlier in the year, Peoplecare postponed its annual premium increase for 6 months to help members through the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis, and we are proud that we have been able to help our members through $2.3 million in premium savings during this period. The modest increase to your premiums originally planned for 1 April 2020 will now go ahead from 1 October 2020. All members will be receiving an email or letter in regards to this increase.

We are also helping our members in a whole range of different ways, including:

  • COVID-19 covered on all Peoplecare hospital covers for members who joined before 31 March 2020.
  • Telehealth/video consults benefits on their extras cover for psychologists, physio, occupational therapy, speech therapy and dietetics (same benefits as usual, same rules).
  • Health programs included on ALL levels of hospital cover. Get access to fantastic programs that give you real help for everything from mental health to some of the biggest health conditions like heart disease, osteoarthritis and diabetes.
  • Hospital at Home and Rehab at Home included on ALL levels of hospital cover.
  • Financial Hardship provisions for members who are experiencing financial difficulties. We’d love to speak to you to see how we can help. Give us a buzz on 1800 808 690.

For more questions regarding rate rise please see more info here

Good news! You don’t need to start paying the new premium until your next payment is due. For example, if you’re paid up to 30 November 2020, you’ll start paying the new amount from 1 December 2020.

Our self-service app and website are fully operational.

Yes, all our health programs are now included for all members with hospital cover.

There will be no waiting periods for members who joined Hospital cover before 31 March 2020.

Waiting periods of 2 months (or 12 months for pre-existing conditions) apply for members who joined after 31 March 2020.

Peoplecare is proud to cover COVID-19 on all hospital covers for members who joined before 31 March 2020.

If you’ve recently switched to Peoplecare from another hospital cover within 30 days and have served your two-month waiting period there, you will be covered for COVID-19 hospital admissions.

New joiners and upgrades to hospital cover will need to serve a two-month waiting period before they’re covered for COVID-19 treatment in hospital. All other waiting periods apply.

Note: During the COVID-19 crisis, it’s likely that public and private hospitals will be seeing unprecedented demand and this may affect access for both public and private patients.

Our usual joining process applies. If you join after 31 March 2020 and you don’t already have cover with another fund, a 2 month waiting period applies for Coronavirus and there are a range of other waiting periods up to 12 months.

You can find more info here.

The best place for Coronavirus information is your doctor or the Department of Health.

  • During the COVID-19 crisis, it’s likely that public and private hospitals will be seeing unprecedented demand and this may affect access for members.
  • Your doctor and hospital will be able to provide more information about the surgeries going ahead.
  • Regional VIC will resume elective surgeries from 17th September 2020, while Metro Melbourne resumes from 28th Here is the schedule of elective surgery returning for Victoria:
    • Metro Melbourne
      • 75% capacity – 28th Sept
      • 85% capacity – 26th Oct (or earlier if 14 day avg of new cases is below 5)
      • 100% capacity – 23rd Nov
    • Regional VIC
      • 50% capacity – 17th Sept
      • 85% capacity – 28th Sept
      • 100% capacity – 23rd Nov (or earlier if no cases)
  • In all other states, elective surgeries are continuing as normal in the private system.
  • The impact of COVID-19 will be different in different geographic areas, depending on their demand for COVID-19 hospital beds.
  • This means hospitals in your area might not be impacted in the same way or at the same time as hospitals in other regions.
  • Importantly, treatment and beds are assigned by the hospital and the doctor depending on your health needs.
  • More Category 3 elective surgeries will be scheduled again when the government gives the go ahead.
  • There will be disruption in the healthcare system for a while to come yet, and we’re working with government and health providers to do the best for our members and the community.

If you're admitted to a hospital as a private patient, that’s where private health insurance kicks in and you can claim as normal. If you go to emergency and are treated but not actually admitted into hospital, health funds are unable to cover the fee by law. If you go to emergency and need to be admitted into hospital, you can claim your hospital stay, but not the emergency visit.

Our Peoplecarers are following the government’s ‘social distancing’ guidelines right now, so most of our fabulous staff are working from home and are ready to help you with your health cover.

Simply use your Peoplecare card when paying for your service. If you need to do a photo claim, use our app.

Log in using our website to make payments on you cover.

As part of our social distancing efforts, our office is closed to visitors and this includes our front counter. You can still drop off claims or other paper transactions at our special lock box at the front door, or you can contact us:

  • We’re open for regular appointments!
  • All our services are ready to keep you smiling and looking great.
  • Please note we are not accepting walk-ins. All visitors (including for glasses selection & pickup) are required to call and make an appointment.
  • We can assure you that we take your health seriously and can offer high standards of care.
  • The COVID-19 situation is an unprecedented crisis in Australia and the government’s doing what it can to expand the healthcare system to look after everyone.
  • Your private health cover is just as important as ever.
  • We’ll still be covering our members in both public and private hospitals for many elective and emergency surgeries going ahead according to Government advice.
  • We’re continuing to offer our full range of services and benefits for members and have extended our coverage to include:
    • Telehealth and video consults for Extras cover (psychology, physio, occupational therapy, speech therapy and dietetics)
    • Telephone based health programs on all our hospital covers
    • Hospital in the Home and Rehab in the Home on all our hospital covers
    • Health info on our website
  • It’s important to maintain your cover as many elective surgeries are being rescheduled.

No, health funds aren’t allowed to cover you overseas, so this is a question for your travel Insurer. As long as you maintain your health cover, we’ll be here when you get back.

It’s important to know the situation is changing quickly and that the rules and arrangements for travel insurance might have changed recently. We strongly recommend you review government advice and talk with your travel insurer during this time.