Covid-19 Update. We’re in this together

Dear Member

This is a tough time in so many ways for so many people. Tough will mean different things to different people. It might be financial hardship, or struggling with wellbeing during the lockdown.

It’s important to maintain your health insurance cover as it preserves your future access to medical and surgical treatment. UniMed is here to support you. We can get through this together.

With this in mind, we’re introducing two new wellbeing benefits, regardless of what plan you have with us. You can claim these new benefits for six months from 1 April 2020 through to 30 September 2020.

You can read more about our pledge to you and your new benefits in this update.


UniMed’s pledge to provide a Premium Credit to you

We have noticed that claims are lower than normal. During the lockdown, some medical and surgical treatments have been completed while many others have been deferred and some cancelled. As the lockdown restrictions are gradually lifted, we are likely to see a concerted effort to treat patients who have been waiting.

We are pledging to return back to members surplus funds resulting from claims that were cancelled during the lockdown and will now never take place. This is the right thing to do.

We will:

  • Introduce new benefits (see below);
  • Provide targeted assistance to members facing financial hardship; and
  • Introduce a new Premium Credit.

Premium Credit
A credit will be applied against members’ premiums giving some valuable short-term relief during these difficult times. We are working on the details of how this Premium Credit will apply and will let you know more over the coming weeks. Please bear with us as we work though the details.

We’ve said from the outset that we’re here for you. As a not for profit society, our focus is to look after you and support you all.

Flu Vaccine Benefit

This is eligible where:
– Your employer hasn’t already paid for one
– You don’t meet the criteria for free government funding.

Benefit Limit
Up to $30 per person named on policy.
How to Claim
Simply have your flu vaccine at your Doctor or pharmacy and provide a copy of the invoice along with a Completed Claim form.

Well-being support for our members

Psychiatric/Psychologist/Psychotherapist Consultations Benefit

For treatment associated with personal consequences of COVID19.

Benefit Limit
This is 50% of actual costs incurred up to $120 per visit, with a maximum of three consultations. This is per person named on the policy.

Eligible providers
To be eligible for claimable services, the provider must be registered under either the New Zealand Psychologists Board, or the Psychotherapists Board of Aotearoa New Zealand.

How to Claim
A copy of the invoice needs to be provided along with a Completed Claim form.

Counsellor Benefit

For treatment associated with personal consequences of COVID19.

Benefit Limit
This is for 50% of actual costs incurred up to $60 per visit, with a maximum of three consultations. This is per person named on the policy.
Eligible providers
To be eligible for claimable services the provider must be registered under either the NZ Christian Counsellors Association (NZCCA), NZ Association of Counsellors (NZAC), or Drug and Alcohol Practitioner’s Association of Aotearoa-NZ (DAPAANZ).
How to Claim
A copy of the invoice needs to be provided along with a Completed Claim form.


We’re with you in tough financial times

We have put plans in place to assist members who have been made redundant or are suffering extreme financial hardship for other reasons. Please contact us at members@unimed.co.nz or 0800 600 666 to discuss your situation.

Send those claims in

Our teams continue to operate at full capacity. We’re still receiving and processing medical claims and prior approval requests from members for future surgery and medical procedures. If you’re returning your claims online, there’s a free scanner that might help you attaching claims documents. CamScanner is a free app on Android and Apple that easily converts your photos to pdfs. https://www.camscanner.com/user/download. Or you can download it from the UniMed website https://unimed.co.nz/contact-us/make-a-claim/

We are completing claim refunds, typically within 24 hours of receipt, so please make sure you send them in and contact us if you have any questions. Claims that have been posted to us are being quarantined for 7 days, then processed as soon as this period ends.


Those who are living alone or in vulnerable circumstances

If you live alone, are in vulnerable circumstances or just need some help with managing your health insurance, now is a good time for you to appoint a family member or friend as an ‘authorised person’ on your policy.

An authorised person can contact UniMed on your behalf to discuss your policy.

To add (or change) an authorised person, please email us at members@unimed.co.nz or send an enquiry . Please include your member number, the authorised person’s name, email address and a contact phone number for them.

Your plan coverage and COVID-19

UniMed’s plans do not have any general exclusions for COVID-19. If a member meets the eligibility requirements of their plan, you will be able to make a claim. New Zealand’s public healthcare system provides acute care for all New Zealanders and treatment of COVID-19 will be managed by the public healthcare system.

UniMed’s plans complement the public healthcare system. This means, there is no cover for acute care but, depending on your plan and your particular medical situation, you may have cover for conditions that develop as a result of COVID-19.

Cover for telemedicine

To limit the risk of infection, most GPs and health professionals are understandably now carrying out their consultations over the phone, or via Zoom, Facetime or Skype. This is for both routine health consultations and consultations related to COVID-19.

UniMed will cover these as an exception until further notice and treat them as a standard consultation in line with your policy benefit maximums. That applies to all the health professionals that you’re covered for under your policy.

Important links for helping to keep safe

A comprehensive list of services and information for keeping safe, put together by the Ministry of Health. https://covid19.govt.nz/

Government launches online tools to help improve Kiwis’ mental health

The Government is making further support available for Kiwis wanting to look after their mental wellbeing as a result of change and uncertainty from COVID-19. The three discrete initiatives are: the Mentemia app developed by All Blacks legend Sir John Kirwan; a health journal app called Melon; and an e-therapy programme called Staying on Track.

For further information, check out the following links.

mentemia.com/
melonhealth.com/covid-19
https://www.justathought.co.nz/

Please keep an eye on our website for other updates and additional information.

We can get through this together. Please stay in touch and let us know how UniMed can help. We’re here for you.

Dermot Martin
Chief Executive

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