Financial assistance to members who hold Extras cover

07.05.2020
Financial assistance to members who hold Extras cover

6 May 2020

To our valued members,

On 27 March 2020, I wrote to you about our health and financial assistance program available for CBHS members impacted by COVID-19. Since then, I am pleased to advise we have been able to help over 900 CBHS families faced with COVID-19 related financial hardship. This accounts to well over $1 million in premium relief for these families.

A few weeks on, and our commitment to you
We have also communicated how we have been working closely with our trusted partners to make a range of  telehealth and in-home health provider services available to you within the safety of your own home. We’ve also continued to be there for those members who have required emergency and essential treatment for accidents and illnesses or require treatment for acute and chronic conditions like cancer, heart disease and mental health issues. And on a happier note, babies are still being born every day, allowing us to provide our new and growing CBHS families with cover and support.

As a not-for-profit, member-owned fund, we are committed to finding ways to return any unintentional profits made due to the Australian Government restrictions on some services to our members. We are now pleased to announce that we are expanding our health and financial assistance program to members who hold Extras cover.

If you hold an active CBHS membership with an Extras component on 31 May 2020, you will automatically receive a refund of 30% of your Extras cover premium for May by 9 June 2020. If you hold a combined Hospital and Extras cover, the refund will represent around 10% of your total premium for May.

Please read our COVID-19 Extras Refund FAQS below for more details

Support is still available
Our  COVID-19 Health and Financial Assistance program continues to be available to you. This includes:

  • No premium increase on 1 April 2020 and deferring all premium increases until 30 September 2020.
  • Ex-gratia benefits paid towards COVID-19-related chest, heart, lung and kidney hospital admissions regardless of your level of Hospital cover.
  • Up to six months’ free cover on a Hospital or a combined Hospital and Extras product for eligible members financially impacted by COVID-19. .
  • A new special temporary policy suspension for members experiencing financial hardship caused by COVID-19. All members with Hospital cover who suspend their policy during this time will be able to reactivate their cover if they need to access COVID-19 related treatment.

Please read our COVID-19 Health and Financial Assistance FAQs for more details.

Looking forward
The Australian Government began easing restrictions on elective surgeries from 27 April 2020 allowing many elective hospital procedures to be rescheduled. Over the coming months, we will assess the financial impact of these restrictions and make decisions to support you at that time. With respect to Extras cover premiums, we will continue to assess the effect of the Australia Government restrictions on some services covered by Extras and advise at the end of this month whether CBHS is able to provide a similar refund for June 2020. As a reminder, when the restrictions are lifted, your annual Extras limits will be there for you to use during the remainder of the calendar year.

Finally, as building healthier and happier communities is at the heart of everything we do, we encourage you to download the Australian Government’s COVIDSafe app. Let’s work together to stop the spread of COVID-19 and continue to navigate our way out of this pandemic.

Please stay safe and healthy – we are all in this together.

Kind regards,

Andrew Smith
Group Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director

 

FAQS

How is the refund calculated?

The amount of the refund is 30% of the Extras component of your premium paid in May after any discount, the Australian Government Rebate and any CBA subsidy. If you only held your Extras cover for part of May, the amount refunded will be proportional to the number of days you held your Extras cover. You must hold Extras cover on 31 May 2020 to be eligible for the refund.

How will I receive the refund?

Your refund will be processed to the bank account which you have already nominated to receive claim benefits. Your refund is not able to be paid to an alternative bank account. If you receive claim benefits by cheque, you will receive it by post.

I’m on a packaged Hospital and Extras cover, how is my refund calculated?

If you have combined Hospital and Extras cover the refund will represent around 10% of your total premium for May.

What do I need to do to claim the 30% May Extras premium refund?

You won’t need to do anything. If you hold an active CBHS membership with an Extras component in May which is paid up to date on 31 May 2020, the refund will be applied automatically.

Where will I be able to access the refunded amount?

Your refund will be processed to the bank account which you have already nominated to receive claim benefits. Your refund is not able to be paid to an alternative bank account.

I can’t see the refunded amount in my account

We will process the refund your amount between 1 – 3 June 2020 and it should reach your bank account by 9 June 2020 or your cheque by post by 22 June 2020. Please wait until after these dates before contacting us.

I have received three months’ free cover as part the financial assistance package, am I entitled to a refund for May?

No. The refund is not available to members who have already received financial assistance as part of our COVID-19 Health and Financial Assistance Program.

Why am I not receiving a refund on my Hospital cover?

The Australian Government began to ease restrictions on elective surgeries from 27 April 2020 which means that services available under your Hospital cover are largely unaffected. However, we recognise that some Extras services are unavailable, which is why the 30% refund applies to the Extras component of your cover only.

What if I want to suspend my policy temporarily due to financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic?

We have introduced a special temporary policy suspension initiative to assist members who are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. While you won’t be able to claim for treatment received during the suspension period, you will not have to pay premiums during this period until you reactivate your cover.

The minimum period of this COVID-19 specific policy suspension is one month with a maximum period of six months. You must have held your CBHS cover for at least two months and your policy must be paid up to date at the time of your application.

If you have Hospital cover and suspend your policy under this initiative, you’ll be able to reactivate and access your cover if you require treatment for COVID-19.

Please note if you suspend your policy for more than three months and you develop a medical condition during the suspension period, when you reactivate your policy, a two month waiting period will apply for hospital psychiatric, rehabilitation and palliative care services, and a 12 month waiting period will apply for all other services, including pregnancy and birth. If the suspension period is three months or less, no additional waiting periods will apply.

This COVID-19 temporary suspension is available even if members have previously suspended their policy due to financial hardship within the last five years.

Periods of policy suspension do not count towards the serving of unserved waiting periods. You will also not be entitled to the Australian Government Rebate on Private Health Insurance and you will not be exempt from the Medicare Levy Surcharge during the suspension period.

Does the 30% Extras premium refund apply to new members as well as existing?

Yes, the return of 30% of Extras premiums paid for May 2020 applies to new and existing CBHS Extras or package memberships who held Extras for any period in May 2020 which is paid up to date as at 31 May 2020. The amount returned will be proportional to how many days the member held their Extras cover.

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