UniMed, you and COVID-19. We’re in this together

Dear Member

Thank you for your patience while we’ve been sorting out the fairest way to provide our promised premium credit to you. Despite a sharp upturn in claims since moving to level 2, we are committed to supporting you with a two week premium credit. Our actual permanent savings are likely to be around half what we are providing as a credit but we know this is a difficult time for many and every bit of support we can offer is important. We want to make sure we do the right thing by our members.

Timing of the credit varies and remember that if your employer pays your premium, they will be the one that gets the refund.
There are more details below and in the FAQ section on our website.

We are receiving substantially increased applications for prior approvals now that elective surgery and treatments are being rescheduled. In many cases, this demand is back to normal levels and we expect this trend to continue as backlogs are cleared, which could take well into next year.

Don’t forget about our 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. We’ve included more information below.

As the COVID – 19 restrictions continue to ease, we’d like to recap on some important messages. You can also look on the FAQ page on our website for any questions.


We’re here and ready to help

Our people are back in the office, after working remotely during lockdown, to process member claims as quickly as possible. As we’ve said, prior approval applications for future surgery and medical procedures are getting back to normal now that treatments are being rescheduled.
You can make the claims process even faster by 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 our website.

Flu Vaccine Benefit

It’s been great to see so many members taking up this opportunity.
You are eligible where:

  • Your employer hasn’t already paid
  • 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 receipt along with a completed claim form.

Well-being Benefit

We know that this has been a tough time and we want you to stay well. This is why we’ve introduced this new benefit.

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 receipt needs to be provided along with a completed claim form


When will I notice my premium credit?

Members pay their premiums in a variety of ways so the timing of the credit will vary.

Each eligible policy will enjoy a two week premium holiday based on premiums as at 1 May 2020. We are paying back more than we expect to save from members’ permanently cancelled treatments during lockdown.

Remember that if your employer pays your premium, they will be the one that gets the refund.

Those members with simple billing arrangements can expect to see the premium credit applied to their account from the first few weeks of June 2020. This includes members paying by direct debit, recurring credit card and invoice. Please be aware that you may not receive the premium credit in June as it will apply from your next billing date, and this may occur after June 2020. For example, if you pay your premium annually and your next renewal is February 2021, your credit will appear on that next renewal invoice in February.

For those paying by wage deduction through their employer, it is a bit more complex. Many businesses are still focusing on re-starting after lockdown so making temporary changes to wage deductions may take longer. We are keeping employers up to date and will be doing what we can to support them in making these changes as soon as they can. Some schemes have more complex billing arrangements than others, so these may take a bit longer.

How will this affect my payments?

If you have a direct bank payment set up, you don’t need to do anything. We will make the necessary changes to your next deduction. If you pay by invoice, the premium credit will be shown on your next bill from mid-late June 2020.

If your premium is deducted from your salary/wages, you don’t need to do anything. We will contact your payroll office so they can make the necessary adjustment. You should see this reflected in your usual payslips when the premium credit has been applied.

Please be patient as it may take a little time for the premium credit to be applied.

You’ll find more details in the FAQ section on our website.


Are you 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.

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.

Helping to keep you safe

A comprehensive list of services and information for keeping safe, put together by the Ministry of Health.

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

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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