New private health insurance brand, AIA Health Insurance, has announced it will provide cash refunds to up to 40,000 members who face restricted access to extras services due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
AIA Australia announced the launch of AIA Health Insurance in March. The new brand replaced AIA Australia’s former 'myOwn Health' brand it delivered in partnership with GMHBA.
"The introduction of a cash refund is industry leading and protects the value of extras cover," said the company. "It is being launched by AIA Australia to recognise that many members may not be able to receive the full benefits of their extras cover because of limitations to key services such as dental, physio and optical since the pandemic commenced."
According to AIA chief health Insurance officer Tim Tez, “This is undoubtedly the right thing to do for our members given the restrictions and disruptions to services during COVID-19. By taking this action, we’re putting money back in our members’ pockets to support their financial wellbeing during this challenging time.”
Members will receive a minimum 50 per cent refund on their extras policy from 1 April 2020 to 31 December 2020, less any claims paid for extras used by the member.
AIA said members are also being given the opportunity to enhance their refund amount through their engagement with its health and wellbeing program, AIA Vitality. A refund of 100 per cent will be provided to Platinum AIA Vitality members and 75 per cent for Gold and Silver members.
Total refund amounts will be calculated at the end of the year and premiums returned directly to members.
“While it’s impossible to know how quickly extras services will return to normal, we wanted to demonstrate our commitment to members by making this decision now rather than waiting to see how demand for ancillary services bounces back,” said Mr Tez.
“By way of example, a Platinum AIA Vitality member who makes no extras claims from April to December this year would receive 100 percent of their extras premium back in their pocket – which is a big saving.
“As one of the newest health insurance brands on the block we want to show how we are going above and beyond at a time when Australians are assessing the value they get from their insurance and the take up of private health insurance is in question – it’s about educating our members on exactly what they are paying for when it comes to extras and ensuring we are there for them along the journey,” he added.